Time, it is said, flies when you’re having fun. If so, each passing decade of life must be bringing me more fun than the last. These days, time seems to pass much more swiftly for me now than it did a quarter century ago. I find myself searching for markers of time in the great journey of life.
Anniversaries are one such marker.
The year 2017 is the 275th anniversary of the founding of Bethlehem, the 60th year in the life of our congregation, and the 50th anniversary of the dedication of our sanctuary,
An anniversary provides an opportunity to pause in the midst of our routine, all-too-rapid lives to consider what truly matters to us. It is an occasion to reflect on the persons, places, and experiences which have shaped us. It is a time to look back and a time to look ahead, a time to celebrate and a time to reflect. For a congregational anniversary, it is also a time to give thanks to God for guidance and blessings received.
This church has felt your blessing for lo, these many years; your Spirit’s gracious leading through all its joys and tears; we join with those before us in holding high the cross. O use us, Lord and Master, whate’er may be the cost.
And now, O God, our Father, we pledge ourselves anew by work and prayer and worship to serve your kingdom too. With grateful hearts we praise you and pray, O Lord, that we who are your church at present, may serve you faithfully. “We Come to You, Our Father” (MBW, 433)
As East Hills Moravian Church enters its 61st year of ministry, I would encourage you to take a moment to reflect on what I pray truly matters to you – relationship with God and your personal growth in faith and the witness of a distinctively Christian life.
I offer the following questions to help start this process of reflection:
- How has your relationship with God deepened in the past year?
- How have you found satisfaction and blessing as you participated in the Lord’s work through East Hills Moravian Church? How recently and in what capacity?
- How has God challenged you to grow personally and demonstrate Christian aspects of character as you have interacted with others (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, generosity and self-control)
– Pastor Derek French