Hiccups. I was thinking about hiccups last night after listening to my very small infant granddaughter. Her hiccups lasted for a while, and those of us with her mother were giving all our best advice on how to stop them. I’m sure you all have a suggestion too. One passed down through the years. Sugar on a soother doesn’t quite get a pass anymore but was still suggested.
The conversation made me think of where churches are as we head into an Advent season dreaming that we might actually have a full Christmas service in-person. And then the hiccup in my thinking. I realize that there have been many hiccups in the last number of months that have disrupted our plans and ideas of where we as a church and denomination need to go.
I have to admit: I have heard solutions and ideas that seem good and a little questionable—and then we are triggered by another hiccup. I am also inspired by those who are figuring it out in the midst of the irritations.
One church, Ambassador CRC in Windsor, comes to mind. Ambassador was a church that didn’t see much future pre-pandemic, and in a conversation, we had suggested that they shut down for a few months to reimagine, pray, and discern where God was directing them. It was hard to imagine shutting down, and then the hiccup happened, and the Covid-19 pandemic gave them pause.
Through this season they have prayed, reimagined, and begun to see where God is leading them. They are learning to see God in the neighbourhood and have begun the journey of joining him where he’s already at work. Just a few Sundays ago, the pastor suggested that God is writing a new story for the church with the headline "Church Rises From the Ashes, Neighbour's Rejoice." A much better headline than where they were two years ago: WRITING ON THE WALL: CHURCH DOORS SET TO CLOSE.
During this Advent season, I want to remind you that Resonate prays for each of you as you engage in the mission of God. Be encouraged that hiccups don’t last and that God is still on the move in your church and community.
Beth Fellinger is Resonate Global Mission's Regional Mission Leader for Canada East