A Message from Pastor Dave Owen-O’Quill
I wanted to take this column to encourage you and reflect with you on some of the current going-ons at Davies. First and foremost I want to congratulate you as a church. If you were here last year you’ll remember that we spent a year of conversations about the church’s past, present, and future. Through the seemingly endless meetings and conversations, a consensus developed around pursuing a path of renewal. At times I know some felt that this process was kind of pointless and taking forever. But it was a foundation that had to be built.
I say this because I talked with some folks after church the other day who had been away for a couple months and they were so excited about the changes and the energy in the worship service. They were amazed at the churches ability to make so many changes so quickly.
We have had several events and projects that have recently emerged to engage the community and create positive responses to pressing social issues. The leaders of these events have experienced an environment of support which has allowed them follow their inspirations. In other words, it didn’t take 7 months of committee meetings to try something new.
Recently we held a joint meeting between Davies Memorial church and Cedar Lane Unitarian church. This is a part of a process for the two churches to create connections and potentially share ministry. There was a denominational leader present to help facilitate the meeting. At one point she took a moment to reflect that the two board members from Davies were so able and willing to change and risk. (which is the last thing any church seems to be able to do)
All of these observations are a result of a culture of “YES”. This has been a commitment that was made by the board after last years decision to pursue a path of renewal. It is a decision that leadership always do everything possible to say “YES” to support new ministry in the church. It has helped create a church that not only can survive change, but one that knows that creativity, growth, and renewal depend on change. We’re not perfect, but it has been a tremendous step in a positive direction.
Although the journey of renewal is a long one, this is progress and should be celebrated. About six months ago someone asked be if church renewal is a 10 step process, which step we are on. I answered “honestly, we’re at step 0, but we’re getting ready to decide if we should start moving.” By his expression I think he was a little bummed out that we weren’t further along. If I got the question again I’d be able to proudly say we’ve take the first step.
And while each step will present its own challenge, now that you’ve gotten through the first one, you know you can do it. Now you know you can make the next 9. Just gotta keep saying “YES.”
Peace and Grace,