by David Browder
I was speaking with one of our parishioners recently: she is plugged in to the goings-on at our church and school. We were discussing FEMA — and it all came back to me: the floods, the economic downturns, the pandemic, anxiety over budgets — and the waiting. Oh, the waiting. The waiting — and the work we needed to do that would result in still more waiting.
Well, a lot of that waiting is over. Many of the things we have been waiting for have begun. This parishioner said it so well: “Now it’s our time.” It is OUR time now. When I say that, I’m not speaking of some empty graduation speech slogan. I am referencing the fact that we have had a trial by fire (or water — whatever metaphor suits). 1 Peter is a wonderful text for people and for churches who go through affliction: Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed (1 Peter 4:12-13 ESV). This is key — this is what all of this has been for: the glory of Christ.
There is so much refining that happens when adversity and affliction strike (Romans 5:3-4). We have been refined as a church. That should not be a surprise when we reflect on the fact that we belong to Him. Adversity has a way of relegating trivialities to the back-burner and bringing eternal, weighty matters to the front. It causes us to think deeply about the things that are of most importance. We have done great deal of thinking about what is important in these past few years. What is the end result and purpose? Bringing glory to God.
How are we poised to bring glory to Christ? Well, clearly through the physical restoration and improvements to our facilities: our church will be substantially restored by year-end — a new church for our services complete with many things we have needed. We’ve finished the first phase of a new Fellowship Building (a re-purposing of the old F office building): we have a new children’s space, a new youth space, and a new fellowship space. When our new academic building is complete, we will will repurpose the upper floor for use by our ministries and to help with outreach to our community.
A little less obviously, we are poised to bring glory to Christ through our wonderful staff. As you can read in the article below, we have a brand new staff member, Angel Gonzalez. Angel will be in charge of our family ministry, which includes our children’s and youth programs, and he is looking forward to getting to know our community, and to help bring new people into the family of God.
It has been a long time since we have been poised for this much growth. The most important facet of all of this, though, is you. I sense such an excitement and anticipation during our Sunday mornings together. Our staff feels it, too.
We have turned the corner. We are poised and ready. Now is our time.