I am writing to update you on the progress of our recovery so far and to encourage us all to keep our focus right during this time of hectic work.
For the next couple of weeks we will be meeting at the Masonic Lodge where we met last Sunday. They have graciously offered to let us use it as long as we need it and have even offered to make some adjustments for us. This is well above and beyond the call and we are very grateful. We want to breathe and think so having the worship space set for now lets us concentrate on other urgent matters.
We are getting a temporary office set up at the parsonage. Our office hours will be the same as ever. We should have a phone soon. You can always call me on my cell (603) 306-5570.
Chris Clark and the Missions Board are working to get our community dinners going and set up a food pantry. This week we will give away food vouchers, and have the dinner at the Masonic Lodge. Yes, they said yes to that as well. The Missions Board is sorting through other options for a solution that will carry us until we have our new building.
The executive committee will be meeting this Wednesday, to assign tasks and coordinate communication between the boards who are all working hard.
This Thursday the Trustees will be meeting to set priorities for moving forward and plan the next steps.
Obviously we need your prayers and we will need workers as the tasks get assigned. We will let you know whom to contact for information and to volunteer as soon as we figure a few things out.
I want you to know how proud of you I am. Your faith, love and zeal for your church family and Christ and his work are evident to all.
In the short run there will be a lot to do in a hurry and some decisions will be made on the fly. There will be overlaps on tasks assigned. There will also be well meaning people who will do stuff, or donate stuff, or give advice without knowing exactly what is going on. In a situation like this misunderstandings and miscommunication are inevitable. I know in settings like this I need to keep my eyes on Christ and on his priorities. He cares far more about how we treat each other than he does getting the task done with efficiency. In my thirty years of ministry, in my zeal for his work, I have stomped on my share of toes and (I am ashamed to admit it), excused it by telling myself I was doing Christ’s work. Mature people forgave me and took me aside gently to help me grow. This is the advice that helps me:
“With all humility and meekness, with patience put up with one another in love. Be zealous to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph 4:2-3)” “Do nothing out of selfish ambition (my way) or vain conceit (I’m right) but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Look not to your own interests, but also to the interests of others (Philippians 2:3-4).” “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not please ourselves (Romans 15:1).”
All of these passages assume that mistakes will be made and people will offend us, but we need to be slow to anger and quick to forgive. For example, I wrote that we will be using the parsonage for the pantry. Well, I was wrong and this caused some problems. My fault. I’m sorry.
We have a great opportunity during this time to grow closer as a family and to glorify Christ in our work.
“To the One who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than all we ask or even imagine, according to the power that is at work within us; to Him be the glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”
Your partner in the great work,