HAPPY NEW YEAR!
The new year is a time that people make resolutions on how they want to move ahead in better ways in the coming year. Resolutions cover areas from personal health or appearance or behavior or relationships. We have a feeling we can do better.
Churches also can make resolutions to help them move ahead in better ways. Because churches are made up of many people of many backgrounds and of different stages in life, it takes longer to develop resolutions that impact the church and that most, if not all can agree on.
That longer process is what was begun in last April’s congregational conversation, and was continued through the CAT survey. The results of that are now back. Overall, they present a snapshot of the church as it is.
Knowing how we look right now doesn’t absolutely tell us what our resolution should be. There are often options. For example, I can look at myself and recognize that I am overweight. My options could be to eat lot less, try to exercise more, perhaps get knee replacements so I can exercise more, perhaps a combination of those. It will take thought and evolution. The one resolution I shouldn’t make is simply to rush out and get larger clothes. That simply seeks to cover up a fact about myself, and keeps me from the thoughtful weighing of options.
The next step will be asking all of you to share in weighing options, and in thinking through the implications of the report. All are invited to attend a “So What” gathering for an in-depth look at what we find in the report, and what it might mean for future efforts.
We will also be taking guidance from the story of the Wise Men. Epiphany, January 6, is the traditional day to celebrate their arrival in Bethlehem after the birth. King Herod has asked them to stop in Jerusalem to tell him what they found. But Herod’s purpose was not praise for a new born king but plans to eliminate a rival to the throne.
Fortunately, God acted to warn the wise men in a dream to return home by a different way. Going by a different route can help us avoid future problems, or help us take into account changing circumstances around us. Sermons and some Second Hours in January and February will help us explore what changing circumstances around WPC mean for taking some different ways in the future.
Ideally, it will all come together in a widely representative set of directions for the future which will be the groundwork for the next stage of the search process for the next pastor.
Peace, Pastor Bill
Rev. Bill Schram began his ministry with Westminster in March and is the current Interim Minister. Bill attended McCormick seminary in Chicago and met his wife Jenny there. They have served as co-pastors and in separate positions. He has served churches in urban, near suburb, small town, county seat towns in various positions such as pastor, associate pastor, interim pastor, and hospital chaplain. He and Jenny have two natural and one foster daughter. Delightfully, they now have a granddaughter to enjoy.