One of the core values at First Hamilton CRC (the church I am currently serving) is anticipating change. Those who served here before me poured themselves into forming a vision that not only made room for change, but saw change as a fundamental part of our Christian identity. The reasoning for this core value flows out of a cluster of convictions: the Gospel of Jesus Christ transforms us personally and communally; as we change, the neighborhoods, work environments, leisure spaces, and places we call home are transformed; God’s mission includes the prophetic reassurance that Jesus Christ is at work making all things new. Change is woven throughout the story of God’s people. Rooted in the biblical narrative (Creation, Fall, Redemption, Renewed Creation), these convictions are expressions of the Lenten-Easter motif of dying and rising with Christ. The Christian life is one in which God’s people are consistently being called to lay down their own lives in order to receive the life of Christ more fully with each other. Rather than resisting change, we are called to embrace a way of life that is marked by ongoing transformation with others in Jesus Christ.
I’ve been thinking about this particular core value while listening to discussions in my denomination (CRCNA) about what it means to have a confessional identity. In a few weeks, delegates from across the CRCNA will gather for an annual synod. This June, delegates will discuss (along with a few other topics) a Form of Subscription (FoS). Continue reading