Would anyone notice?
Bishop Jonathan Holston tells the story of a corner lot in city and of a traveler passing through town. The traveler grew up in that city but it had been some time since he had been back to the city of his early years. The traveler passed the corner lot; decades before, it had been the site of a thriving church. It was a church where everyone worshiped. Many were the pastors who preached there; the choir was second to none back in the day. What happened to the church? Did it move or just close?
On the site of the old church was a pharmacy; it was a thriving business. The traveler went into the pharmacy and asked about the old church. No one knew. No one on the streets and neighboring shops knew either. It seemed the old church was long gone and forgotten. No one seemed to miss the old church and all that happened there.
Bishop Holston often concludes this story with a couple of questions. If your church were to close tomorrow would anybody, beyond your congregation, take notice? What difference does your congregation make in the lives of the people of your town and beyond?
As we near the end of 2016 and conclude our work on the long range planning process, I am thankful for the ways Cayce UMC makes a difference and the ways the congregation is moving to make a difference for Christ in 2017 and beyond.