Pastor’s Post: Joining hands and hearts
The two-congregation meeting held after worship on October 22 was an important milestone in our campaign to bring our two churches together. Members of both Massapequa and Levittown voted decisively to move toward merger “should the way be clear.” That last phrase is a favorite Presbyterian way of saying, “There are going to be bumps in the road, but we know where we are trying to go and we will do everything possible to get there.”
Our vote gave us a mandate to proceed, and I believe the group decision was based on two things: first, our growing recognition that pooling our resources of people and things will lead to a more efficient and effective operation and second, our expanding web of personal relationships that cross congregational lines. More and more of our committees, planning groups, and social events are including people from both churches, and so we are getting to know each other and to make friends. As we become friends we overcome our fears of the unknown and recognize the good intentions of our new partners.
There is a lot of work to be done. Bringing together two churches, each with fifty years of independent existence behind them, is a challenging task, even when both congregations want it to happen. But even as we wade into a swamp of details, it is important that we continue to explore the big questions of our purpose and mission. I am glad that we are showing renewed interest in our spiritual life and in our mission to the community. The Gathering, now meeting every Sunday starting about fifteen minutes after worship, is discussing Christian spirituality and experimenting with meditation and other personal practices designed to deepen our relationship to ourselves, each other, and God. This activity will, I believe, enrich our congregational worship and improve the quality of our relationships.
At the same time, it is encouraging that the Mission Committee is exploring ways we may be able to support special needs families. This is an area of ministry that can benefit from more attention and practice, and it is
gratifying that we are involved in it. An interesting connection exists
the Gathering is currently using as a spiritual resource a book
by the Rev Henry Nouwen who spent the last part of his life living in a Christian community of individuals with special needs and their caregivers. We are united in seeking to better understand our mandate to love God and the world.