Hope in Unexpected Places

For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. — Jeremiah 29: 11

A few weeks ago, our Church Moderator, Ronnie, called a Church Council meeting. Our council meets about four times a year and usually not in the summer. Well, we had business to address, so Ronnie gathered the church leaders for a quick meeting. When I say quick, I mean it. We likely set a record for shortest meeting in NUCC history. It clocked in at a whopping SEVEN minutes long. But I digress.

If I am being honest, I have been feeling some anxiety around all the changes going on at church. I trust in the future God has in store for us, but we have gone through a lot of change in our short time together. If you’re in a rocky boat long enough, you’re bound to feel seasick eventually. That’s how I’ve been feeling, nothing unmanageable, and I know the stormy seas will pass, but feeling slightly anxious nonetheless.

However, a wave of calm came over me as I sat in that meeting. I wasn’t expecting to feel such a deep sense of gratitude, but there I was. I looked around at the people in the room and those on Zoom (lots of good folks were remote), and I just took a deep breath and thought to myself, we’re gonna be alright.

Our church is filled with smart, capable, hard-working people who love the church deeply and want to help it thrive now and into the future. This includes people in leadership and beyond.

Many changes are afoot, but we’re in good hands. We have excellent leadership at the helm, we have committed staff — and we have all of you who are reading this, who are part of the NUCC community. Each one of you is instrumental in our success.

Relying on God’s grace, and our commitment to one another and the church, we’re gonna be alright.

Prayer Focus: For Hope in Uncertain Times

Prayer: It can be easy for us to become pessimistic, and yet you place people in our lives who are beacons of hope, if only we would pay attention. We thank you, almighty God, for the community that is Naples United Church of Christ and for everyone who helps to make it so. Each of us, a beacon of hope. Amen.