In a course on marriage counseling,  the professor said that if someone gets divorced, and wonders whether or not they should get married again, statistically speaking a new marriage will more likely work out if they are divorced twice and are currently in a third marriage. I thought a lot about that over the years and I think there’s a deep truth in that perception.  Sometimes it takes two failures in a marriage, to realize that maybe there’s something wrong.  Now that’s a lot of pain and anguish to go through only to discover that part of the reason why a marriage didn’t work was because of one’s own doing.

So, as a church we need to figure out what we can do now to move on.  That being said, I BELIEVE THE CHURCH COUNCIL IS DOING AN EXCELLENT JOB IN FOCUSING ON ISSUES THAT NEED TO BE ADDRESSED SO THAT WE DON’T REPEAT THE PAST.   It is however going to take time and patience as real change happens very slowly.  Much of the work that the council is doing is focusing on protocol and communication which I believe is at the heart of much of the past conflict.

It’s very clear to me that several things need to happen.  The bylaws committee has to be activated with representation from all parts of the church. Any potential changes in the bylaw need to be brought before the church council and the congregation before the actual vote on a new set of bylaws.  Much of what I’ve seen over the last four months has to do with how we communicate. So being very transparent about foundational structures of the church is critical to its ongoing growth.

Secondly, the church needs to be on a regular basis transparent about what’s going on financially. I know that our treasurer Burt is working very hard on this. The church owes him a great deal of gratitude for trying to put together the finances in a way that everyone can understand.  My hope is that the church can be patient as he puts together the finances of the church. I’ve always hoped that churches have quarterly reports to the congregation that outline where the church is at any given point in the fiscal year. There should be no questions about where money is or how much money has been spent on any given project.

Part of moving on is to collectively rediscover what it means to be a church. For if we are not a church that serves God, then we are simply a social club meeting our own needs.

In moving on, the church needs to explore its options as was voted on at the Annual Meeting.  There is a lot of anger at the denomination and I am not sure that our membership can get beyond that.  Many are looking to blame someone or some entity for all the conflict that has taken place.  So, if the church leaves the UCC, a new pastor is hired and if many of the members who left don’t come back, then the church and its leadership will have to ask the question “So what’s next?”   We should asking that question now as we evolve in our self-identity.

It is in the question “So what’s next?” that real transformation will take place. Perhaps Rev. Bob Naylor will help us with visioning about the future.  My Question to you is “What can I do help this church serve God?” From my perspective the answer to that question is where the resurrection will occur in our beloved church community.

Still hanging in there,

Rev. Fred