Dear FCC Friends,

As many of you now know one of my favorite words is “AND.” And brings together important interdependent values or energies (polarities), those that seem like they are in opposition, but actually need each other for wisdom and vitality. During the interim ministry time here, a polarity frequently on my mind is organizational health and spiritual health. Every church needs both.

I have seen many churches spend much of their time on organizational health; committee meetings, talking budget, drafting policies, reviewing minutes of meetings, working Robert’s rules of order, etc. Without feeling and vision coming from Spirit, such a focus can seem very dry and lifeless. Fewer and fewer people are interested in spending their time this way. What they seek is an experience of the Spirit and support in living their lives, parenting their children, and finding their way in a changing world.

On the other hand, the disinterest in organized religion and lack of trust in institutions hasn’t necessarily led us towards sustainable community. Institutions do serve a purpose. They can endure over time and bring stability and effective focus to a purpose. Likewise, the recent spiritual renewal and energetic revitalization of our church has come with the support of the organization. We have a place to gather for worship because people have given their time and money, and it has been maintained through our Facilities Committee and our staff. Programs and worship are supported by program staff who plan, preach, teach, and organize along with our volunteer friends and members. All of this takes funding and organization.

As we move along in this interim process, I invite us all to be looking together at both of these values: organizational health and spiritual health. I extend a great thank you to those who spend their time keeping the church organized, and a thank you to those who keep us focused on Spirit. The goal is that all of us are tending both so that an inclusive, intergenerational community of Christ Presence is always here, one that is serving the greater causes of peace and justice in the Willamette Valley, in Oregon, and in the world.

Pastor JT