EnVision the Beloved Community

By Rev. Mike Hughes, Seaman United Presbyterian Church

As the appointed time approached for Seaman United Presbyterian Church to dive into the “Envision” exercise of the Living Churches Initiative, I think there was excitement, anxiety, worry, fear, wonder, optimism, pessimism, anticipation and trepidation. And that was just in the pastor! Oh, yeah, by the way – that’s me.

Here’s what we knew going in: this church community has servants’ hearts. We are in our element when we are serving meals, providing Christmas presents. And praying for those in need. Our challenges include becoming consistent in our service and our limitations as an aging congregation.

As Lisa Allgood, Executive Presbyter, led us through the steps of the exercise, a new focus began to take shape. Our serving DNA didn’t change, but the steps helped lead us in a productive direction.

I was most blessed by the visions of our future that God gave each participant. As people around the table shared their thoughts about what could be done to help move us from being a church IN the community to becoming a church FOR the community, it was obvious that God was in the process.

If your congregation has already completed the EnVision step, I suspect you also experienced God’s presence as you figuratively crossed the big water. If you’re still counting down to your appointed time, I encourage you to enter it knowing you have the grace, love, mercy and strength of God, who promised His plans are to prosper us, not harm us.

And please know this – this exercise works because of the congregations’ involvement. That’s YOU!

I am very grateful for the people of SUPC who participated in person, and also for those who prayed for those participating. Our “finished” product belongs to all of us because you were right in the middle of it.  Thank you!

Alright . . . what’s next!?!?!

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