Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Musing on a Vision, by Abbe Golden

The Vision Statement has arrived! Now what? Well, we need to read the vision statement over and over, much like kneading dough and letting it rise for the perfect loaf of bread. We need to pray about it, faithfully and honestly, being open to God’s will for Sunnyside and for ourselves. We need to think, discuss, and pray some more.

As I read the vision statement over and over, certain thoughts and images dance through my mind. But for this particular blog post, I would like to concentrate on the image of being called together to build bridges of faith.

We travel over bridges all the time without much thought. But there are some bridges that make us stop and think, and look. For me, that bridge is the Mackinac Bridge connecting the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan.

Metaphorically, what can this bridge made of steel teach us about bulding bridges of faith and relationships?

1. A bridge is a connection overcoming a gap or barrier. What barriers do we need to
overcome to deepen our relationships in our church and our communities?

2. The total length of the Mackinac Bridge is 26,372 feet. How far will we have to
go to make connections, both physically and spiritually.

3. A suspension bridge, like Mackinac, is designed to move to accommodate
changes in wind, weight and temperature. How willing are we to change and accommodate to do God’s will, to push ourselves out of our comfort level, to make connections, to build bridges of fatith.

4. The bridge took 3 and ½ years to build. Sometimes good work, important work takes time. How patient are we willing to be when building bridges?

5. At one time I had the privilege to walk across the Mackinac Bridge. Being on the bridge is very different than viewing it from afar. How involved are we willing to be when building those bridges?

The Mackinac Bridge is an amazing engineering example of a suspension bridge, the third largest in the world and still the largest in the Western Hemisphere.

What bridges of faith are we being called to build and will it make people stop, think, and look?

Questions for Reflection:
• What is this Vision calling you to become?
• What images used in this Vision are familiar to you; What elements are unfamiliar?
• In what respects does this Vision call us together to greater faith and courage than what is commonly expressed in our congregation.
• What difference do you hope this Vision will make in the life of our congregation?

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