As a large, mainline denomination, downtown church, we have a 90-year tradition of always asking the questions, How can we do this better? What more can we do? How can we do ministry in a way that reaches more people in more transformative ways? What is God is calling us to do — and who is our neighbor? Each generation has asked these questions in its time. I’ve seen that over and over again.
We are blessed to be part of a vibrant church largely because of our lay leadership, and the people in every generation who picked up the baton from the last generation and carried it faithfully — and that’s what we’re doing now with our Next90 Building Expansion Project.
When you look at our children’s ministry, when you look at our youth ministry, when you look at our worship life and how varied that is, you realize that we need enhanced tools for all those things. Especially in Phase I of the Next90 Capital Campaign we are looking at the rapidly growing worship life of the church in The Gathering, and we’re looking at growth and expansion of our children’s ministry. We’re looking at creating infrastructure that will prepare us for Phase II’s rotunda and multipurpose worship and dining space — and more.
With regard to this Capital Campaign and my own commitment to the Next90, I am reminded of something I read years ago that went something like this: “To be young is to swim in pools you did not dig. To be mature is to dig pools in which you will not swim. To be young is to sit under a tree you did not plant. To be mature is to plant a tree under which you will not sit. To be young is to study in a school that you did not build. To be mature is to build a school in which you will never study.”
It’s our turn now to do for the next generations of First Church as those who went before us have done for us — and I look forward to celebrating this major milestone moment for our church during our All Church Worship event this Sunday as we celebrate our Next90 Phase I Service of Commitment, together as one church, at 9:30 and 11:00 am in the Sanctuary.
Thank you so much for your careful, prayerful consideration — and your participation in setting the stage for our Next90.
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster