Commemorating 40 Years of Ministry
I have a coffee cup given to me by Laura Bryant at my 40th birthday (last year) that reads I’m too young to be 40. I can’t believe that our congregation is 40 years old. Recently, I celebrated my 35th anniversary in ministry. But this is so much more than just about me. It is about “US”. In some ways it is particularly about those pioneers who had the vision 40 years ago. That is why the anniversary committee has given the event the theme “You are the Church.”
You ARE the church. God long ago made a decision to work through humans. I often question that decision (tongue in cheek). Given what I know about humans, I would not have given up that much direct control. But God DID entrust the work of the kingdom to us. So, YOU are the church, the people of God, His disciples,
In that same vein (not that I am God) I gave away the planning of the celebration of the church to the anniversary committee. They are doing outstanding work and I know that you will be pleased. Since I am kept in the loop through e-mails, I know that they have taken great measures to include everyone. Whether you have just joined this congregation the day before or are simply a visitor or you happened to walk by, you are welcome! Whether you are young or old or any other discriminating factor, make your plans now to come, because you are welcome. For me, that is one of the most important factors of a church. All are welcome! Christ died for ALL.
I think we are all indebted to a pastor years ago who knocked on 2000 doors in what was then a rural area. Rev. William Quail got up every day to knock on another door of a stranger and invite them to worship in a temporary setting at Central Gwinnett High School. Only 10% of ministers have this special quality. I am not one of them. I inherited a building, a regular place of worship. Pastor Quail’s vision, given to him by God, is much the same as Abraham being told he would have children as many as the stars in heaven. Pastor Bill had to believe that this was possible. I am going to do my best to reach out to him and honor him for his work.
Pastor Quail could not have done it alone. Someone had to believe that he was authentic and one in whom they could place their trust. Those are names of people who are on the charter. They are pioneers who stepped into the unknown and trusted God in our behalf. We will be searching them out to honor them as well.
Make no mistake YOU are the church. We have built upon that great foundation. We also have visions of our own of how we will go forward. So, we hope all of you will come “remember” along side us on August 24th. This will be a great day to celebrate. It will be my last anniversary to share with you and I would love it to be big.
The committee will be asking you do some simple things for that day. The first and most important is telling us if you plan to attend. If you have ever planned an event, you know how important this is. So, please, please, please, let us know you are coming. If you tell us we can be sure that there is plenty for all. We have published the save the date. Please sign up when the time comes..
Thank you for being the church. Now let’s get this party going.
~In His Service,