The day I stepped foot in this wonderful building, I knew it was more than just bricks and mortar. I wasn’t sure exactly what I was looking at, but nonetheless it had captured my curiosity. Soon after I found myself joining the Building & Grounds committee to help ensure this building would stay upright as long as possible, but I still wasn’t sure that this was my calling.
I looked for my niche, my place to do the work that I was called to do. I joined various groups within the church and even sat as chair of both the Faith in Action Committee and Building & Grounds. However, while I found satisfaction in both of these roles the work was both taxing and contentious. Something that one learns very quickly when doing work within the church is that here is no pleasing everybody, but you must presume the best intentions from all who disagree.
One night, while working on a report for church, and having a hard time focusing on the subject at hand, I stopped writing and started websurfing and ran across a movie that kind of called to me. The Vessel, it is about a small town that has a tragic loss, then sees another incident as a sign from God. This incident brings back an energy back to the town and gives hope to those who felt God had abandoned them years before.
While I don’t consider myself the Vessel, I’ve realized that this building, the people within it, and those that blazed the trail before us, in so many ways allowed me the possibility of becoming the person I am today. A vessel is a structure that provides a safe haven from storms and inclement weather of all sorts. This church has provided a safe place for so many to grow into the leaders they are today. The stewards of this vessel have provided the opportunity for younger generations to make changes while still holding on to the honor and tradition of being an open-minded spiritual safe haven.
I can’t wait to see how we grow as a congregation over the next few years, while still holding on to our traditions and our message of being all-inclusive.
My vision for this coming year is to aid in setting a new and adventurous course for our congregation, while holding on to those traditions that make us who we are.
I recently read this prayer written by Rev. Donna Schaper that fits my way of thinking:
“Help us to imagine a new way, that so loves the old ways, that they survive and thrive.”