Faith’s Renewal Team
Happy New Year! The season of listening began at the cottage meetings in October and November. Along the way we listened to each other’s sacred stories and held them with awe. We celebrated the story of Faith Lutheran and began to wonder “What is God up to in our ministry together?” During the month of December, I have collated these stories and recruited a Renewal Team. People who have committed to a three-year journey leading this congregation, with me, into each phase. They will lead the congregation through renewal with prayer, conversation and community building. They will be intentional about inviting others to use their gifts, while being grounded in the love of God. They will study, read, attend retreats and communicate what God is up to in our congregation.
I see this renewal process as a journey that brings newness to the life of the congregation. The newness will not be of our own making, it will be God’s. Again and again, life in the congregation needs renewal if we are to recognize Christ in our midst. As I listen to the history of this congregation, I can hear that there have been many seasons of renewal throughout the life of Faith Lutheran. We say renewal because everything that presently brings the congregation fullness of life in Christ, and everything that brought the congregation fullness of life in Christ in the past was once new. It stirred new awareness, new insight, new forgiveness, new passion, new compassion.
Renewal in a marriage or friendship renews the love, the curiosity, the hope, and the joy we once found in the relationship. Renewal in a congregation renews those things in our relationship with God and in our relationships with and each other.
Embarking on this journey together is not to say that we have problems in the congregation that need solving or that God isn’t already at work at Faith Lutheran. It is to say that we desire to be closer to God. We desire newness in the relationship. Embarking on this journey together is saying we are open to what God is doing among us.
Also, this is not a program to get new members or an overhaul of everything we do now. God may have small little changes in mind or big ones. We don’t know. What happens during this time of renewal, even if it seems wildly successful to us (which would be a Wow!), will at some point lose its effectiveness in helping us serve and see Christ, and we’ll need to renew again! Being renewed in Christ is very humbling because we’re never finished, and because God is in control, not us!
We are not seeking a new story. Our story is deeply ground in the love of God. But sometimes we lose sight of that story in some of the areas of our life together. We forget it’s our center. I see renewal as God bringing us back to that center and making us new again and again.
Listening for the Holy One in each of you!
Mark Petersen – Renewal Pastor
PS – The goal of our renewal team was to be multigenerational, gender balanced, depictive of single and family life, inclusive of a charter member and a new member with others somewhere in-between.