It’s October and the ministries and commissions of FCCW are busy growing in faith, serving in love, and welcoming all with joy, the main elements of our purpose statement. These areas of ministry hold what we believe to be the essence of our church’s work for generations to come. They will provide a template to hold our work up against to see if we are being faithful to our purpose.
The areas of the Purpose Statement are intentionally broad to enable Ministries to act through their specific mission and remain authentic. The breadth of each area makes room for themes to arise which can connect all our Ministries for a given year. These themes are the Holy Spirit at work. As we, the Ministry Team, planned for this program year, we tried to be open to the Spirit and to themes.
The more we planned, the more the theme of “Tearing Down Walls and Building Bridges” presented itself. From the possibility of opening Ripley to the world through some clear glass to talking about mental illness—moving it out of the shadows—each of the planned activities seem to both tear down walls and build bridges. The wall that’s stood between suburban privilege and urban homelessness gets a little lower with each Outdoor Church visit. The valley that looms between traditional church and people who need different ways to experience the spirit is being bridged by Jazz Worship. Several familiar activities—the men’s group, their coffee, Ruth Group, Bible Study to name a few—serve as settings where the walls we put up are lowered by the increasing trust of intimacy. Sharing our lawn and a movie with the community is the church without walls, without perhaps even knowing names, but bringing people together in the common experience of The Jungle Book.
There is example after example on our church calendar or being worked on in Ministries. If you serve on one of the Ministries, look at the work you are doing and see if there aren’t barriers between people that you are lowering or that you could lower. Look for chances to build bridges within and beyond the church. Look at your own life and seize opportunities to build a bridge or two or maybe even just stop making the walls you encounter any higher.
The Transition Team suggested that each year we have an annual plan. The new structure is still new; the Ministry Team couldn’t ignore this year’s theme. It was written in capital letters. In the future, annual planning will be done with members of the congregation. Themes will present themselves either in the work we are doing or the need we are encountering. It is exciting to await what the Holy Spirit has in store for us. We hope your Ministries are alive and joyful and that you uncover walls that have been toppled and bridges being built.
With Love for the Ministry Team,