Reflections from Pastor Kim—Part 2 of 2
School is out, baseball fields buzz with practices and games, campers are pulled through town on the way to times of rest and relaxation, and most days a jacket is a fleeting thought, at best. It would seem that summer is moving its way into our lives and we are ready! For many, summer is a time of building. Whether it’s an addition to the house, adding some parking room or landscaping, building on what was there before to make spaces available that are a reflection of how they may currently be used, and perhaps even some dreams of what could be in the future. Often you will hear that to build reflects hope and begets a special kind of energy. That does ring true when we think of the things we’ve mentioned above. We can’t wait to see how a new space will enhance our days and our activities.
As people of faith we build on what has gone before. We can’t imagine stumbling across the desert for forty years, yet the story of the Israelites is part of the firm foundation on which our faith is built. While we are reading with The Bible Year, we find it hard to understand the violence and death as we read Judges and Kings, or the devastation of the story of Job. Yet it was those stories and those people who take us on a genealogical journey to the New Testament, where in a short recap in Matthew we see the lineage that brings us to the birth of Christ who was foretold in the midst of power struggles and prophecy. In these stories we sometimes have questions about our faith, and yet we find reassurance that others have gone before, walking new paths, both doubting and finding strength and reassurance in God, and building on traditions of those who have gone before.
If we are at our best, we build the many areas of our lives with intent. We look at what has been, what is possible and even what we hope and pray will be. If we want to be able to give more money to entities who do amazing things in our communities, we likely have to look through our budget, see where we’ve spent our money in the past, where we are spending our money now and how we would like to spend in the future. We do research, we make a plan, and we put everything we can into making that plan come to fruition. We do the same if we want to add more devotional time to our days, we want to step away from work more fully when we are off the clock, when our kids have a fabulous idea for a vacation, and the list goes on. With intent we explore and we build a plan.
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. “
The Oakland UMC Build Team is currently in the midst of this process. They are looking at building projects of the past, then looking at our current needs and dreaming a bit about the needs for the future of Oakland UMC. They are exploring how to have a strong foundation for future ministry, ministries that are easily accessible to all. They are exploring safety precautions, storage, materials, drainage and so many other details that help in securing a firm foundation and fruitful ministry. In the midst of all this are prayers asking for guidance and a path that clears before them to indicate the Holy Spirit’s leading.
Whether we are talking about “repair” (see last months newsletter) or “build” we know that God is faithful to have a plan for Oakland UMC and has ministry for us to carry out in God’s name. When things get crazy and it seems like the wilderness of life is taking over, God makes a way for us to fulfill this call on our lives. God doesn’t guarantee things will always be the same, but instead that God will always go with us into the unknown. Both repairing and building are important steps in our lives and in our activities. As a Faith Family we work together to both repair and build in many contexts. May God’s blessing be upon us as we move through this summer ponder “what ifs,” “how abouts,” and “can you imagines.” May each thought and action give glory to God!
Be blessed, be a blessing, and take someone with you on the journey!
Pastor Kim Dewey