Welcome Change

Good afternoon (ok as I finish this it’s evening!) all. Sorry, this is a little late. I was away all of yesterday, so I had to do all of my outdoor projects today. Today was the first test of my new knee. I raked leaves out of the flower beds and in the back yard where they had gathered. Then I mowed the yard, spread lime and fertilizer and edged the sidewalks. I still have to edge the flower beds and then mulch next weekend. I took almost 13,000 steps today on my new knee. Yes, I am sore! Hopefully Pittsburgh is ready to change seasons from winter to spring. Snow last week mid 80’s today. Rain is coming this week. I enjoy the change in seasons. Currently I have no plans to leave Pittsburgh permanently when I get really old! 😉 I do plan an extensive boat trip around the east coast, but plan to keep my home in Pittsburgh. One of the best parts of Pittsburgh is having all 4 seasons. I enjoy each one of them. I do want them to be all they can be. Cool, rainy spring. Hot dry summer, crisp cool fall and cold and snowy winters. I am disappointed when they don’t live up to my expectations! Then when I am tired of that season a new one comes along.

Life has a change of seasons as well. We need to make the most of the season we are in. When God’s time is met, we move into another season. Personally, I am changing seasons right now as well. It is not easy, we want to hold onto the best parts of our current season, and not move forward. Moving forward in change is scary! We have a fear of change, we want the status quo even when we are not fulfilled. We are more afraid of the change than the discontent with our current season.

The church is changing seasons as well. The centuries of tradition to attend church in person was wiped out in the last 24 months! Our youth are experiencing social separation, they lost 2 years of traditional education. They are struggling to re-connect. Our shut-in community was stressed even further in their Covid isolation without visitors. The stress levels of the recent years have taken a toll on all of us. Physically, Socially, Spiritually. We need to rethink church from the ground up. We need to create new ways to reach outside of our walls and evangelize to the unchurched and make disciples of Christ in brand new ways. The old ways need to change to allow the new season to come upon us. We need to be victorious survivors!

Yesterday, I had the privilege to listen to our local bishops talk about their vision into the future. They said” “it is time to rise up, and make new.” Be curious about new ideas, perspectives, and approaches. Get excited by the possibilities that change can bring. What worked in the past won’t always work in the future, for God is doing a new thing.

“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the wine would burst the wineskins, and the wine and the skins would both be lost. New wine calls for new wineskins.” (Mark 2: 22)

“And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” (Revelation 21: 6)

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5: 17)

Ideas for Action: The first is a simple one, so try it. Sit in a different pew in the sanctuary or seat next Sunday. Think about evangelizing in a brand-new way. What group of people do you notice during your week that could be approached with the word of God? Could we schedule an event at church and invite this group to attend? See what happens.

Change is hard, but God is making new, we need to listen to his word and allow the holy spirit to work through us to bring this change in season. Welcome change this week!