In January, I asked us to consider what “Next” looks like for University Baptist Church. It is abundantly clear to all of us that this pandemic has changed our lives in so many ways. The church is no exception to the unforeseen long-term impact this year+ event will have.
“Next” can bring both anxiety and promise. It can bring about radical change and solidify meaningful preservation of the things we value.
Whatever “Next” brings, we want to do it together as we boldly step forward in faith.
Before we get to “Next,” we want to begin creating spaces for meaningful dialogue about what it might hold for us as a faith community, where our priorities need to lie, and how we can prepare ourselves for bold action.
One of the natural spaces for this kind of dialogue is in our existing Sunday School and Spiritual Formation groups. With no intention to ask groups to sidestep their weekly lessons, we would like for your group to spend a few moments at the beginning of each week’s session to pray for UBC and to discuss one question provided about “Next.”
The questions presented are similar to those the Governing Board and members of the pastoral staff are also processing, such as "What gives you hope about what the future holds for UBC?"
While the design of these conversations begins to poke our curiosity, the intent is also to provide tangible insight into how you are processing what should be UBC’s focus after the pandemic.
In turn, we are asking the group’s leader to send a snapshot of the weekly conversation to Russ Futrell (firstname.lastname@example.org), Governing Board Chair, and Andy Hale (email@example.com), Senior Pastor. These insights will provide meaningful data to the church leadership’s discernment process.
The weekly dialogue will begin on March 21st.
While the uncertainty of what life will look like in “Next” can bring anxiety, may we turn to the Spirit of God for clarity and strength as we are boldly discerning new beginnings together in faith.