A New Sign? More partners utilizing God's House at Redeemer (aka the building)? A Renewed Sense of Purpose and Mission?
One of the things to which I'm giving a lot of my pastoral time and energy these days is the joyful task of working alongside Rich Carroll, Gwen Feldt, Erich Markert, and Julie Andrew as part of the Sustainable Solutions for Sacred Sites Team ("S4" for short). Together with a coach named Pastor Laurie, we are developing a plan for utilizing God's House at Redeemer (aka the building) to support good people doing great things in New Paltz and the Hudson Valley.
The Redeemer church community has a long history of supporting the community of which we are a part through this building. The Agri-Business Child Development Daycare located on route 32 north started as an ecumenical ministry here in Redeemer's building in order to support farm workers and their children. AA, and Alanon, music programs for children, music recitals have all been hosted here, and more recently the Hamilton Music Studio moved in, and a Giant Yard Sale was held, which raised money for Sustainable Hudson Valley's effort to hire a part-time coordinator of the Repair Cafe (which organizes volunteers to help people fix whatever they need fixing for free).
The Sustainable Solutions for Sacred Sites Team (S4) is looking to amplify the good already being accomplished by God through the building not only by dramatically increasing building use but by encouraging us as a church community to really think about how we view this church building within the context of our mission as a community of Christ within the local and world community. After our most recent meeting, I found a shift in my own thinking taking place. Specifically, rather than envisioning the Redeemer church community as the overarching, hierarchical entity governing building use, I was struck by an image of Redeemer, by the grace of God, becoming the roots that support and amplify good people doing great things in the community and world as we work shoulder to shoulder and side by side in this building - church alongside community alongside world. Who knows, we could even change our sign by the road. To help church people and non-church people better understand that Community Grows Here.
I know that the Sustainable Solutions for Sacred Sites Team (Gwen, Rich, Erich, Julie, and myself) will be sharing more with the congregation about their work on our behalf. I know that you will join me in praying and pondering how their work and our work can support God's mission through Redeemer to Share Christ's Welcome. And I imagine that along the way, we'll find ourselves in moments of healthy tension and discomfort - God wouldn't be growing us from where we are to where God needs us to grow if we didn't!
And, I trust that, in and through all of this and more God in Christ will help us to grow and be renewed in our mission and purpose of reaching people with the love and grace of Jesus Christ - which includes supporting and amplifying the work the efforts of other good people in our local and global communities doing great things - like the Agri-Business Child Development Center we helped birth here in God's House at Redeemer, so many years ago.