There are two United Methodist churches in Fishers -- the one my husband pastors: Fishers UMC, which was establish in 1875, and the Promise UMC, which began eight years ago. The two churches are 3 miles apart and through the years have collaborated on several programs.
The combined four pastors from each church had an idea last year to come together under one church with two campuses, so that all persons who attend these churches would have an opportunity to connect with programs already in place. There have been a few meetings in which individuals from both churches discussed and asked questions about this unique venture.
I attended the latest meeting last Sunday evening, during which persons expressed fear that their church would loose the identity each had worked hard to establish. Another fear was that each church would loose one or both pastors or that the four pastors would 'ride the circuit' so to speak and rotate preaching/teaching. Any change of this magnitude, of course, brings about anxiety and fear. However, one person summarized the vision of the meeting, "Our common mission is to bring persons to Jesus Christ and to offer ways for individuals to connect to God and to other believers." These words brought peace to those gathered as refining the project continues.
I am excited by the possibilities for service and connection that the Promise offers, as well as meeting new people.
Does your church have a unique vision? How are people responding? How do you feel?
Jacquie Reed Fishers, Indiana