Hope Spring Eternal
This phrase is used most frequently to describe how, despite dire or daunting conditions or circumstances, people still expect things to happen that will result in a desired outcome. No matter how bleak it is…there is hope that someone, somehow will do something or that things will change such that it will all come out OK in the end.
In my working life, my favorite leader was notable for telling any manager who presented a plan that was based on a ‘hope’ that this would happen or that would happen…”HOPE is not a strategy. Go and return when you have a plan of action.” [I always felt that was quite profound.]
Some within our congregation and from outside look at the declining membership numbers, which is only one way to measure a congregation’s status and health, then look at the state of other mainline Protestant churches and conclude… the future is not looking so good. If true, shall we continue as we are and just hope that things will get better and that all will be fine?
Not here at First Presbyterian -Valparaiso. Action and action planning is underway. It is encouraging to know that we have several groups at work right now looking at how FPCV might be different post-pandemic, how we can build on our sense of family, how we can help more in our community and our world, how we can live our Christianity beyond our walls.
The Chancel Visioning Team is looking at what our physical space can look like and how it can be better utilized when we return to the building on a regular basis.
The Matthew 25 team is working on actions we might take as a Matthew 25 congregation to help eradicate systemic poverty and to seek ways to dismantle structural racism in Valparaiso, Indiana.
The Vibrant Congregation group is exploring how we view ourselves and how we are viewed by others as part of their work in looking to who we want to be, and can be, in the future as a congregation.
The Associate Pastor Nominating Committee has undertaken a Mission Study as part of its work to describe FPCV to future candidates who may want to join our pastoral staff and to be part of shaping the future ministry here.
All Session teams: Mission, Membership, Worship, Congregational Life, Christian Ed, Finance/Stewardship, Building & Grounds, Adult Spiritual Formation and iEngage are working to fulfill their roles for this congregation and each is playing a key role in determining the actions we will take.
Yes, we are a hopeful congregation, but not a congregation that only ‘hopes’ things will get better. We are a congregation acting and preparing for more action. I, for one, am excited about our future and cannot wait to be back together in person to make it happen.
Oh yeah, to be clear, I do hope that SPRING is right around the corner.