Message from the Minister
Welcome to Grace United Church, Burlington, and welcome to our new website!
I am privileged to serve this new congregation as together we discern a vision, and define our mission for the future. As you look through this website, you will see that this is an active, vibrant congregation.
In our first year of life as a newly formed family, we have been learning more about each other as we worship and work together. While COVID-19 has been a global tragedy, I believe we as a congregation may look back on this time as being formative. Working under pressure, we are learning what we are made of, where our faith lies, and just how strong and gifted a community we truly are. During this past Lent and Easter, I have seen this community rise to many challenges and creatively live out their faith. This pandemic time has affirmed for many that yes, we like to gather together for worship and working together, in a familiar space. More than anything, though, it is the people who are missed. As we journey through our first chapter of life together, we know in our hearts, it’s not about the building, Grace United is the people. The people who belong to this church are all fine individuals, but together, they’re awesome!
Lately we have been called by scriptures to live into our identity as Easter people. In a very timely way, our scriptures are reminding us of Jesus’ first disciples moving from people who were trapped in fear, and focused on loss. They were gradually transformed by the Holy Spirit into brave and courageous people who carried the love of Christ out into the world. Looking at the early disciples has helped us look at ourselves as we move from grieving our legacy churches, to being a unified church family, actively serving Christ as we reach out with love to each other, our community and the world beyond.
Joseph Campbell has suggested that “We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” At present, the entire planet is coming to terms with this wisdom, as we learn new ways to work, play, be family, care for each other, form connections, and safely live full lives. Each one of us knows this is no small under-taking. Many things or activities we took for granted, are no longer possible. However, if you spend time with this congregation, you will see a group of people working to find new patterns for living out their faith. While maneuvering through these difficult and often challenging times, we are learning to have faith, trust, and be patient, believing that through us, God is doing something new. We have been invited by God into a dance of love that has existed for thousands of years. A dance that started at the beginning of creation. A dance that continued in the life of Jesus. A dance carried by the Holy Spirit to the disciples and on to us. Part of our challenge these days is not to wait for the storm to pass, but to faithfully dare to dance in the rain.
Again, welcome to Grace United, where we hope to live into our name, being a source of grace. We hope to live out of the abundance of God’s love, with hospitality, acts of kindness, compassion, faith, hope and love. The greatest of these is love. This is a church with open arms and open hearts. I invite you to join us in whatever way feels right for you.
Blessings for a safe and healthy journey