Change is Good  

As we are midway through the summer, I am filled with gratitude for the many blessings we have. Covid restrictions have eased and we are meeting together once again.  I am struck by the story of Ezra returning to Jerusalem after the Babylonian exile.  They spent 70 years away from home, (and we only spent 16 months in semi-isolation).  The Israelites were grateful for their return to a normal. 

But even for them, it was a new normal.    Returning to “normal” wasn’t necessarily what they faced.  Homes had been destroyed, families had been separated, and the work of restoration began. 

And their attitude was of gratitude.  They began by worshiping and rebuilding the altar (Ezra 3).  As we return, I am filled with thankfulness.  I feel so grateful for the many gifts our congregation brings to the community.  Roxanne, Clarance, and Elena, the many “callers” during our separation, the zoom meetings, Jim bringing his tech skills, Property and Finance (especially  Jackie, David, Earl, and Paul) looking for ways to upgrade and improve, council coming together to allocate and invest, Leann for keeping our money “straight,” Kid’s  Clothes   Closet,  Family  Promise, and  Kids Summer Meals  volunteers.  

I’m sure there are others who helped through our separation and return to gathering. I think of ushers, Ron and Jocelyn for their working A/V, our sacristy people, readers, and ministry assistants. Thank you and everyone interested in how we can do things well and better. Still I know there are more. We are returning, with new technology, paint, floors, and there is more to come.

All of this is change. Change can be disruptive, but it is necessary for growth. It is when we stop growing that we start dying... Yet, the greatest praise goes to God. It is God who has redeemed us through Jesus and welcomes us into His throne room.

It is God who has called us by name and declared us beloved. And it is God who equips and sends us into the world to love and serve. God is not complacent; God is always active. God is interested in change, in making us better and taking us to a more useable place.

Thank you all for this community of faith. Thank you for your work in using your gifts and talentsto better our community. I thank God for each of you and may God continue to work change in your life and in the life of this community.

Psalm 100:4-5: Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.