From the Pastor’s Desk, January 2017

Taken from the CCOB Canton Chronicler, Vol. 2017 #1

Another section of this newsletter will contain information about the Dignity emphasis in which we are engaged, including objectives from the 5 passion groups. So, I’ll refrain from touching on those details in this space. However, I will express my delight and excitement about the momentum being gained through our ongoing conversations and work.

I have the opportunity to visit in and participate in dialogue with other congregations both within and outside the Church of the Brethren. Many of the congregations, small and shrinking, are facing questions about survival. As I’ve pondered my interactions with these congregations, and reflected on our efforts, I’ve arrived at the conclusion that more is at stake than survival. The church has never been asked to simply exist in survival mode. The church has been called to thrive, to flourish in active collaboration with God.

“The church has been called to thrive, to flourish in active collaboration with God.”

This line of thinking brings to mind the creation stories in the first two chapters of Genesis. God looks upon each new creation and declares it good. Subsequently, the creation of humanity is given dominion over all that has been created. It is important to understand that dominion means protecting and caring for the created order rather than practicing dominance over it. Thus, to thrive as the church is to honor God with our efforts to sustain the goodness of creation just as it was initially created.

I’m delighted with and excited about the efforts of our Dignity emphasis because we are striving to respect all of God’s creation through all our objectives. In reality, we have moved beyond a concern about survival to great momentum on a journey of thriving.

I express my gratitude for this wonderful movement and for everyone’s enthusiastic participation.

 

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