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Friday, December 1st, 2017
Some 20th Anniversary Reflections
Change can be disconcerting at the best of times. Yet, in many ways the only constant in our world is change. Still, there are probably some things we would rate as good changes and some things that we would rate as not so good. In twenty years, there can be a lot of changes!
As I think about the 20th Anniversary of St. Luke’s Zion, I am keenly aware of those among the saints who now hang out on the other side of eternity. A number of these people served on council or in other leadership roles over the years. There are also some former choir members who are now singing in the heavenly choir. It is amazing how many people can come and go over that length of time.
At the same time, there are always new faces among us, which is indeed a blessing. And then there are those who simply look a little bit (a lot?) older than they did in the pictures from 20 years ago!
Meanwhile, the area around the church building is also changing. The development that was expected 40 years ago is now underway. This will bring both challenges and opportunities. Those who like coming to the church and seeing the deer out back might not get to see them much longer. As well, there will likely be a large bill to be paid when sewer hookups finally come this way.
However, on the other side of things, some look forward to the day when the derelict buildings next door might disappear, as well as the day when the church will be situated in the midst of a far more obvious community than there is right now.
There remain plenty of reasons to keep asking what it is that God has in mind for us, as well as how we can manage to share God’s love with more and more people. As we heard on Nov. 26th, “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope” (Jer. 29:11). While some are tempted to sink into worry and fear when it comes to the future, ultimately all of us are in God’s hands. Into a time of great distress, when the Revelation to John was given, John wrote, “Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come” (1:4). Whether past, present or future, our God reigns!
At the same time, this is God’s church, and not our church. I have always firmly believed that the church may change form over the years and the congregations may change form or even location, but the church of Christ will continue. The church of Christ will continue wherever people listen for God’s leading, trust in the Holy Spirit, and look to Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.
The church of Christ will also continue wherever people continue to pray. Not too long ago, a participant in the congregation was feeling a little discouraged that there didn’t seem to be any new faces showing up. So he prayed about it and asked God to send some. God, it seems, was happy to oblige. I give thanks every day for the prayer warriors in our midst, for God does not step in and intervene without our asking!
As we mark 20 years this December, I give thanks for all of you. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your generosity. Thank you for sharing your time and talents. Thank you for your faith, hope and love. May there be many more years of ministry in this community through our Saviour Jesus Christ!
Pastor Lynne Hutchison