My name is Ken Guy and I’ve been asked to provide a few thoughts about my experiences as a member of the Strategic Planning Team. Like many of our experiences at WCC this has proved to be an extraordinary journey, made that way by working with an exceptionally committed group of people.
Doris Kerns Goodwin, the presidential historian, modestly attributes some of her considerable skills as an author to her skills as an observer and a listener.
Over the past 8 months at WCC, Brad’s leadership and Jeanne’s hard work has provided the mechanics and the opportunity to really observe and listen. And, there are still opportunities to provide input. This morning you may record your conversations on the sheets in your pews or see Christy after the service during fellowship.
So, this morning I thought I would spend a few minutes reflecting on what I’ve seen and heard and how that has impacted my own faith journey over the past year.
Last Sunday’s Jesus has left the building experience provided a couple of my personal favorites and a wonderful example of our church family working together.
From an e mail: “The room at lunch was positively buzzing. It was loud and happy … full of people eating and laughing together. I’ve yet to witness a moment at church that felt so much like family. It was a big joyous barn raising with fulfilling work for all ages.”
“This was Christianity in practice”.
Over the past few months the word “Family” was mentioned often.
When Father Pfleger was right here in this sanctuary a few weeks ago when he talked about the fact that a family is not biological … It’s made up of people who treat you like family.
Jesus got it … its all about relationships. This is what Christianity looks like when it’s lived.
Other things I’ve heard this fall … The music at WCC really moves us … not just the performances … it’s the variety, diversity and most importantly, the spirit of the music.
We’re so lucky to have our church let our children use this “stage.” Who needs to be a star in High School when WCC gives our children these opportunities. It is a safe haven.
How many of us find a “safe haven” right here?
The synergy, emotion and excitement at WCC this fall is something that I have not seen in my life long church going experience and has had a profound effect on my own faith journey. And, the same words kept appearing over and over again … excitement, energy, buzz and “hearts in sync.”
My personal hope is that the energy we have achieved this fall will become the “new normal” for years to come.
The funny thing about life is that you never know when something is going to sneak up on you and tug at your heart. When I agreed to participate on this committee I thought this was going to be a classic strategic planning process. It grew to be much more … an opportunity to re-energize and re-invent ourselves.
This past year has also been a year of spiritual growth and reflection for our family. Jennifer and I met 40 years ago this fall. Over the years she has served diligently as my personal moral and spiritual compass … and WCC has been ‘true north” on that same compass.
A couple of months ago I was here during the week and the red ribbon … the thread … the fabric … was still up stretched out across the empty sanctuary. It formed a long V, which pointed to, and was connected to the cross in the front of the church.
The visual reminded me of a concept called Migratory V which first appeared to me in the early WCC work of Joe Shank …. As a refresher:
Scientists have found that when geese fly together in the V-formation, they can cover 70% more distance than if the birds were to fly alone. Also, the formation is constantly changing because the birds take turns flying in the lead position. This ensures that the flock evenly distributes the workload so that they can easily make the long journey to their target destination. What a great metaphor for our journey and how we must approach our future together.
The lyrics from the song, of the same title, brought this home for me.
When we fly together, in a Migratory V, how wonderful if that’s what God could see.
We continue to be committed to this legacy and encourage you to do the same.
As we go down this road together, each of us as a follower, each of us as a participant and each of us as a leader … I am convinced we will fly higher and faster than every before.
The best is yet to be for this band of Christians.