Pastors’ Message — There and Back Again, A Pilgrim’s Tale

But as for you, return to your God, hold fast to love and justice, and wait continually for your God.
~ Hosea 12:6

Welcome back! Welcome back from our sabbatical summer! Welcome back from wherever your travels have taken you! Welcome back from over 18 months of wandering through a pandemic! Welcome back to church!

Whether we’ve traveled anywhere physically or not, we are all pilgrims on a journey, a journey of life and faith and being Christ’s church together. And we are so excited to gather together again, both online and in person, to reconnect with each other, to share our stories with one another and to recommit ourselves to the journey ahead.

This fall, we are on a journey of reconnecting, remembering, and recommitting ourselves to our life together as a faith family. The first step will be gathering together and getting to know each other again.

  • Where have you been this summer? How about over the past 18 months?
  • What have you learned? How are you different today from whom you were before?
  • Where did you see God at work along your journey?

As we reconnect, we will also spend some time remembering who we are as Christ’s church here at the FPCY. We will revisit the six ministry priorities we committed ourselves to three years ago and around which we continue to organize our life together – RADICAL HOSPITALITY, COMPELLING WORSHIP, LIFELONG FAITH FORMATION, INTENTIONAL FELLOWSHIP, INSPIRATIONAL STEWARDSHIP, and TRANSFORMATIONAL MISSION.

Finally, as we reconnect and remember, we will recommit ourselves to this journey of faith we are on together. This fall marks the third and final year of our capital campaign Grounded in Gratitude, Forward in Faith. Although we have made some wonderful progress over the past three years (even in spite of the pandemic!), we would like to finish the campaign strong and ready to embark on the next stage of FPCY’s journey into the future.

As Brian McLaren explains so well in our summer reading book, The Great Spiritual Migration: How the World’s Largest Religion Is Seeking a Better Way to be Christian, Christianity is at a crossroads, some would say even an existential crisis, facing both internal and external challenges, trying to find its way in a rapidly changing world. And yet, Christianity has always been a religion on the move, a story of faith in the God who brings God’s people out of slavery into freedom and new life in Christ. [If you haven’t read McLaren’s book yet, there are still copies available in the office, and we will be starting discussion groups about the book later in September.]

As pilgrims on this fantastic journey of faith and life together, we hope you will join us in discerning and forging a path forward – a way of life that offers God’s love and justice and abundant life to a world yearning for healing, wholeness, and the peace that Christ brings.

As we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic, your health (both physical and spiritual) is our priority. We plan to offer both in-person and online opportunities whenever possible, and we ask your continued patience and flexibility as we adapt and move into the fall together.

We can’t wait to see you all in church! Tami & Chip