First things first: It’s been a year since we began our time together, Midway Hills. I think it has been an outstanding and incredible year, and I hope you agree. We have seen some change, some growth, some challenge, and a lot of in-breaking of the Reign of God. We have affirmed what we all know to be true—we are a vital and alive congregation in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), North Dallas and everywhere else. I am thankful every day that I was called to serve this church, and I thank you right now for a fantastic year, and I thank you in advance for the coming years as we continue to follow God, proclaim Christ and live in the Spirit together.
Okay, onto the next part: We ain’t done. In fact, we’re just beginning. The great thing about communities is that they’re full of different people with different lives, different ideas and different gifts. As I said in the sermon last week, we’re a church and not a social club because we are centered on the gospel of Jesus Christ; what makes that a challenge is that’s the length, breadth and width of our essentials. The rest of it — well, it means we have the opportunity to grow, challenge and change as we come together as a faith community. Honestly, the church is a lot like a potluck; it’d be no fun if everyone brought bread. (If you are planning on bringing bread, go for it! I had to choose something…) What I want us to do, as a community of faith progressing and thinking and loving, is simple and very challenging: I want us to converse.
Fun fact about the word converse—it can mean a few things. Converse as in conversation: we should listen fully, allow ourselves to be vulnerable, and treat those who are different with the respect and grace we ourselves expect. Converse as in opposite: In an increasingly polarized world, being willing to listen vulnerably and gracefully is the opposite of what most folks do. It is, I’d argue, what Jesus is all about, though. And of course, I should add—converse as in Converse sneakers. There’s not actually a good practice with this one, except they really make suit pants pop.
I hope you’ll be at church for a wide variety of reasons this Sunday—we are dedicating the choir risers, we’re promoting our children and youth, we’re celebrating the church’s education ministry, we’re hearing the choir, we’re having a potluck lunch, and we’re going to converse on those non-essentials. It’s going to be a blast. Thanks again for a fantastic first year, MHCC.