We often think of the church as pretty steady, it always has and always will be, and if we are being honest with ourselves we hope that it will always be exactly what we want and what we are used to. The church is always changing though, whether we see it or feel it, whether in small or large ways, the church is “always being made new” as the ELCA states.
As our communities change, as the needs of people change, as how people interact and communicate change, the church changes as well. The Good News of God’s grace, love, and mercy is eternal but how we share the life, love, and joy of Jesus Christ with others changes over time. While St. Peter’s has been in ministry for longer than this nation, how we go about that ministry, how we love and serve our neighbors, how we proclaim and share the Good News with the world has changed countless times. Our people, our liturgies, our hymns, our sermons, our communication, our service, our ministries constantly change and adapt to be made new so that we might fully share the life, love, and joy of Jesus Christ with others.
In the most recent Living Lutheran there is an excellent article titled “The face of the church is changing” which takes a look at 3 of the 190 new congregations in the ELCA which would be considered non-traditional.
“Living Lutheran’s December cover story looks at three such ministries: one uses a chicken coop for their worship space, one uses a parking lot, and one takes advantage of their beautiful lot of land and worships outdoors year-round. As church membership across denominations declines, church leaders are finding ways for congregations to reconnect with their communities.
As we continue our long history of ministry here at St. Peter’s it is worth reading this article and spending some time in thought and prayer about how God might be calling us to reach out to our neighbors, how we are being made new. As we continue to share the life, love, and joy of Jesus with others how are we being called to do it? Just a little food for thought this afternoon…