Friday, August 23, 2013
Big Milestone for Me and My Car
I saw this one coming, so I pulled my car off the road and took this picture. Yes, you can see from the speedometer that the car is stopped, and that the right blinker is working. I think this is the first time I have driven a car this far. Once before, we came close, going over 190000 miles before we gave it away and bought a van that was better able to fit our growing family.
It took a lot of care to get to this milestone, and I learned some things about cars in the process, like a better way to take care of our tires. It made me think of other milestones, like the 25th anniversary of the ELCA, and the 50th anniversary of our building here at Trinity Lutheran Church. We will celebrate the former with a day of service in our community on September 8, and the latter by fixing the roof and the brickwork.
Continuing to take care of our car will be a challenge as we head on through the next 100000 miles. It's getting older and will require different kinds of care. Being in the church also has some new challenges as we head into the next years. In many ways, there is more uncertainty now, but some things are clear as we look at the changes around us. The church needs to be a more welcoming place in ways that are new. We need to abandon the illusion that we have all the answers, and we need to find new ways of engaging peoples' difficult questions. We will be less like advice givers, and more like companions on the many journeys through life.
I learn a lot from Bishop Jim Hazelwood, who is also celebrating a milestone of being our Bishop for one year. His blog struggles with the many questions of where our church is headed. He also asks interesting questions, and has interesting ways of keeping in touch with people. He is not only influential, but he also has creative ways of sharing his influence. He has worked hard while getting to this first year milestone, and many of us have learned a lot about leadership as he has shared his journey with us.
We are all learning together. Our milestones show where we have been, and we are creating new milestones along the way.