As I write this letter, I am in the hospital room with my son Neil, my daughter-in-law Annick and my new granddaughter Cleo. Cleo and her mother had a difficult time participating in the miracle of birth. Untold hours of contractions with increasing intensity and no results ultimately led to a C-Section on Thursday evening. Today as Spring begins, two tired but happy parents are celebrating the reality of that miracle in their lives.
Despite the snow, it is Spring, and as we approach Holy Week and Easter, what better symbol could there be of the continuity of life. Underneath the melting snow, new growth is preparing to come forth. It is Spring, and Easter music will fill the Sanctuary as we commemorate this central mystery of our faith.
As we come into this Springtime within our First Church community, there are other signs of the season. The time between Easter and Pentecost is virtually the entire Spring season. Traditionally, this is a time to prepare the fields and plant the crops that, when harvested, will sustain us throughout the dark days of winter.
Our annual Stewardship campaign is, for the first time in many years, reaching out to all of us in a very personal and affirming way. Each of us will be asked to invite a visitor in to our homes or out for coffee. We will participate in a wide-ranging conversation about our hopes and dreams for the future of our church and how we might turn those hopes into reality. We will be encouraged to consider carefully and prayerfully our financial response and how, together, we will lay the foundation for that reality. This time of visiting is a very practical symbol of the life that already engages each of us in our commitment to faithfulness within and beyond the doors of our church both in days of light and of darkness.
This Spring also brings us a challenge that is shared by our world community. There are changes in the environment that highlight increased concerns about Global Warming. Our Creation Care Team invites us all to participate in the UCC Earth 4/1 Mission. This environmentally focused program is asking all of the UCC churches to participate in volunteer activities, write letters, plant trees and become environmentally educated. The goal of this UCC program is for members to collectively contribute one million volunteer hours from Easter to Pentecost that includes planting 100,000 trees and writing 100,000 advocacy letters to elected officials and newspapers. The Team will show documentaries and have speakers in to discuss the effects of Global Change on ourselves and future generations.
I come full circle. We individuals, families and church family are at a threshold this Spring. With the Rev. Peter Cook, we have a new leader who builds on the foundation laid by Bob Lee and those who went before him. With Springtime energy for growth, he challenges us to take our dreams and hopes and grow them to fruition. Thus, we challenge ourselves to ensure the vitality of our church home for ourselves, our children and our children’s children.
Deuteronomy 31:19 is a cautionary word that can be applied to all of our Springtime acts of hope: “Choose Life that you and your descendants may live.”
May we choose that our hopes become transformed into reality for ourselves and our descendants.
Affectionately, Rev. Adrianne Carr