As we enter the new year, many of us think about New Year’s Resolutions. Some folks love them. Some folks deplore them.
When Ted and I lived in Plymouth, we were long time members of the Lifetime Fitness just a mile from our house. He was there constantly. I less so, but – thanks to a work out buddy or two – at least got there a few times per week. Each January 2nd we bemoan the crowds that flooded the cardio equipment, weight area and group fitness classes. And each year, the crowds would thin back to normal levels by early February. In truth, there were usually a few who became frequent (like Ted) or less frequent (like me) denizens of the gym.
There seems to be a desire to remake ourselves as a new year dawns. Shedding bad habits or unwanted pounds. Adding healthy and life-giving disciplines. It is a worthy endeavor. And sometimes results in a fresh start and new perspective. And often results in all too familiar frustration. Frankly, I admire anyone who tries a resolution.
Congregations strive to remake themselves as well. And with similar results. Energy is high and people stay engaged…for a while. And then we settle back into old patterns.
Why does this happen? Usually because the changes congregations strive to make are too dramatic (but exciting!), not authentic to who we are (but so cool!) or not about who God is calling us to be (but we want to be like the cool church!) This year, as Trinity embarks on the journey to embrace and live into our new mission statement and core values and our new welcome statement, we will strive to be faithful to what is authentic for us. We hope to enhance and grow practices that are aligned with our core values and we expect to pare away those practices that are not.
In January, we will commit each Sunday to an exploration of one of the core values as we learn together how to be faithful to God’s call. We will not burst into the new year as a completely remodeled version of ourselves. We probably won’t invent a lot of new (but it’s so exciting!) stuff. Instead, we will work to become the church God needs us to be in this time and this place.
Why Trinity? Because God first loved us, we live as Jesus in the world; loving God and loving neighbor.
So, resolve to be part of the why!