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Cliff Notes...






I watched a video the other day that was really fascinating. It was a police officer talking into the camera and explaining that he had just left the daily briefing with his work assignment. He was going to a protest. There was a protest that was going to take place in their city and the organizers had requested police protection. The irony was, it was a defund the police protest!

It reminded me of the disconnect we are experiencing in the church community. We are told, and I believe it to be true, that children’s ministry is an important value. Yet we have neither the funds to hire a youth minister, nor the volunteers to staff it. When I point that out, people tend to get angry with me as if my saying it created the problem. I am not trying to make people mad or feel badly. I am trying to find out what the expectations are given the resources available. 

Right now we are in a “Time Out.” This presents a unique opportunity to step back, look at what we really want, what we really have and create programing that addresses the needs and interests of our community. It is a shame if we squander this opportunity, and it will be the young people of our congregation that will be the poorer for it.

Checking on a friend the other day, he said, “I’m tired. In fact, I’m tired of being tired.” I understood what he meant. I think all of us are tired of being tired. It feels like we have been living in something akin to a tornado warning for the last six months, and the constant tension is taking a toll on all of us.

We can’t let the stress overcome our future though and now is the time to pull together and realize that no one is going to fix things for us – it’s up to us. We can’t look to the left or right to see who is going to step forward and volunteer, we have to all step forward together, because together we can create the programs and the future we want for the young people and the church. A group stepping forward together can do much more than a few dedicated volunteers can, even a weary group. If we step forward together no one person has too heavy a burden and no one is left behind. Everyone has something to contribute and there is a need for each of us in the future we say we want. Some will teach, others will clean and others will fill in as needed until everyone is engaged and everything we say we want to have and do is done. If we all step forward together, the sound of that step will roll like thunder through our community. It will energize us and it will energize those around us. We may be 150 years old, but we don’t have to act like it!

Remember, we aren’t here at this time and in this place by accident. And rememberIsaiah 6:8, “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I; send me!" (NRSV) That is not just me, that is not just you, that is ALL of us.


Cliff Caton