A New Day for God's Beloved

Dear Sisters and Brothers of Light of Christ,

It’s a new day at Light of Christ.  We’ve added new staff, launched a new confirmation ministry, welcomed dozens of new members, and introduced new worship services, songs, and celebrations. And this is just the beginning.

It’s a new day for us because the world around us is changing.  I was ordained in 1984, the same year that Light of Christ was founded.  Much has changed in the intervening years.  Being a pastor today is not the same as it was thirty-four years ago and neither is being the church.  Adapting to this new environment is essential.  

That’s something we know as a congregation.  Many of you took the Missional Assessment Profile over the summer and you said that our highest priority as a congregation is to find new and innovative ways to be the church in today’s world.  So, we are exploring what that means for us in our worship and music ministry, our youth and family ministry, our outreach ministry, and more.  You also said that you want to grow as a congregation and in living out your faith in your everyday life. In addition, you said that you want us to find creative ways to serve those living in poverty.  

This is not the first time Light of Christ has welcomed a new day.  We welcomed a new day when the church was founded, when we outgrew our facilities and had to build a sanctuary and an education wing, when new pastors and staff came, and when new challenges and opportunities presented themselves.  Now, once again, it is time to embrace this new day.  

Embracing the new day means stepping boldly into the future.  We don’t know what all the steps will be. But we do know what a few of the next steps will be.  Deepening our faith and the connections of our relationships is paramount.  We hope to staff for growth, which means to ultimately have two full-time ministry leaders for children, youth and family, a music ministry leader that may be full-time, and perhaps a part-time director of communications.   We want to make faith growth opportunities fully accessible by making online sermons and worship services, Bible studies, faith discussions, registrations, giving, directories, and more, as close as your phone or computer.  We also intend to establish an Endowment Fund to strengthen the long-term financial health of the congregation.  

A huge key to realizing these ministry goals would be to retire our mortgage as quickly as possible.  Right now, the mortgage on the building is about $435,000.  We are currently paying about $46,000 a year in payments.  If we pay off the mortgage in three years rather than ten years (which is the remaining time on the current note) we will save between $80,000 – $100,000 in interest.  The more quickly we retire our debt the more quickly we can use that money to fund the ministry and mission we believe the Spirit is calling us to do.  Your faith and generosity is key to our church taking these bold steps together!

This is a new day at Light of Christ.  But one thing remains the same—Jesus’ new commandment that we love one another as he has first loved us.  (John 13:34) The love of God in Christ is at the heart of our life as a congregation.  We are God’s beloved children, living in God’s beloved community, caring for God’s beloved creation.  God’s love is the constant in the midst of great change.  Central to this love is that we are called and empowered to share the good news of God’s love in our words and deeds, both near and far, in season and out of season.  

It is a new day for God’s beloved here at Light of Christ because we belong to the risen Christ who says at the end of the book of Revelation: “Behold, I am making all things new.”  (Revelation 21:5)   Please join me in praying for, and working for, the power and presence of the Holy Spirit so that we will be filled with a deeper faith, a livelier hope, and a more constant love, and live into this new day with joy and boldness.

In Christ’s love,

Pastor Bruce

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