I have been reading a book by Brian McLaren called “A New Kind of Christian.” At one point in the book, the two main characters, a pastor and a school teacher, get into an argument, and they both leave angry with one another. As they reconcile, the teacher writes the pastor a note with a quote from his Jamaican mother.
He says that when he ran into difficulties as a child, his mother would take him and look at the mountains near their home, and point to the peaks. “You see that peak over there? And you see that peak over there? Well, in order to go from that peak there to that peak there, you have to walk down in the valley first.”
The idea in the book is that when I read that quote, I was reminded of the situation that we are in as a church right now. A decision has to be made about camp and our finances; we are looking for our music minister; and we know that as a church, we cannot continue doing the same things. Things feel uncertain; it feels like we are in the valley. Things would be dark indeed if we were in the valley and we could not climb out. But that is not the case. We are a church that was called into existence by God, and we must trust that God is about to do something big.
What if we are in the valley, but we are getting ready for the upward climb toward a new peak, where God intends us to go. And what if it is better than any peak we have been on before? What if this is a turning point, where we start our upward journey, where a couple of right decisions made under the leadership and power of the Spirit, sets our church on a journey toward revitalization and renewal? And what if a renewed commitment to walk in the leadership of the Spirit is grasped and captured by some key people? Then a peak is coming.
The Dawnings team has been hard at work putting together some initiatives that we believe will help us to define the peak that we sense the Holy Spirit is leading us to. Their work will be finished within a couple of weeks, and you will hear their report soon. It will be up to us to decide to journey upwards together, in love and grace.
I believe in the future of Central, and I am committed to it, and I know that you are committed to it as well. Let us trust in the Spirit, worship in the Spirit, and be strengthened and encouraged by the Spirit on this journey.