At our church this week - August 11 - August 18

The first verse of the 11th chapter of the Apostle Paul's letter to the Hebrews tells us this about faith:

Faith is the assurance that what you hope for will come to pass; that what you do not see is as sure as what you do see.

Today in worship we talked about faith and the promises of God. How appropriate a discussion to have as we are poised to celebrate our ministry together, say goodbye to one another, and anticipate your future that is surely in God's hands. 

We talked about the story of a people of faith that manifests in how you have responded to God's promises of the past almost 11 years:
  • By faith you acted to embrace the "new church" of the 21st century, a church that is more concerned with the many folks outside our four walls than how many folks sit in the pews on a Sunday morning--with the promise of God for you to thrive as a mission force that serves and supports the dear folks of our greater community. 
  • By faith you acted to bring two churches into one church--with the promise of God to bring us together with a growing unity that will propel you toward even more vitality and relevance through food programs, benevolence programs, and the Lamoille County Youth Center for vulnerable youth. 

We talked about how not to become complacent with the successful programs we have, but to continually encourage volunteers and donations of time and resources so they are successful far into the future. We celebrated that the struggling Lamoille County Youth Center has had new life breathed into it thanks to its Board of Directors who have hired a new and vibrant Program Manager who is committed to vulnerable youth and committed to reaching out to schools and organizations. I encouraged you to consider serving on the Board and otherwise supporting our vulnerable youth.

We talked about how you are present-day ancestors of progeny that we cannot even imagine; people by choice and chance; people we need and people who need us; with the promise of God to continue to expand our church well into the unknown future. 

We talked about how to continue to act on the promises of God by calling a new Pastor who shares your mission, who understands God's 21st Century church of mission; who is willing to be an ambassador of the church in the greater community, the face of the mission. 

We talked about the vital role of lay leadership that strengthens the committee structure to prevent "lone wolves" from forcing their ideas and plans; a lay leadership that is willing to confront the tendency to become complacent and fall back to "yesteryear", because doing so will certainly lead to set backs and eventually stagnation; a leadership that is transparent and open in discussions with the congregation.

I encouraged all of you, however you feel about my leaving, to take the best of me and the best of you to aid in continuing your vibrant ministry. And to always remember that you may not know what the future holds, but you surely know Who holds your future!


On Saturday and Sunday we will be celebrating US!

Saturday August 17 at 4:30 at the Oxbow
Bring a potluck dish if you can, a lawn chair, and good memories
Charlie Yerrick's Jazz Band will provide music

Sunday August 18 during worship
We will celebrate with much music, and our Pastor will deliver her final message
We will also participate in a Liturgy of Farewell and Release

Sunday August 18 after worship
Reception with cake, ice cream, punch, and coffee
We will share memories of our time together
Bring your stories!!
Bring your cards and written thoughts to the basket in the narthex

My final day as your Pastor is August 22.
Carol and I will be at National Parks in California until September 10
We move to Montpelier September 11
I begin my new ministry on September 12