How good and pleasant it is when brothers (and sisters) live together in unity. Psalm 133:1
In the hours before his death, Jesus prays a remarkable prayer. He says, “I pray that those who believe in me will be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be one in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” John 17:20-21. In one of his longest recorded prayers, Jesus holds a tight focus on oneness, unity among the believers.
If you look closely, Jesus makes an important connection. The unity of the church influences greatly the witness of the church. Bluntly, a divided church acts as a deterrent repelling those searching for the God we know in Jesus. Church unity is a big deal to Jesus and to this world that longs to find him.
At the beginning of 2019, our church leadership (staff, board, elders and deacons) came together for our annual retreat and decided that the focus of the year would be unity, as seen in our “One Church” theme. We knew that our unity would be especially tested this year because of the launch of the “Table” service and the resultant inflow of 86 new members in 2018-19. Our excellent leaders agreed on several measures to pursue and cultivate unity in this important year.
A few of these measures include: 1) creating connection opportunities for both the Traditions and Table services like regularly combining the services and gathering for fellowship dinners, 2) launching additional Sunday school, small group and service opportunities to connect our folks in relationships outside of worship, and 3) revisiting the KCC by-laws ensuring that our approved policies/procedures line up with our actual practices of leadership within the church.
As the Fall quickly approaches, we want to evaluate how we are doing. Where are we succeeding in our “One Church” goals? Where do we need to improve? Are there new ideas that need to be considered? Over the next few months, we want to hear from you. So be thinking about what constructive feedback, evaluation or suggestions you might offer. There will be a formal call for input soon. Your voice is important as we move forward… together.