I’m eager to experience all of the seasons here in Napa. I’ve been noticing a few more leaves on the ground, and after the grape harvest is completed, I’m sure the vines will soon shed their leaves as well. I appreciate the seasons as they mirror the seasons that we experience in our own lives and in the lives of our institutions.
Many arguments could be made that many of our churches, including CPC, are entering into the winter season of our journey (and perhaps we have been in this season for awhile now). I agree. We don’t have the same vitality we had in the spring of our existence. We encounter much loss - dear friends move away and some pass away. Life can seem dreary at times, and we often long for the good old days of seasons past.
Every November, we celebrate Thanksgiving and as a church, we also undertake our stewardship campaign as we look toward next year’s budget and ministries. We give thanks to God for all the many blessings in our lives, and we also pray about ways we might also share our time, talent, and treasure in the months ahead. I would add that we should also reflect as a church community about this season of our collective life together. What are our hopes and wishes for the future? What are our anxieties and fears as we face the coming years? How is God speaking to us in this season, and what might God be calling us to next.
As we discuss these questions honestly, we can begin to discern God’s spirit at work in our midst. As we assess the gifts and detriments of the season in which we find ourselves, we can discover new ways of being and creative ways of moving forward. Indeed, as we identify what excites us and what drains us, we can better develop a new visiion for our future.
As resurrection people, we embrace the gifts of every season. We trust the amazing life cycles that God has created. We believe in life, death, and resurrection, and so we hold on to our faith that God will be with us every step of the journey, presenting to us new ways of being that we never imagined were possible.