Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God. Psalm 84:3
When I lived in Europe, I visited many different countries and cities. If there was a free weekend – I filled my backpack and took off! Krakow, Prague, Istanbul, Copenhagen, and too many to remember! Everywhere I went, I visited churches. Every guidebook directed the tourist to – churches. Every one of them was very old. Some were so old that they didn’t even have pews. The worshiper was to stand through the service!
There was beauty in all of them. Paintings, sculptures, tapestries; they were art. I cannot imagine the challenge that those congregations had at being relevant for today while still keeping one foot in the past. Certainly, they had added electricity but most of them were existing off of the donations from the tourists.
I have a book on the shelf in my office called “Re-Pitching the Tent” by Richard Giles. I had to study it in seminary in an Administration Class. “One of our primary tools is the building which houses the community; the house of the Church. The nature of our society and the critical missionary situation of the Church mean that many different functions are demanded of the same limited floor space. The house of the church is no longer a ‘week-end cottage’ for busy people to escape to on Sundays; it is a bustling center of activity for a growing family who are in and out of the place all day, every day of the week.” Pg. 4
As we move along in this path of Strategic Planning, we will be challenged to re-imagine our vision, mission and space. There are so many people involved in this movement! I am thankful to the Council, the Strategic Planning Team, the Building Sub-team, the Communications sub-team, the Worship Committee and others behind the scenes.
On May 13, Hope Lutheran will celebrate the anniversary of the first worship service from back in 1956. It is this heritage that leads us to our strong footing as people of Hope. Yes, we have some old things and old ways, but we also have open minds and hands to live into the calling of God to love and serve our neighbor – today. We may have to “re-pitch the tent” or at the least “move the furniture”. But, we are good at change: that’s how God made us.
Pastor Lynnae I Sorensen