Soon we will be a New Church! You may think, as a member of the Joint Consolidation Team, I am excited and fully supportive of this consolidation. The truth is not always. As one who lives with depression and anxiety disorders, change can be difficult. I like stability in my life.
On those few days when I am not excited, I think about our beautiful building. It has served us and organizations like Patchwork Quilt and The Hub. I think about the people who come to the church looking for help. Community Outreach collected food and packed bags to help them. I think about St. Anne’s place. I think about our members who do not drive. My mind spirals into misery.
So I take a breath
...a deeper breath...and another...and another. I remember that change offers new opportunities and new experiences. I remember co-chairing the Ministries sub-committee and the committee's excitement of what we can and will do together. Robbinsdale also rents out their building. There are people who stop at RUCC looking for help. We will continue to serve St. Anne's Place. Both churches collect winter hats, mittens and scarves. These will be shared with partners of both former churches. Food drives will be split between organizations that serve Minneapolis and those that serve Robbinsdale. There are people from both congregations that need transportation to church and we will continue to provide rides. I remember our former building site will become a home for seniors.
I also think about things I have done with people from Robbinsdale. I volunteered at two blood drives. I helped provide a safe space during a protest against an anti-gay group meeting at a nearby church. I preached twice, and I remember the warm reception I received. I remember the people I have met at the joint events. They are kind, welcoming and fun.
I think of some of the new ministries open to us. RUCC has a community garden and part of the food is grown to be donated to a food shelf. There will be opportunities to buy coffee and other products that support fair trade and sustainable farming practices, and to participate in Community Supported Agriculture.
I think of some of the new ministries open to members of RUCC. Help with Thanksgiving dinner and Mother’s Day gifts at St. Anne’s Place. Learn how we helped our hungry neighbors. Join us in providing socks or other needed items for Lucy Craft Laney School.
There will be new ministries to all of us. Together we will learn how to express our love of neighbor, love of children and love of creation. It is an exciting time!
Most importantly, I remember that we, as a congregation, spent time and energy discerning our future. We relied on God's guidance and will continue to do so. We say, "God is still speaking," so let us continue to listen and to rest in God’s hope.