From the Pastor’s Desk
“A Time for Thanksgiving” is our stewardship theme this year. For the weeks of November we are invited to reflect on how we have been blessed and what we are thankful for. For some of us, we can be thankful for family. For some of us, we can be thankful for friends. For some of us, we can be thankful for the opportunities granted to us to serve. We at Allison Creek invite you to see the many ways that God has blessed ACPC and invites us to be thankful and to show this gratefulness.
Throughout November you will hear from different people in the church who will share why they are thankful for the ministry of ACPC. You will be invited to be a part and expand your financial commitment to Allison Creek. You will not get a high-pressure sales pitch. What you will receive is a free meal on November 19th. During that Sunday we will celebrate what God is doing in our midst and be open to the new ways that God is calling us forward.
One way that I am thankful is for your partnership with me in ministry. I was touched by the notes, present, and cake to celebrate my 25 years in ordained ministry. What a blessing indeed!
The year of 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. It was in 1517 when Martin Luther protested the actions of the established church and laid the groundwork of what would eventually create the formation of the Presbyterian Church and other Protestant bodies. The Protestant Reformation not only led to the establishment of new churches but also the reformation of the established church.
The last Sunday of October was Reformation Sunday. According to my friend Rev. Jill Duffield, Reformation Sunday “ought to chasten our pride and heighten our self-examination as we go about being Christ’s disciples in the 21st century. Reformation Sunday calls us to remember that God is always doing a new thing, but we do not always perceive it. God’s salvation story is just that: God’s. Our time is merely a chapter in a narrative we did not conceive nor create. Our limited vision calls us to humility and prayer as we seek to discern: What is essential and what is not? What must change and what must remain if we are to be faithful? If indeed reformation never ends, what must die for God’s resurrection power to reign?”
In Deuteronomy 34 God gives Moses a glimpse of the Promised Land with the caveat that Moses will not be able to enter. After leading the people through all of the hardship we may deem it unfair that Moses was not able to make it into the Promised Land. But as Jill reminds us, “Moses’ season of leadership has come to an end. Joshua’s tenure has begun. While I used to find God’s admonition to Moses the height of unfairness, now I see God’s granting of the vision of the finish line as nothing but God’s grace. I have let you see it, but you shall not cross over” seems benedictory-like. It echoes with “well done good and faithful servant.” Rest in your work knowing the story of these stiff-necked, mumbling, beloved people will continue. You have done your part, now enter your reward.”
How is God calling each of us to reform? What are we called to change? What are we called to challenge? If we are not reforming, then we are probably dying in our faith.