Blog post by
Rev. Dr. Craig M. Howard
Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy
“There is a quality I feel in the room right now—a generosity of spirit—a drawing one another out— that gives me the feeling we can do things we didn’t know we could do and say things we didn’t know we knew.”
We need churches that feel like this. Our future depends on it.
The above quote is from a monogram called “December Gathering: Notes from the Field.” The monogram is part of a series by two young Harvard Divinity students, Angie Thurston and Casper ter Kuile. These young adults have remapped a path for the future church. All five monograms can be found here https://www.howwegather.org/.
I find the work that Angie, Casper, and Sue are doing fascinating. The phrase I quoted reminds me that what really works for our congregations and ministries has less to do with buildings, budgets, and resources. We have to try new things. This takes risk, and with risk comes the possibility of failure. Angie and Casper have brought together others who are trying to figure out a way forward. They have discovered that when people who believe in what is possible come together, they are able to achieve more than anyone thought doable.
I call this hope.
I believe what is needed in our presbytery is a confidence grounded in hope. Perhaps we need a spirit that believes we can try and do things we did not know we could do. As a church we are led by the Holy Spirit and guided by the scriptures. Both place value on reaching out to our community, being hospitable, and sharing God’s story of transformation and change with our neighbors.
On Friday and Saturday, the presbytery team and sub team leaders will gather for our retreat. My goal is to infuse them with a spirit of possibility and hope. At the end of our retreat I want our leaders to believe that together we can do things we did not know we could. This is the spirit I want to carry into 2019 and beyond. I pray that it radiates from this group of leaders into every corner of our presbytery.
Rev. Craig M. Howard