It’s Ash Wednesday and the internet is a flutter with what people are giving up (cheese, chocolate, booze, saying no, television, Facebook), and what people are picking up (saying yes more, saying I love you more, praying, meditating, running, scripture reading, small groups). What the Pope says we should do (love others better), and various other takes. Common among them is the notion that Lent is a time of preparation, preparation for Easter and for the life of faith. I want to take this space to talk a little bit about what we at St. Andrew’s Duncan are doing for lent because I think it will help us to prepare to be a better church, a more godly and more appealing body of people, the sort of church we all want to be.
Our motto, plastered on our website, bulletins, and various places in our building, isn’t something I came up with but I really like it and find it deceptively simple looking despite the depth it contains. One of my mentors says that among the greatest challenges of ministry is getting mottos off the wall and into the hall (or hearts of the people). He also says that culture eats strategy for lunch. Like I said, I appreciate our motto and so during the reflective season of Lent I will be leading the congregation, not through a new-motto-making-time, but through a time of meditation on the motto. Much of this will be done through preaching my way slowly through it, and part of this will be done trough a 6 week bible study on loving unchurched people, and loving our congregation enough, to invite new people in and to make space for them when they arrive (every step of which is harder than most people realize).
The motto? A community of faith inviting all to a real life in Jesus. It’s short and easy to remember (I read that among the top non-profit in North America motto were 15 words or less, and the very top average about 10 words). I think we nailed the brevity thing. Now what we need is to remember to unpack those words and let them walk around our church halls, and then outside the building in the parking lot where o-so-many conversations happen! After that we need it to walk through Duncan and the whole Cowichan Valley.
If you are a member or adherent and you haven’t been around in a while consider coming back to be refreshed on what we are all about; the series will discuss the faith we hold along with countless other Reformed believers and the peculiarities of the particular body of faith called St. Andrew’s Duncan. It’s beautiful faith and, if I may say so, a beautiful (spiritually at leastJ) community.