A young America sent two explorers, Lewis and Clark, to explore the northwest, trying to find the fabled Northwest Passage, which would secure the financial future of the country. They traveled the Missouri River, thinking that shortly after its headwaters, they will crest a rise and find the headwaters of another river (perhaps the Columbia) and float down to the Pacific.
So, when they got to the Lemhi Pass and looked west, they were distressed to see mile after mile of jagged, snow capped mountains. Everything they expected and planned for, was wrong. The experts were wrong. They were now literal explorers, with very little concept of what was in front of them.
They had each other (along with the whole Corp of Discovery), their skills, and their drive to fulfill the mission. So they pressed onward.
Many people look with dismay on a changed world today. It seems that things are not what we expected (where are the flying cars and space travel!). What can we do?
We can move forward with our mission. After all, we are not trying to find something, we are seeking to share the grace of God in Jesus Christ and the new life that comes from it! We have each other, our God given gifts, and a mission to follow the one who leads us into the future.
At the Bishop's Theological Convocation, we read the book, "Canoeing the Mountains" By Tod Bolsinger and heard a presentation by him on his work. I invite any of you to read it too. It inspired this letter and the activities that follow.
On November 2nd, from 9-2, I will host a Going Into The Future retreat in Werner Hall for the purpose of getting together and considering the ways in which we can move forward. What can we try? What passions/callings have God placed on your hearts? Who can join us in these explorations as we seek to live out our new mission statement? Please notify the office so that lunch is provided for all who wish to participate.
On November 16th, we have an opportunity to learn more about our new 'terrain' that we are operating in. (Church and Culture: Then and Now, What is Happening in Our World workshop for more information.)
7 years ago, I would never have guessed that God would lead me to Tucson, AZ. Yet I followed, and I have been blessed.
I invite you to join me in this new adventure, seeking to follow the one who provides a future with hope. I hope to see you Nov. 2nd, Nov. 16th, and in worship as we are nourished by the one who gave us everything so that we may live again!
Remember that God loves you, and so do I!