Mimico Creek, which I cross each day on the way to work, has different characters in different seasons.
There are times in the cold of winter when you can walk across its solid surface. You have to be careful, though, not to venture out on it on the days when the surface looks solid but is actually very thin under a blanket of snow.
On a hot summer day, you can relax, standing on smooth, worn rocks, and feel the coolness of the gently flowing waters.
Today it is a torrent, swollen by melting snow banks and heaving spring rains draining from the hillsides, so that it is almost overflowing its banks. The smooth rocks lie well below the surface now, and you couldnt stand in the water without being swept off your feet in the currents.
The great variety of Gods creation fills me with wonder.
There are many seasons in the life of the church, too.
Today, seeing the creek frothing and racing with the waters flowing from every part of the larger watershed, I thought of the engagement process of conversations with every congregation and local ministry that has just been launched by the Comprehensive Review Task Group.
Facilitators have been trained and an invitation has gone out across the church. Im told the response is considerable already: people from many, many pastoral charges, community ministries, congregations, and faith communities will take part in conversations that will feed into or perhaps flow into the conversation that began nationally with General Councils decision to establish the Comprehensive Review Task Group.
I hope that the task group will be flooded with stories of hopes and fears, and with ideas and dreams for our denomination.
May God stir the currents of our souls into powerful rivers of faith.
God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Acts 2:17
The General Secretary's letter is distributed to staff at the General Council Office and colleagues across the United Church. If you are receiving this you may also want to see Moderator Gary Paterson's blog. Visit www.garypaterson.ca and select "Follow" in the lower right to get an e-mail notice whenever he has a new post.
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