Sunday, January 2, 2011

From Mark

From the Pastor's Window:
There are patterns at Bethany that we can all get use to. Monthly the first Sunday is Communion, the Second is a concert, the third is Bethany Cup and a Peace Gathering, the Fourth Sunday is The Good Samaritan meal and the last Sunday is the blessing of the Food Pantry. The first Tuesday is Outreach, and first Wednesday means San Antonio Grande Committee followed by Property on the first Thursday, the Second Wednesday is Deacons, the third Thursday is Music, the Fourth Wednesday is Trustees. Weekly there is Worship, Sewing Group, Bethany Bowl, Staff Meeting, Bulletins due, Choir, and constant mopping this time of year.
And we have yearly patterns of Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Pentecost. And these do not even mention the yearly patterns of our country and how they mix into our cycles.
The patterns we keep form and identify us. Patterns of all work and no play will identify and create a person or group distinctive from one that is learning and exploring all the time.
As a community and as individuals sometimes it is important to note where we want to be, what sort of identity we want to have. And then look and see if the patterns we keep will lead us there and form us into that identity. What is our priority? Spirituality, institutional health, saving the world, security for tomorrow, size, success, honor, joy, satisfaction, superiority, righteousness are all goals that churches can strive for.
One of the easiest ways to tell who you are is to look at 2 things: calender and checkbook. These are theological statements of faith. They speak more clearly about where your faith is than any mission statement you might write. Your calender shows your agenda and your checkbook shows your priorities. They show the patterns that you keep and that are forming you into the person you want to be. Or accidentally have become.
If they indicate a theology or faith other than what you thought you wanted, it can cause some pain. And like with a body, pain is an indication that something is not right. We can change our patterns or deal with the pain of not being who we wanted to be and thought we were.
Mark and Amy are ready, willing, and able to help you whether you want to change your patterns or deal with the pain of misdirection in life. Just ask. It is one of the things ministers do.