From the Pastor’s Desk
As I write, summer continues slowly drawing to a close as Labor Day approaches. After the holiday, all that’s left of summer will be the lingering heat and humidity accompanied by afternoon thundershowers and mosquitoes as we await the official end of the season with the autumn equinox later this month. It’s been a good summer.
Again, I want to thank you all for the warm welcome and gracious hospitality. I appreciate all the work done on the parsonage, the housewarming gifts and the fresh vegetables form your gardens. Most of all, I’ve enjoyed getting to know you. The Conversations with Pastor Dana that we had this summer were a huge help in putting names with faces and learning about Pleasant Grove. I thought I’d share with you a few themes from the conversations:
Everyone talked about how much they loved our church. They love being part of a small, warm church where they don’t get lost in the crowd. They love seeing familiar faces and knowing everyone by name. Time and again folks talked about our church as being a family where they find love, acceptance and support. Everyone wants to see our church family not just survive, but thrive.
Another theme that emerged from the conversations was about change. The community has changed dramatically. New people from all over are moving in. The times have changed. It’s the 21st century. Our culture has changed, especially in regard to technology, communications and the church. Some ways that used to work in sharing God’s love and growing the church just don’t work anymore. As some folks pointed out, “We can’t keep doing the same old things and expecting different results.”
Related to that theme was another every group noted: Resistance to change. That’s not surprising. Most of us resist change. Sometimes we may stand in the way. Through the Conversations I heard a passionate desire by many to be creative, try new ideas, do some things differently, along with keeping some of our cherished traditions – all with the goal of reaching out, making a difference in people’s lives in the name of Jesus Christ. It’s what being the church is all about.
It’s clear everyone loves our church! Pleasant Grove is the kind of place where everyone knows your name, and we’re always glad you came. We are family, grounded in the love of Christ and growing together in his love. We want others to experience the love we’ve all found here. What are we doing, what are we willing to try to welcome others into this wonderful family?