The Baldwin household has been a busy place this summer.  We have had children and grandchildren in and out all summer.  Now that everyone is back home (at least for the time being) I have had a little time to catch my breath and reflect.  If I were to put a title on this chapter of our family’s life, it would be, “A summer of facing challenges.”

We had a granddaughter who finally learned to ride a bike without training wheels – a major milestone for any child.  We had several who took the plunge off a 15-foot high platform into a local lake.  On another day, they swung from a rope swing into a deep spot in the river.  Our daughter began a new job and was learning new computer programs and new people.  Our son was faced with a suspicious lump on his thyroid that thankfully turned out to be benign.

The thread that runs through each of these experiences is that we faced them all together as a family.  Whether that meant running beside the bicycle until our granddaughter felt confident enough to go it alone.  Or shouting encouragement from the water below the diving platform.  Or talking through job challenges and praying over test results.  Each member of the family supported the one facing the challenge and stood by the decisions they made.  Because that is what loving families do.

We as a church have had to face some challenges as well.  The past two years without a senior pastor has forced all of us to do some things unfamiliar to us.  A year and a half of Covid has brought difficult decisions almost every day and still offers challenges even as you read this blog.  We are constantly challenged with how to help our members grow in Christ, how to reach the lost, how to address the social issues in our community.

The key to our remaining a strong and vibrant congregation is our ability to face these challenges together.  We certainly will not agree on every decision that is made.  But when people are making tough choices with no crystal ball to predict the future, we pray together and offer our support to those making the decisions.  The only way we will move forward as a church is to move forward together.  That is what loving families do. 

BY: Jim Baldwin, Minister to Senior Adults

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