All Things New Woody Woodward, Community Assistant Spiritual Director
And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Revelation 21:5
What a wonderful promise that the God who created us and loves us unconditionally is working even today to make all things new! That is a promise that we can hold on to as we enter a new year. It’s a promise not only for our lives, but our churches and community.
It’s a promise on which the hope of the Greater Columbus Emmaus Community is based.
It’s no secret that we’ve had some bumps in the road over the past few years. We’ve cancelled two of the last four men’s walks due to a lack of pilgrims. As your Emmaus Board, we’ve taken a really serious look at the community and we’ve learned that we’ve got to do some things better. They include:
Communication. Many members of our community aren’t sure when things are happening, where they’re happening and how they can help.
Friendliness. Some community members have reported attending Emmaus functions and not feeling welcome.
Theological Issues. Some community members have been disturbed by stances they believe the community has taken on certain theological issues
Here are the bottom lines. We need to communicate better. We need to be more welcoming of people who we are seeking to serve. And, in the tradition of Emmaus, we need to keep our theological focus where it should be—that is on the unconditional love of God perfectly expressed through Jesus Christ. The Board is wholly committed to those bottom lines and will work toward meaningful progress in these areas as God continues to make our community new.
As the Board focuses on these important issues, we’re asking every member of our community to do the following:
1. Continue to faithfully serve in your local congregation. Emmaus is an instrument for the renewal of the local church. Service in your church and the world is the ultimate goal of Emmaus.
2. Pray that God would bring renewal and revival to our Emmaus Community.
3. Prayerfully consider one person who you might sponsor in the coming year in order to multiply the impact of Emmaus on the church and on the world. Emmaus sponsorship is an amazing gift which you can give to a person, to their church and to their community.
4. Be an active, friendly member of our community, attending Gatherings, sign up to serve joyfully and welcoming others who come to serve.
In the Prayer to the Holy Spirit which we pray before every talk on a walk weekend and at every meeting of a share group, we pray, “and you shall renew the face of the earth.” God is not done using the Greater Columbus Emmaus Community to help renew the face of the earth. And God is not done using any one of us to be a part of that renewal.
May it be so in 2013 and beyond!