It’s 10:21 pm. The parents have said their good-byes. Five more hours and we are headed to the airport. The youth are excited, roaming the church – and nowhere near ready for sleep. Time to finish these musings, musings about the importance of stories and the impact of church when it helps to create stories that shape our lives. A week from now, our youth will have an array of tales to tell of the borders we will cross, the suffering we will observe, and the works of justice and healing that are possible.
And as they tell their stories, the stories become a part of who they are. Same for all of us. Everyone engaged in our congregation is at times forced to cross borders, traveling out of their comfort zone into the unfamiliar – creating a story as a gift. Everyone spending time in our community comes close to suffering as we hold each other during moments of loss, fear, anxiety and much more – creating more stories, leaving more gifts. All who have been around have seen the way service and justice are central to who we are – resulting in stories others tell of us and the impact we can have.
We are our stories, provided we tell our stories – to each other, across the generations, and to the world. “Let’s Tell Our Stories” is our stewardship theme this year because we have a vision to strengthen the way we share those stories. With Heidi as our Office Administrator we now have a person on staff who has the graphic design talent and “marketing” zest to make visible our prophetic voice, to be creative in how we present who we are, and to make more easily accessible the ministries we offer. Quality posters, targeted social media ads, and online registration forms are just a few of the ways she has already moved us forward.
And then there are the stories that hold the values we hope to pass along, up and down the generations, over and across different life stages and experiences. Our Lifespan Faith Development has tapped a new level of energy, especially with the addition of Second Hour programming twice a month. To help this ministry thrive, Lyn needs logistical support preparing for Sunday mornings. This would allow her to spend more time connecting with families and being present to others.
Once again, Heidi offers what we are looking for and is willing to adjust her schedule (3 hours on each task, for a total of 6 more hours per week). For the past two years we have solidified our foundation. Your generosity has been remarkable.
We are in a good place now. I hope you feel that and own that. There is much happening worthy of our stories, worthy to be shared. Let’s build on our foundation.
Let’s notice what ought to be shared. Let’s tell our story. (And are those youth truly asleep by now? Time to check.)