“Just tell us, “Is everything going to be alright?” This is the question that was asked at our financial landscape meeting last Sunday morning. All of us who don’t enjoy the minutia of numbers and just need the bottom line, chuckled. Is our budget o.k.? Are people contributing?
The answer isn’t as easy as “yes” or “no”. It’s really “yes and no.” We are far healthier than many Mainline denominations in worship participation, membership and overall financial health. However, we are like most mainline churches today in America, aging, struggling for relevancy, worshiping in large, aging buildings and wondering what the future will hold, which makes the question, “Is everything going to be alright?” a much bigger question, than a financial one.
This past weekend we celebrated our older adults in the congregation and those who have been worshiping faithfully here at OPPC for 40 to 50 years. We also hosted a Trunk or Treat event for our community, where some 250 children and families attended.
This coming Sunday, we will remember those members of the congregation who now are Saints of this Congregation and have been received into the hands of Christ. After worship we will be welcoming Holocaust and Auschwitz survivor, Frank Grunwald, to a morning presentation at 10:00 a.m. in the Pavilion. Later in the day, we will have a chili cook off for our high school caravan mission trip to raise funds to work for a week in a community that has experienced a trauma of one kind or another.
As I reflect on the state of our world and the church, and I too ask the question, “Is everything going to be alright?” I realize how essential this concept and mystery we call “church” is to our very well-being and how important it is to keep coming together. We need generations to sit next to each other in the same place and the same space and worship the same God. We need our hectic, individual lives to come together like many streams into one river, where we are united in ministry.
The answer to the question “Is everything going to be alright,” is both yes and no in all matters of life. Regardless of what we face, we must keep going, keep being faithful, keep singing, keep praying, keep laughing, keep loving, keep trying especially when we are more disillusioned than hopeful. We must hold fast to what is good.
Rev. Dr. Shelly Wood