As of last week I will have visited half the presbyteries in our conference. Plus the youth, plus conference executive. I’ve asked questions, taken notes, and we even have one song written (thank you Wendy MacLean).
I have to admit we are a church with fear and worry. It’s hard to imagine a future when everything is changing, when everything could be changed back at General Council next summer, when we haven’t even heard from the Boundary Commission yet (that happens January 10).
We may not have answers, but after driving all over the conference I’m not worried at all. You know why?
Because of you!
I met you at St Paul’s Bancroft when we celebrated your anniversary together. Your prayer shawl ministry, your work with poverty groups, resetting refugees, LGBTQ rights, equal marriage… so many things. You are amazing! And best of all, I know there are so many other congregations just like yours.
I met you at Shining Waters Presbytery, at Four Winds Presbytery, at Four Rivers. Your work in pastoral relations is inspiring. Your commitment to students is a great comfort. Your advocacy work, your vocal commitment to human rights. Wow, you are amazing!
And you have hope for the future. You write beautiful songs and you sing like an angel. You challenge the people around you, but you also bear the full weight of them when they trip and fall. You look out for each other. You are a child, you are an elder, you are a scattered parent trying to pull together a healthy dinner.
You are the body of Christ.
No matter what structures define your shape in this age, you are strong and powerful, and you are eternal.
So let’s stay attentive to the future for sure – we need to know what forms to complete and who to call when we have embraced a new mission! But let’s trust that the work we do today will continue to call us forward. The relationships we enjoy today will continue to fulfill and challenge us.
We are the body of Christ. We don’t do this alone. We work and worry, it’s true. But every time we engage we partner with the unseen but palpable presence of hope, peace, joy and love that is manifest in our beloved Christ.