Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Week of January 18, 2015

I see challenge and encouragement ahead for us at New Kirk Presbyterian.  One of the first areas in which we feel both is in re-visiting and taking account of our patterns and habits, exploring how well we're doing things decently and in order.

The first session meeting of 2015 was a good meeting.  We identified some fundamentals that need firming up in order to work more efficiently and consistently.  The meeting went long, and it went where few of us anticipated; but, I was most excited about the energy of our session.  Strong committees will continue strong.  Struggling committees will get stronger with these ruling elders.  The Holy Spirit is definitely at work, as I'm fully convinced this session desires to know Christ's will for New Kirk Presbyterian.  Christ is at work in helping us to better work together.  This session will continue to explore ways to prayerfully seek to serve this church.  Please prayerfully support each of these elders.

We do have serious challenges ahead, and we are who we are for such a time as this.  God's Spirit is at work.  Therefore, one theme that came out of our first meeting together is a commitment to be fully transparent in all facets of Christ's ministry.  It isn't ours to possess, ours to boast about, nor ours to protect.  Ministry at New Kirk Presbyterian belongs to Christ.  He calls us into being and gives us our life, faith, and mission.  That's the only way to approach the next step...and then the next...and the next.

Amid those steps comes what may be for us the greatest challenge initially: stewardship.  As soon as our Business Administration Team meets a few more times to get our polity in order and a better handle on our budget and financial projections, they will recommend a budget to session for approval, which will then be presented to the congregation so that our members can understand what has been approved.  This especially is an area in which this session is fully committed to being transparent, whether it's pretty or whether it's ugly.  Either way, honesty is the only way forward--honesty with ourselves and honesty with each other.

Reformed theology centers on God's people gathered.  We believe that, precisely there, Christ is absolutely present.  More specifically, the place where we preach Scripture faithfully and administer the sacraments, Christ meets us and governs.  So, let's get together more!  Let's worship more!

We'll begin with Ash Wednesday on February 18th.  Let's meet for supper and fellowship at 6 PM.  Beginning around 7 PM, we'll gather in the sanctuary for a brief time of worship that will focus on preparation for the next forty days of Lent.  This is a time for simply being with one another, just as we are.  It's also a time for exploring who we truly are before God and taking that journey together.

For the month of March, we're going to try a month of Wednesdays of Worship ( deemed by our Minister of Music and Youth).  Supper will be ready by 5:30 PM.  While we'll definitely worship, the "wow" is overarching.  We want it to be fun, too!  So, Larry will plan some cool sessions and activities for the children.  For youth and adults, I will facilitate dialogue around some aspects of spiritual exploration, which will be totally appropriate for the soul-searching that comes with Lent.  Youth and adults are encouraged to participate together in the search!  The schedule, then, looks like this: 5:30 PM until 6:30 PM, dinner; 6:30 PM until 7 PM, children group and youth-adult group; conclude with a brief, meditative worship, 7 PM until 7:15 PM.

Onward and forward together in Christ!

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