Dear Members and Friends,
Online church has fundamentally changed how we do some things here at Faith. Frankly, we are trying to build an airplane and fly it at the same time. There is no playbook. We are making it up as we go along. At times we have done very well. At other times not so well. When it comes to patriotism at church and the presence of the American flag in the sanctuary, Faith had found a happy medium for the last twenty years. We had found a balance between those who want the national flag and patriotism to be more prominent and those who want it to be less prominent. Good Christians and good Americans on both sides.
Recently we upset that equilibrium. For that we apologize, we did not do this intentionally. When we began filming our worship service in the sanctuary, the placement of the flag became much more prominent (even though it didn’t move). An adjustment was made and this upset others of you. The elders discussed the placement of the flag during session this week. Not surprisingly, the same passions in the congregation were present at the session meeting.
What do we intend to do? We intend to find that happy medium again. We won’t please everyone regardless of what we do. For some patriotism and church shouldn’t mix (insert your favorite Bible verse here). For others you have given your all; blood, sweat tears and life itself to this country and the flag. Both sides are passionate. We get that.
Where do we go from here? We will give the flags a place in our services, knowing that it may look different due to our online format. We will keep the flag prominent at the front of the sanctuary.
The culture wars of the last few years have been challenging and passions run high. The one thought that we might keep in mind is one from 9-11. “United we stand, divided we fall.” This truth was also expressed by Jesus when he prayed to the Father and asked that the Church be one.
In closing, we ask that you bear with us. We want to please both sides, but we probably won’t. Look for ways to support our church and its leaders as they do their best to navigate these tumultuous times. Pray that our congregation doesn’t fracture during this time of pastoral transition and COVID. Whatever side you are on, there are elders speaking up for you. We are working to find a new equilibrium for this new day. Let us know when we do something right and when we fail. It is our prayer that we can continue to unite around our shared mission to love God and our neighbor even as we have differences of opinion on this matter.
Elders: Bill Akins, Beth Smith, Heather Carter, Richard Klucsarits, Ruth Van Otten, Sonny Coble, Paul Hay, Maria Isabel Garcia, Sonja Vander Meulen and Bill Brouwer
Clerk of Session: Fred Whitley, Moderator: Renée Rico