There is a time for everything, says the teacher in Ecclesiastes 3.
"There is a time for everything.
There’s a time for everything that is done on earth.
There is a time to be born. And there’s a time to die.
There is a time to plant. And there’s a time to pull up what is planted.
There is a time to kill. And there’s a time to heal.
There is a time to tear down. And there’s a time to build up.
There is a time to weep. And there’s a time to laugh.
There is a time to be sad. And there’s a time to dance.
There is a time to scatter stones. And there’s a time to gather them.
There is a time to embrace someone. And there’s a time not to embrace.
There is a time to search. And there’s a time to stop searching.
There is a time to keep. And there’s a time to throw away.
There is a time to tear. And there’s a time to mend.
There is a time to be silent. And there’s a time to speak.
There is a time to love. And there’s a time to hate.
There is a time for war. And there’s a time for peace.
The teacher is giving some advice to those who come after him. He is passing on a bit of wisdom on how to live in this world. He says there is a time for everything, so it is important to recognise what the time is so we can be happy, do good, and be satisfied in the work God has given us.
Lately we as a church have been trying to figure out what season we are in as an institution. While a church is distinct from other organisations in structure, purpose, and leadership because it is a community committed to following Jesus as lord, it also shares some commonalities with other institutions because it is a human organisation.
One of the ways we have been trying to determine the season we are in, is by using the "Adaptive Cycle".
This cycle describes the natural movement of organisations and ecosystems through a cycle of development, growth, maturity, release, exploration, development, growth, ...
It is important to recognise where we are as an organisation on this adaptive cycle, because it can help us orient our actions to the season we are in.
At the congregational meeting on May 15, we went through an exercise to help us figure this out. Most of us felt as though we were entering into a phase of exploration. There have been some things which have happened in the recent past which have released some of the settled way of doing things around here. This has led to a bit of confusion about who we are, and what God is calling us to do next.
In many ways our purpose is set. As a Christian church, we exist to help those who are a part of this congregation to do the things God is calling them to do.
How we do this, however, is not set, and is something we are exploring. It is an exciting time to be a part of this community, and I hope and pray that God will give us insight and boldness as we experiment together how best to equip each other in this time of exploration.