I tend to see the Church and any congregation I serve at a crossroads. Maybe that is my tendency after 9 years of interim ministry and 10 congregations asking deep questions about their ministries. These congregations experienced the loss of a pastor, and often other traumatic changes ranging from pastoral sexual misconduct, to the death of a pastor, to violent conflict. The questions I ask of crossroads congregations include:
1. Why has God called this congregation to this particular place at this particular time?
2. Where will this congregation go from here?
Acts and the Pauline writings of the New Testament depict a Church and communities in specific locales addressing questions similar to the aforementioned questions. Communities of the New Testament are living among questions regarding their existence in Christ, and how they live out these foundational truths in practice.
First Lutheran Community Church served as a visionary congregation with a visionary pastor for 20 years. The vision was once a distant idea, but now the vision is mostly part of the current congregational culture. As FLCC prepares to call a new pastor, the time comes again for visionary thinking for ministry. Where will First Lutheran Community Church go from here? I believe the Church at large asks some of the same questions that FLCC asks itself. During the next sermon series during May and June (maybe longer), we will take a micro (FLCC) and macro (the ELCA, the mainline protestant churches of the Pacific Northwest, the Church in North America, etc.) views of particular episodes in the life of a new Christian Church depicted in Acts and the early writings of Paul.
Where will the Church go from here?
This Sunday's Bible text comes from Acts 1: 12-26, and the sermon title is "Loved, Valued and Replaceable."