One of our human gifts of evolution is the human ability to imagine and model future possibilities. Predicting and planning has helped us to nurture and grow life. Yet we also know that anxiety and fear can influence the nature and quality of our imagining such that our ‘now’ moments are filled with life-draining worry and heaviness about the future, a constricting and pessimistic view that can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

This is where faith comes in. Trust.

Not to be confused with denial or simple naïveté, this kind of faithful trust is open to possibility and takes creative action now for the purpose of a more loving world of peace and justice, of healing and hope. It looks for the signs of life in the now and nurtures them. It wonders and creates, cares and commits.

As church and society and earth change, I hear the anxieties and fears. Understandable.

I don’t know the future. Yet, I do have some sense of the power of Life, the power of Love, the power of the Divine. God can make a way where there seems no way. Not in an airy-fairy way of crossing our fingers in the dark, but in surprising, unexpected possibilities and people and processes as we pay attention and pray intention. That doesn’t mean all of the past will be restored, but that the future will find a way to continue nurturing life.

Even as I hear the anxiety about the future of church and FCC, I see many signs of renewal everywhere right now at FCC; people lining up for healing prayer and lighting a candle for healing, people showing up to worship and to serve, the hiring of a new Children’s Ministry Coordinator with a revitalized ministry committee for children and youth, emerging networks for strengthened congregational care, new energy and plans for supporting elders in the journey of life and death, improving finances and new donations, an engaged staff with a strong sense of teamwork, a Transition Team actively guided by the voices of the congregation, a Church Board ready for new purpose and processes that serve the future, an audio-visual task force planning an improved, more accessible worship and experience for those in person and online.

So I invite you to faithfully trust the future as we journey there together.

I particularly invite you to Back to Church Sunday on September 10th when we will bless the backpacks of all returning to school, uplift the voices of our youth in worship, and then gather for an outdoor picnic and Mission Faire to celebrate and learn about all the ministries of this church.

Pastor JT