Building Our Beloved Community Anew
“I cannot go in these …
He [David] took his staff in hand,
chose five smooth stones …
and with his sling in hand,
approached the Philistine.”
1 Samuel 17:39-40
The story of David and Goliath tells the story of a shepherd boy who prepares to meet a giant Philistine in battle. In hopes of pleasing King Saul, David first dresses in a tunic, a coat of iron, and a bronze helmet. David, a young lad, cannot move freely in standard battle gear; it is not a good fit. David ditches all the armor and takes up his shepherd staff, a slingshot, and 5-round, smooth stones, which he knows will project the furthest. He prepares to meet his formidable foe with what works best for him, not in the traditional way which Saul offers.
People are thrilled to see the infection rate for Covid-19 infection drop in Conway and cannot wait to return “to normal”. Covid-19 was a giant problem, more formidable than most people anticipated. The recovery will take many months, perhaps years! Our church leadership is realizing that what we are facing is not so much “returning to worship” which we have known as much as “building our beloved community anew ”. Saul, representing the old way, traditional ways and David, representing youthful energy, is a good metaphor for us going forward.
We have suffered some losses because our sanctuary space has been idle for 15 months. Our organ has suffered, our pews are cracked, the heat-humidity-air conditioning has proven inadequate. We are not talking so much about rebuilding or restoring as deciding “who and what do we need to be to bring God’s Good News to our community in new, innovative ways ”. Our “goliath problems” will take much prayer, preparation, and imagination. It will ask us to be inventive as well as open-minded.
Our membership has been accommodating this past year as we attempted to bring the best worship experience possible under trying circumstances. We will need again to call upon your patience as we move to create new forms of worship going forward. The Greek word for community/fellowship is “koinonia”, a concept of joint participation, sharing, and intimacy, which brings people together with God and each other in profound ways. Koinonia is the sharing of praise, music, sacrament, sermon, and scripture in thoughtful, meaningful ways. We pray the Holy Spirit will allow us to experience our community in ways yet to be imagined! We ask your understanding in allowing us to move forward.
Rev. John Hughes
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From the Trustees
Even though the church is not officially open, there is a lot of activity going on that most don’t see. Board meetings are now back live at the church, the Food Pantry and Dinner Bell are receiving food deliveries and getting it out to the community. The lawn is being mowed and the flowers are planted out front. The Sanctuary is being put in order and will have a thorough cleaning.
We will be testing combined zoom and in house services for the next few weeks starting May 30th. Readers will be at the church. We hope to open it up to all on July 4th, for those who wish to attend.
In May, the Steering Committee met with the architect and Bergeron Technical Services to continue the redesign of the Sanctuary.
Please save the date, we will be having a Special Meeting on July 18th at approximately 11 am, following the worship service, to give an update on the 2021 budget and a draft of the 2022 budget. You will be able to attend in person or by zoom.
Chair: Anne Getchell
Duddie Andrews, John Edgerton, Nancy Irving, Kim Murdoch, Paul Weld, Tom Workman
Ex-officio member Carl Vitters – Church Treasurer