The recent fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris has been kept the world transfixed over these last weeks. It has been fascinating to see how swiftly the money for repairs was pledged in a matter of days. The fire in Paris has benefited the three historically black churches in Mississippi which recently burned down by a hate-filled individual. It goes to show you when we care about something, we prioritize our time and resources.
I have never had a relationship with a church that burned to the ground. I have known a pastor and congregation that were flooded out by the Red River in North Dakota. I remember the pastor preaching at a pastor’s convocation in 2003 shortly after the devastating flood. Her message was passionate as she told about the crisis in her church and community. The widespread flooding had mobilized her congregation. Worship and service became the focus of her church. Since then the river has flooded her area two more times. During each event, her congregation has been on the forefront of relief work. One could almost say that experiencing a major flood every few years was good for the church.
I don’t think anyone wants to see a fire or flood happening anywhere—in a church, a business or in a home. But it does give us pause to reflect. Sometimes a crisis gives people a “fresh start”. It can reorient a community of faith. There are two Chinese characters for crisis, it looks like this: 危机 One character stands for crisis and the other for opportunity.
On the cover of the May newsletter I shared information about the changing culture of the church and the retreat I attended. There is no doubt the changing culture has affected Good Shepherd. Before we feel like our congregation would benefit by a flood, fire, or crisis I hope GSLC will work toward being a vibrant congregation.