Saturday, January 21, 2006

The Nugget, Feb, 2006

And I said to the one who stood
at the Gate of the year:
"Give me a light
that I may tread safely
into the unknown"
And that one replied:
"Go out into the darkness
and put your hand into the hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light
and safer than a known way."
-Minnie Haskins
As we make our way into the new year it is important to affirm that we have a God in whom we can trust. After all there is much about this new year that is uncertain.

For many reasons we want to have some guarantee, some sense that life for this congregation will go well, that there will be no unexpected events that will test us. But as we know, that is not the way life is, either for us as individuals or for us as a church.

We can plan well. We can set ourselves up as best we can to make sure that we can deal with whatever comes our way. But when it is all said and done, we find ourselves needing to be reminded of the truth in the quote at the top of this article. We want light to be able to see clearly as we make our way into the future, but there are times when all we get is the hand of God in the midst of the darkness. But that will have to be enough.

Thanks to all of you who were in attendance at the congregational meeting recently when we approved the Budget for 2006. And special thanks to our Financial Advisor Alan Thode and all those who worked with him in preparing the Budget. It is very encouraging and gratifying for me to read that the church’s financial situation is better than might be expected at this particular time. During an Interim time it is not unusual for a congregation to struggle to maintain its financial health. People tend to wonder how the church will do and what changes might be occurring. And some are reluctant to pledge or to give with the same generosity to the work of the congregation. For this reason it was noteworthy at our congregational meeting to hear from those responsible for financial matters that we are doing very well. It was even reported that our initial pledges to the church for 2006 set a record for our congregation. Needless to say, this is a good sign!

I am also encouraged to see that attendance figures for worship are remaining up. And that participation in the various programs of the church remains good. These are all indications of the good health of MFCC. You are to be commended for the way you have remained faithful to the mission and ministry of our life together even during this period of transition.

What Minnie Haskins knew is something we must learn. As important as it is to plan well and to be ready for whatever might come, the key to being a faithful church requires one other thing. And that is being able and willing to venture into the darkness by the grace of God. 2006 promises to be an important year for our church. Let us make it all it can be by placing our trust in the hand of God, which is something “better than light and safer than a known way.”