In a letter to a friend, Benjamin Franklin first used a phrase that’s been a part of American vocabulary ever since: "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."
I greatly respect Franklin's wisdom, but I’d add one more thing to his list – death, taxes and change.
Change is one of the only constants we can depend on. Pretty much everything changes, whether it’s sudden change, or gradual over the course of millennia. But no matter how much we understand this truth, we still put so much of our human energy into trying to keep things the same!
As I’ve learned about the UBC community, I see a congregation that has grown and shifted a lot through the years… and especially in these last few months. When a minister leaves there’s always a time of transition, but you’ve experienced so much more – several new families, new groups using the facilities, air conditioning issues, the departure of some integral members of the community.
And on top of all this, the lingering effects of the pandemic and wondering, “will things ever get back to the way they were before?”
The short answer is: No, they won’t. And they shouldn’t.
This congregation has made shifts before, and it will keep shifting in the future. And here’s the thing – you’re good at changing! God calls us to change, and challenges us to meet the needs of a world that’s always changing – and you’ve done that so well through the years as this community has changed and grown. That won’t stop – God will keep calling us forward, and forward and forward…
One of the shifts you’ve made recently is establishing an online worship presence. It’s required some changes to the way we do things, and the staff and volunteers are so grateful for your patience while we work out these issues! We’ve navigated internet issues and equipment upgrades, and we believe we’ve found a way to make our online worship more reliable. If you have any concerns or ideas about this, please contact Justin Langford.
But this is only one of the changes taking place. As we move through this time of transition, it’s crucial to ask ourselves – Who are we, and where are we right now? (In other words, not, “Where were we and how can we get back there?”)
Change is coming, and it’s already here. What are the needs God’s calling us to meet now? How can we rise to the challenge with joy and excitement?
Grace and Peace,
University Baptist Church