February 16, 2014

Pastoral Letter

My best greetings,

Do you hear what I hear? Do you see what I see?
Yes, I know that this is a Christmas tune, and it's not Christmas time. But regardless of what time of year it is, this is my question for our church, and I ask it because there isn't a group that I am connected with (church or otherwise) that doesn't bemoan a lack of communication. Whether it's the PTA, or a 12-step circle, or a Town Hall with our legislative representative, around the family dinner table, or at a church team meeting, I hear and see the frustration of God's people about communication. And, sometimes, I am right smack in the middle of the group, frustrated that the group hasn't communicated with me! I have been thinking a lot about this because as a church community, we can offer great ministry in the ways of Jesus, but if no one knows about it, and no one is served ... well, I'm not so sure how great the ministry actually is. As I was meditating on this, the Christmas tune started coming to me, and we do all hear and see differently. So, what if the frustration with communication is less about the conveyor and more about the recipient?

For example, I know as your Pastor of Family and Youth Ministries, I work very hard to communicate as clearly and as effectively as possible. I am always looking and learning for new ways to communicate, not so that I hip to the new thing (who has time for that?), but because if I am not speaking in an understandable language then it doesn't do much. But, it also doesn't matter what I do - if the person that I am communicating with - isn't listening ...

So, do you hear what I hear? No. Do you see what I see? No.
But, we are all on this journey together. We are all seeking to know God, and to have a loving home of faith together. And, there is a lot of transition and change in our church home, and as we work to communicate with one another and the world just outside our doors about who we are and where God is leading us, I would call us to pray over how we hear and how we see as parts of our communications effort. I would humbly suggest that we all work on how we communicate with one another as a priority to help us communicate with those we don't know, yet. How are we opening our hearts to one another, and working to hear and see each other as God does? How are opening our hearts to hear and see what is communicated via email, the worship guide announcements, the postal letters, the spoken announcements, the phone calls, our website, our Facebook page? How often are we working to check in and really see and hear what is before us -- reading and praying over what is before us, and then reflecting on what isn't?

So, do you hear what I hear? No. Do you see what I see? No.
But, together as a people of God, as followers of Christ, we can work to see through the eyes of God and be the hands of Christ. Let's do that, and let's be the church at Los Altos United Methodist.

Your sister in Christ,

Pastor Melinda