Upcoming Events

Communion Sunday

January 7th

10am

Pantries

January 12th & 26th

10am-Noon

Scrapbooking

January 19th & 20th

9am-11pm

Congregational Meeting & Potluck

January 21st

11:00 am

Windsor Township Retirees Luncheon

January 24th

12 Noon

Scout Pig Roast

January 28th

11am-2pm


 

Visit our

  • Calendar of Events
  • Pastor Scott

    From the Pastor

    Rev. Scott Crane

    New Year, New Habits, New Life...

    The New Year is upon us. Time for new resolutions, promises and changes…at least in our intentions. Change and growth are easy to desire but not always easy to grasp.

    I overheard a counselor once say that people won’t change unless they experience enough pain. I didn’t think much of it at the time but have reflected on it many times since. Indeed, most of us tend to be more comfortable with the status quo as it requires less of us. It is only when the status quo becomes painful do we find incentive to make the effort and energy to do something different.

    As well, we tend to be more reactive than pro-active in the way we live our lives. People often quote the old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The problem is that, sometimes things are not as they should be in our lives (they are broke) and we just don’t want to admit it. Indeed, for some, it is much easier to live in denial than to make the effort to change or grow into healthier patterns. Why wait for something bad or painful to happen when there is always room in our lives where we can seek to grow?

    I read a comment that someone had noted on Facebook a couple of weeks ago. It said, “if kids don’t grow up dealing with the consequences of their behavior then they become quite difficult when they get older.” I commented, “What about the adults that don’t deal with the consequences of their behavior. It’s not just the kids.”

    We need to know that our behavior does have consequences…for us and for others. If we don’t like the way things are going, in our lives or in the world, we need to admit it. Or, as we say in the church, “confess” it. One cannot address any issues that they do not recognize. Unfortunately, we have many that go to great lengths pointing out the flaws or sins of others but not doing any reflection on their own shortcomings. I wonder what might happen in our country and world if an emphasis and priority were put on sincere self-reflection.

    Maybe it’s because I’m a pastor but I think we have begun to lose our spiritual compass. Many don’t go to church anymore as they don’t think it is necessary for their spiritual lives. They get their spirituality from TV preachers, books, out in nature, or in a variety of other ways. Their faith is less about committing to a particular or specific faith community and more about consuming what they want from whatever “spiritual vendors” will accommodate them. Spirituality and faith should be about self-discernment, discipline and becoming better human beings.

    What people need is not simply more information or good feelings. All human beings need to be involved in a group or community where they can form relationships. Such a place helps one to continue the lessons from early childhood such as sharing, apologizing, forgiving and playing nice. When we don’t commit to a community, we may deal with less drama in our lives, but we also miss opportunities to learn patience, love and perseverance. Can we find ways to move away from being so focused on individualism that we ignore the importance of genuine community?

    Real faith can only be lived out in community. Indeed, we learn and grow in character as we relate to and interact with others. Living in an extended family creates an environment where we can grow in our social and emotional skills. Such growth doesn’t happen quickly but does have an ideal opportunity if one is committed over time and is sincere in their efforts.

    While I still believe in orthodox and right teachings within the church, these days I am just as concerned about living rightly…orthopraxis. Right practice can only happen as we strive to live out our truths amid community. It is not enough to know what is right or true; one must also live by it…actions do speak louder than words.

    In the headlines today, many individuals, groups or parties think they own the truth, and yet their lifestyle does not seem to live up to what they espouse. I rarely care if someone is more conservative or more liberal than me. I’m more concerned about their integrity and authenticity. Each person has the right to believe whatever they desire but if they don’t live with integrity, their belief amounts to nothing. It is not what one believes that shapes their character but, rather, how they act upon it, how it makes them better human beings, and whether they can live their beliefs with honesty.

    So…as you enter 2018, know that you can best grow in character, and impact your world, by being honest and authentic in all your interactions. You can control your attitude, your effort, your behavior and your action to be a better team player with those around you. But you cannot control the actions, opinions, feelings and mistakes of others. You cannot control adversity either. As Mahatma Ghandi is often quoted, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Focus on your character and behavior and, then, others will notice. Don’t just preach your faith, live it! Be a light amid the darkness of the world!

    Grace & Peace,
    Pastor Scott