Traditions and Innovations in the Church

16 Aug 2020 by Neil Menger in: Looking Out

With Love to the World is not usually a source of jokes, but last Friday’s commentary included the following offering: “How many congregants does it take to change a light bulb? Five: one to change the bulb, and four to talk about how good the old bulb was.”

The commentary was reflecting on Matthew 15:1-9 wherein Jesus and the Pharisees have an exchange about the place of tradition and innovation in their lives. There is a place for both traditions and innovations in the church and the lives of members as long as they are based on Scripture.

The Covid-19 pandemic is creating a lot of soul-searching in the lives of our community. Whether that be on a personal level or at our church, the world we used to know isn’t always going to be the same when the pandemic is over (if it is ever going to be “over”). Even now, changes are occurring in the life of our church and some of these changes are challenging our understanding and perception of what church is or should be.

During this period of transition, we are not meeting face-to-face, we are being told not to sing, we are being limited in the numbers who can attend funerals and weddings and so it goes on. Our traditions are being challenged; innovation is being encouraged.

Through the work of our Joint Nominating Committee, we are preparing for decisions, or recommendations, on the future direction of ministry at Carlingford (and possibly the local area). We need to be open-minded as we hear the outcome of the JNC’s deliberations for some of them may challenge the way we have always done things at Carlingford, the traditions we have established over the decades.

Let us uphold our JNC as they deliberate and let us be praying for wisdom (for them and ourselves) to identify our new world, in whatever direction that takes, may be grounded in Scripture.