The State of the Church
In 1954, Roger Bannister did what no other man had done before when he broke the 4-minute mile barrier. But what was hailed as the greatest achievement in sporting history didn’t happen by accident. Two years earlier, after finishing fourth at the Helsinki Olympic Games in an event he was favored to win, Bannister set a goal to accomplish his remarkable feat.
No doubt Bannister needed repeated encouragement to overcome obstacles while in pursuit of his goal. I know the feeling and am sure you do too. When we’re up against the proverbial wall, encouragement urges us onward. What have been your sources of encouragement? In Philippians 3, Paul writes from prison about the encouragement he received from the people of Philippi: they let Paul know they were thinking of him and were hoping all things were good.
Just as God beckons us onward, that timely gift encouraged Paul, giving him hope and filling him with joy. It was just what Paul needed, at just the right time.
Like so many churches these days, PVUMC is in a race. Unlike Bannister’s, ours is not a race against time. Ours is a race for survival against some formidable foes: aging membership, declining attendance, decreased pledge revenues and concerns about the relevance of religion in daily life. Our church leaders have hopeful plans for successful outcomes, and we’ll need everyone’s involvement if we are to get across the finish line.
I’m excited to share with you this Sunday how God is beckoning us onward.
Church Council Chair
“We invite you to join us on a shared journey of life and faith, open to all, regardless of age, ability, economics, color, race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, politics, theology or anything else that might separate us from each other. Whoever you are and wherever you may be on your spiritual journey, you’re invited to walk with Christ in community with all of God’s children, and embrace the endless possibilities of God’s unconditional love.”