Today St. John UMC has their homecoming, and they are burning the note for the Christian Life Center. This last month they paid off the note. They built it in 1993, with no huge amount of money. They took a risk to "build it and they will come." However it took lots of work to pay off the note, creative fundraisers, and now they have done it. Yea! It is utilized the community for a basketball league, the school for a basketball league. The youth and adults use it. It has striping for volleyball and tennis, which some have played. You walk it inside especially in this heat. They have had other dreams, but lack of leadership or persons to make it happen. My prayer and hope is that we can see those dreams through and many more that God gives us.
Last week I sat with one of the charter members of the church as she recalled the beginnings of this church. What a story of faith, and hope as they began meeting in people's homes, then in a restored garage for worship, finally building the first S. S. rooms. Slowly building as they had the money and ability to do so, including the beautiful sanctuary. Many of the charter members have died. Most of those left are in nursing homes. The woman I sat with is still an active member of the church, only this last year, her health has started to weaken. She has a continued love and care for the church. But sometimes that is what it becomes a love for the church and for that person it means love for God, but it isn't always. And they forget that it is a building used by God to spread his kingdom, to the least and the lost. At one time this church had two services, full sunday school classes, you couldn't find a parking place, a good size youth group, lots of kids. It isn't that way now. And with those losses have come anxiety, fear, insecurity, loss of self esteem, hopelessness, and a lack of focus and vision.
God help us get our focus on you, see your vision and follow you. Help me be the leader you called me to be here for your flock and for your kingdom. Help us to be the church with open doors , open minds, open hearts, and that reaches out to the least the lost, the unloved and the unwanted. We are your servants, Lord.
Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.