We have more opportunities in our lives today than people have had at any time in history. Opportunities for education, careers, leisure activities, ways to communicate, even travel. We can make possible things our great-grandparents would not have dreamed of. However, I feel our number of options have blinded us to the value each carries. The few choices our ancestors made were directly tied to their focused hope for the future. Their actions planted faith and built churches to nurture that faith for each of us.
God continually blesses us with love and grace and has provided opportunities for us to respond in faith as well. This fall we each will have new opportunities to be engaged by God in worship, to grow in our faith though educational offerings, to serve others through outreach events, and so much more. As you look at how you will live out your faith this year, what is the desired future you are working toward? What do you hope for your family and for the church? How will you let the light of Christ shine through you?
As a church we recognize that our actions not only affect our current needs, they also affect the hopes and dreams of the generations to come. In our lives we have specific windows of opportunity to respond in faith; like when a child asks how the world was made, when a teen is seeking to find out their purpose in life, when a friend loses a loved one, or when people need a place to belong and be told that they are not alone. Each are opportunities for us to respond in faith. This is why our church council and staff have titled this year’s congregational focus and the next three-year phase of our capital campaign, "Windows of Opportunity."
In our annual ministry budget we will have the opportunity to support ministry efforts and reinstate the salary cuts that our outstanding staff has endured over the past year. We will also have the groundbreaking opportunity to create a new mission and outreach line item in the budget to share more of our resources with global and local missions.
In our capital building appeal we have the opportunity to pay our monthly mortgage payments outside of our operating budget, freeing up ministry dollars. We have the opportunity to eliminate all of our debt from the building renovation that has reinvigorated Gethsemane’s heart for hospitality and enabled us to gather together in fellowship in ways we never expected. We also have the opportunity to replace the old leaking windows in our educational wing with much higher efficiency windows, saving on future building costs.
You have lots of options before you, but only a few of them will make a lasting difference in the lives of others and in your own. God is calling you, inviting you, to once again engage your faith, and live it out in every choice you make. We are opening a window of opportunity here at Gethsemane and invite you to let your light shine through it.