If I were to turn back the clock several decades at this very moment, I would find myself as a child or teenager on the Jersey shore. Making sandcastles, biking to the boardwalk, or perhaps flying a kite. As idyllic a childhood vacation as one could imagine, I believe I had.
A few years ago, I took my wife, Katie, to that same town on the shore for a week. I remember driving over the causeway into town, and suddenly being terrified. What if it’s not like I remember? What if it’s grimy and run-down? What if my nostalgia crumbles to the ground?
Perhaps walking into a church feels that way sometimes. Without even knowing it, we walk in with our childhood memories of Sunday school, beloved ministers, and favorite hymns. But what if we walk in, and it’s not as we remember?
I was happy to learn that my childhood vacation spot wasn’t all that changed. As I’m sure many of us are glad to find a place that reminds us of our youth faith communities. In my adulthood, I’ve become open to new places to visit, and I hope that we are all open to a combination of the old and the new, together in church. Our hope for this faith community is that it might be a place where we feel rooted in traditions and faith, so we are free to innovate, create, and see what God is up to next.
Behold, I am doing a new thing.