By The Very Rev. Daniel P. Richards
We are planting acorns. This work that we are involved in now is really a fifty or hundred year work. It is the work of planting forests of faith that will shelter, protect, ad provide for our parish for lifetimes.
This may be an age and a culture of quick returns and instant gratifications, but we have the luxury in God’s providence to be a people who can take their time and set roots in deep for the future.
Look around at the saplings and young oaks of faith sprouting around us. We walk in an old growth forest (planted in 1867), but we have to continue to cultivate for tomorrow. We can be proud of what we have accomplished together. Look at the signs of new faith and deeper, more committed roots.
The Stewardship team really has focused on discipleship and joy, celebrating what God is doing in our midst. They asked me in a meeting two months ago to state the vision that I have for what we are doing at Grace, and my reply was that we are laying foundations and setting pillars for a church that will last.
We build on a deep and rich past. The workers, lay and ordained, who came before set us in very good stead. I feel blessed daily to carry so rich a heritage here, not to mention our tradition, or the mighty lives of the saints and faith of the apostles.
Grace Church is a place with a rich past but we have an even greater future as we build on that past. Many of the pillars of our community were formed twenty or thirty years ago. It is our time to lead, our time to plant, to form disciples that will lead the next three or four generations.
When we look at what we do every week for our community, it is amazing. When we look at our history in the Grad Traverse Region we should be overwhelmed with awe.
But I celebrate the fresh, green growth we see around us–new leaves, sprouts and buds of faith pushing forth into new life in Christ.
The Holy Spirit is doing something right now at Grace that is remarkable. We are at the forefront of a reform of life that is sweeping the church, living our faith as the Children of God called to live as disciples, bringing new life and good news to our world right here in Traverse City and beyond.
As we look at our financial discipleship and faithful stewardship, I am excited to see where God calls us and how we will support God’s work here at Grace.