Monday, July 23, 2012


At church yesterday, we talked about the importance of relationships.  In our adult education class, we talked about how the church is all about relationships.  And in service, the sermon was about the building of the temple and the importance of the church as a group of people, not as a building.  Both of those discussions rang so true to me.  My church (Orchard Park Presbyterian) has been going through a time of transition.  We have an interim minister that many people have had problems with whose contract was just renewed through February.  We have three services that have lower attendance than I've seen in years.  We have some problems like any other church.

And the thing is, I've grown up in this church.  Besides my family, it has been the major constant in my life.  We started going to Orchard Park when we moved to Indiana and have been going there ever since.  I cannot explain all of the ways that this church has affected me.

It is at this church that I explored and questioned and strengthened my faith.  
It is at this church that I formed friendships that have lasted more than any other friendships I have had. These are the friends that I know I will always be there for me.
It is at this church that I was "adopted" by Al and Anne Porteous who knew that we had no family in the area and took it upon themselves to fulfill that role for us.  
It is as this church that I was introduced to the camp where my family has spent so much time together and my sister chose to get married.  
It is at this church that I learned the meaning and value of mission work.  
It is at this church that I was told that my mother made it through her heart surgery (and for that I will be forever grateful to Jim Noble.)

I know that the church has some problems, but I have a hard time looking past them sometimes and I think other people in the church do too.  It seems as though most of our problems would disappear if we could just remember what was said today, that the church is about relationships.  Relationships with God and relationships with people.  

And so, because I am frustrated and disappointed and don't know what else to do about everything that is happening at church, I'm going to do just that.  I'm going to focus on my relationship with God and my relationships with people.  I'm going to pray about the problems.  I'm going to pray for the people.  Instead of complaining or criticizing, I'm going to pray and remember that God has a plan for our church, even if we don't understand it right now.

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