Through the dedication of our prayers, presences, gifts, service, and witness, we are helping to write the next chapter in our collective story of faith. Make your 2015 online pledge here.
View a brief video highlighting some of the emerging themes of our story of faith.
A Letter from Rev. Dr. Charles Parker
Last week, I sat in Marsh Chapel at Boston University – an historic church where Howard Thurman presided as Dean and Martin Luther King, Jr. attended worship as a seminary student -- and I read Dr. King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail. I was reading in preparation for what I anticipated would be a difficult discussion with clergy leaders from around our jurisdiction on marriage equality and the status of LGBTQ people in the life of our denomination. I don’t know where all these conversations will ultimately lead. What I do know is that our denomination is at a crossroads. Read more.
After 50 years of denominational decline and retrenchment, we are called in a powerful way to explore new ways of being church. There was much beauty and power in the old ways; but many of the traditions that I cherished growing up have failed to bring a new generation of believers into the church. We need to find new ways of inviting people into our community; we need to find more effective ways of organizing ourselves; we need to show how our congregation is an essential part of our broader community.
Change has always been at the heart of who we are as children of God. The Spirit of God is always seeking to meet people where they are in a changing world. God seeks us with a passionate urgency, in every place and in every time. We can align ourselves with the Spirit’s movement, or watch it pass us by.
This fall, our parish has been exploring the power of story: how stories shape us and how our stories shape others. And while God’s story is ongoing, I believe that we stand on the cusp of a new chapter in our denominational and congregational stories. Our Metropolitan Church is writing that new chapter: we are creating a community that is multi-site, multi-cultural, deeply caring, steeped in service, enriched by learning, and empowered by vital worship. We are exploring new ways to engage young people through the work of service. We are exploring new partnerships to extend our reach in the city. We are keeping our worship fresh, diverse, and relevant. We are constantly looking at how we bridge the barriers that divide us as children of God: barriers of ethnicity, economics, and sexual orientation.
I am excited about the possibilities before us, and so grateful to be part of a community that is using all of its creativity, leadership, and resources to be part of building the Kingdom of God.
One of the ways that each of us participates in this work is through the giving of our financial gifts. One of the reasons that Metropolitan has the broad impact that it does is because of our history of generosity. This month, on the 16th, we will gather in a special worship service to celebrate what God has been doing in our lives over this past year, and to pledge our support for the work to come. It will be an exciting morning, and I want to invite each of you to embrace this opportunity for generosity – a generosity that is the sign of God’s life in us. That generosity is a sign that we can live without fear, knowing that God's grace provides all that we need, and invites us to become channels of that grace to the world around us.
Our giving must be meaningful to each of us if we are to bring about change. If your giving is going to mean something to you -- if it is going to change you -- it has got to be substantive -- whatever that word means for you. It needs to be an amount that gives you pause. That's when you know you are learning to be like Jesus, who didn't hold anything back. So, get out your pens and join in writing the unending story of God's love and transforming power!
Rev. Dr. Charles Parker