State Street folks,
Tomorrow you will gather at laux du lac (i.e. the Loucks pond) where Jason Clemons will unpack our vision and mission and next steps as a community. Much of what Jason will talk about is the culmination of two years of praying and planning by our leadership and other members of our community. Because of the growth of our community (numerically, in our ministries, and in our social endeavors) we can either decide to limit what we do to a certain amount of people or put the infrastructure in place to continue to meet the needs of the poor, widow, and orphan. I just don't think we can stop now.
I am so sad to not be doing this message tomorrow, though I have every bit of confidence in Jason. He knows the future vision as good as anyone. It is going to be an exciting day that, if I could, I would be there cheering with all of you. But, please know, that whether I'm on my recliner sick from a tumor, or at my table in front of the congregation pretending to know things about theology, or in my office in LaPorte that I will be walking this journey with everyone else. My sickness is no reason to retreat. We will move forward with this vision together. I often remind myself of the great wisdom of Miroslav Volf and our unique privilege as a community;
“Christ’s indwelling presence has freed us from exclusive orientation toward ourselves and opened us up in two directions: toward God, to receive the good things in faith, and toward our neighbor, to pass them on in love.” - Miroslav Volf
Truthfully, our next step is the same as our first step; to love well. Our building and community may evolve a bit in the process. We may see some different people and accomplish our goals in different ways. But, the same spirit that Christ has built within our community will be the same spirit that will sustain us in the future. We will love God, love others, and do it well.
If I can stop out tomorrow to join you, I will. You are always in my thoughts. Having this time off has made me realize even more fully that I get to do life with the best people around. I am so blessed to be walking this journey with you. It is going to be an exciting next few years. Remember, we serve a peculiar God on a peculiar mission in this world. May we be faithful to join Him in this peculiar life. Please, please attend the soiree tomorrow. You will be glad that you did.
Grace and Peace!