So much is going on here that says "God is doing something new!" Maybe its my sense of humor, maybe its my experience that God has a sense of humor, but when the basement flooded before Christmas, I wondered "What is God trying to tell us now?"
Some people look for 'writing on the wall' I think God speaks in more mysterious ways...so with groundwater and plumbing issues conspiring to bring us a 'lived experience' of "springs of living water in the basement of an old church building" I thought of new wine in old wineskins - that this was just what people around here have said and know. Its time to build a new church home here, to become a renewed congregation.
This church is poised to move away from its history as a pioneer, prairie church into its future, as part of a vibrant, young, rapidly growing city. Indeed, the future of the congregation depends on this.
And so, the congregation has voted to build a new building on this site, and to work to develop partnerships with other organizations who will also call this place their home. Its a radical idea which is a sign of a "successful" church in this modern era. When we walk side by side with others, sharing in the work of mending the world, creating a warm, inclusive community, where church roots go down deep into the community, and where 'church work' takes place in the middle of the community. Its exciting times - with so much potential it makes me a bit giddy to think of it. And so, as I said, I've been lucky to be here, at such a time as this.
Right now we are preparing for our annual meeting at the end of February, and working to set the ground work - the foundation - in place for the next steps in growth. All kinds of "housecleaning" is taking place, from the literal work of last summer in the two church buildings, but also in work updating membership lists, in holding a stewardship campaign, and in the networking care through pastoral phone calls. At the end of April we intend to celebrate 115 years. I noticed that there was no 100th anniversary celebration for the congregation (founded in 1902, but folks were thinking of this building - built in 1921 or of 1925 - when the United Church was founded - as dates to celebrate 100 years....thus...it was missed!) so we will have lots of fun celebrating 100 +15 (I've suggested we have 16 cakes to mark this...)
The Joint Search Committee is actively seeking a minister who will be excited to come and alongside and work with the congregation into this exciting time of development.
There is lots to do in these next months, and there will be lots to report as the days and weeks fly by. So do check in and see what's happening. And jump on board! There is room for you here!
Grace and Peace!
Rev. Karen Holmes