Thursday, 11 June 2015

“Behold I make all things New” Rev 21:5

“Behold I make all things New”  Rev 21:5

            ON this date in 1925 a unique event occurred in Mutual Street Arena,
Toronto. The United Church of Canada was born through much work, prayer and an Act of Canadian Parliament. Discussions across the country through the three founding denominations raised unique concerns which led to the formation of a truly Canadian church. The Presbyterian, Congregational and Methodists joined together amidst uncertain times and out of the desire to share the Social Gospel and keep the Good News of Jesus Christ alive in the country which was emerging on its own after World War I.
            Ninety years later we are called to celebrate the Good News of Jesus Christ as a recognized and changing church. We are known for our welcoming of all people, facing difficult issues head on and looking at who Jesus is in light of how we reach out to others.  We are the United Church of Canada and we are facing a time of challenge and change as the support for international ministries declines and the ongoing question of who we are and how we govern/structure ourselves is questioned. Our national gathering will take place in August 2015 where decisions of organizational structures will take place and we will move forward as we work with the Spirit’s guidance.
            As we read of the challenges facing the UCC and in light of Phyllis Tickle’s ideas of an emerging church, we acknowledge that this is what is occurring. A new church which instead of having its unique perspective based on its name, to a gathering of people who like to take on special challenges as they grow in Christ’s Spirit. But how does the emerging church relate to what was done before? How do we know and grow today? What is emerging for us as people of the United Church? These are questions which are not easily answered but through faith we will learn and grow together as a community who loves God and reaches out to others with Christ’s love.

God is calling us to look at who we are in 2015 and into the future. Where we will be 10 years from now is in His hands and His Spirit will lead us to this ‘something new” What emotions or thoughts do you experience as you read about the challenges facing Christian churches today? Are you needing to reflect on your connection to the church today? How might today’s church be made more relevant to you?

Holy God bless our United Church of Canada this day as we celebrate 90 years of being your church focused on Christ and committed to serving you. Guide us into our future through your Spirit’s grace and hope. We ask in the name of  Christ. Amen.

Phyllis Tickle The Great Emergence: How Christianity is Changing and Why. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books,2008. Chapter 6

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