Message from Rev. Eric Porterfield
The Vision Team met Friday, January 12, with Bill Wilson, director of the Center for Healthy Churches, as we enter phase two of a visioning process we began last year. We're seeking God's vision for the future in our worship, work and witness as a congregation. Bill will be a great guide for us; I look forward to working with him, with the team and with you in this process! And, as the vision team so rightly discerned in an earlier meeting, a crucial component of this process will be our ability and eagerness to prayerfully listen to one another. I pray the January 14, worship service, and our Epiphany sermon series on loving one another, will be used of God to deepen in us the art of listening. If you would like to listen to any of the sermons you may access them on the our website just click here.
On January 14 during worship, we explored James 1: 19-20. My sense that James is not simply saying, "Make sure you hear the actual words people speak" when he says, "Be quick to listen." Yes we need to hear people's words, but I believe James is pointing us to listen to the heart and soul behind people's words. So often we are not simply seeking to communicate information, we're seeking communion with others through our conversations. We're sharing our hopes and dreams, our joys and sorrows, our fears and our longings As we continue our visioning journey, we'll ask the Holy Spirit to sharpen our ears so that we listen not just for information but for communion with God and each other.
Phase Two of our vision journey (Phase One was last spring) launches Wednesday evening,
January 31st! Bill Wilson will lead a congregational conversation. We will start earlier and end later than normal meeting from 5:45 to 7:15 in Fellowship Hall to maximize our time with Bill. Whether you have been a member of Fifth Avenue Baptist Church for years or have been attending for a short time this is a congregational conversation that you will not want to miss.