Greetings to the friends and members of First Christian Church,
We are at the beginning of the Season of Lent, a time for lament and reflection on sorrows and losses. Through this season we will stay steadfast in our love for God and know that Easter is coming with the resurrection. The sad times and hard journeys will lead to times of overwhelming joy.
But first, we need to navigate the troubling waters. This congregation has had countless dreams over the generations. Many of those dreams were never realized. I grieve with this congregation as another one of our dreams appears to be fading off into a realm of impossibilities. First Christian Church and the congregation has changed in several ways within our lived memory. We are a smaller congregation with less programs and small groups. The income we generated through our Sunday morning collections has also declined. The church building is aging as are our other properties and all these buildings need care if they are to remain useful. It is hard to celebrate the congregation’s decision to sell a couple of the owned residential homes on Madriver. The homes were purchased with a long-range plan in mind for a future building project. The dream of a community center next to the church is the current fading dream. The loss of this dream bares
heavy on us as a community.
We will remain steadfast in our love for God, the church and our neighbors as we are called to do and as
modeled to us in the life of Christ. Some dreams came to fruition and have brought us to where we are and set us in motion for the future. Our continued love will guide us in living into the world of new realities. We will continue to dream and bring a message of hope to those that are hopeless. We will celebrate all the things that we do and gifts we receive, regardless of how big or small. We always have and eye on the resurrection; with Christ, we can even defeat death. Easter will be here. We just need to endure life’s hardships.
A great celebration is coming. We invite you to dream with us. We also want you to know that you do not need to suffer alone if you are experiencing a challenging time in your life. I appreciate you for spending time reading this letter. I would love to see you participate in our up-coming Holy Week services that include a special Easter service. The happiest news I have to report has been buried, but I think with your help we will raise it to something we talk about with hope and enthusiasm. We have exciting news to share with our
church friends and new church family. My wife Christine and I are expecting our first child! We appreciate your prayers and the prayers of the community for a healthy baby and mother.
Peace & Blessings,