CTPress, Worship, and Songs for July 18-25

Let me begin with a reminder in case it is not clear – this is a two-week edition of the newsletter. Our secretary, Rebecca, is taking well-deserved time off next week, so be sure to reread this newsletter next week for information related to the coming week.

For the past several months, I have had excruciating pain in my right shoulder, which is my dominant shoulder/arm/hand. I went to an orthopedist, which unsurprisingly led to physical therapy (PT). I have been in PT for almost a month now, and I am slowly making progress.

Last week, the most fascinating thing happened. I had PT on Thursday, and afterwards I was typically sore. On Friday, though, I had full range of motion and no pain. On Saturday, however, I sensed some of that pain creeping back into the injured area. On Sunday, it was little worse. On Monday, as I did my at-home exercises, it seemed worse than the day before. As disappointing as this is, it is also not a surprise. When our bodies live with an injury a long time, when we make healing progress, it is not long after that our bodies attempt to revert to the familiar, although the change brought on by the PT was healthy.

For the past couple of months, we have been slowly emerging from the pandemic. One of the impacts of the pandemic and the fact that we had to close in-person activities for so long, is that we have been slow to come back to worship and Sunday School. This is a concerning development. Prior to the pandemic, the session was looking forward, hoping that 2020 was going to be a year of setting long-term goals aimed at expanding our mission and ministries. The pandemic changed that for us. Emerging from lock-down mode has a created a sense of urgency – there are fewer people in the pews, and less young people and young families than we would like. And like a body dealing with an injury, we seem to be reverting to what we did ten and twenty years ago as an attempt to draw people (back) to our church.

Some of the ministries and activities we did as a church decades ago were very good, and we should attempt to, as it were, resurrect them. But if we want to reach the current generation of young people, we cannot hope to do so reverting solely to things we did in the past. That is not always the healthiest option. If we are serious about wanting to reach the current generation of young people, we must do so keeping what we deem as important, but we must also be willing to invest in the work and ideas needed to reach them. In other words, we must be willing to be flexible and even change some of what we do in order for CTPC to grow. To simply revert to the past will only continue to keep us protracted and stuck where we are.

I hope all who read this will join in praying with the session and I as we seek God’s guidance for how we move forward. After all, we do all of this for God’s glory.