In the middle of August, I attended the School of Congregational Development at the Town & Country Hotel in Mission Valley. The School of Congregational Development is a continuing education event for United Methodist leaders “for equipping conference leaders, clergy, and laity to lead vital, dynamic, life-changing congregations.” Over five-hundred church leaders from around the country gathered to learn together about growing in effective ministry as United Methodists.
As I mentioned in the sermon the following Sunday, the theme of Momentum was one that resonated with me. This congregation at PB UMC, in particular, has much to consider when it comes to the momentum that has continued over the years, and we must take care in where we will ride this momentum going forward.
A helpful companion to momentum is trajectory. If momentum is a measurement of movement, we can think about trajectory as the direction of that movement. And we have momentum along more than one trajectory!
During the month of September, we’ll take a few weeks and talk about some of this momentum and these trajectories, particularly talking about where we have come from. Our traditions and our history are important to understand, to know not only who we have been but also who we are and who we may become.
We will also take some time to refresh our Labor of Love project, a refurbishment of parts of our Sanctuary and Education buildings. All of this is connected, because we must understand that the energy and spirit and generosity and labor and love of those faithful members who first gathered for worship here in the 1940s has been the beginning of both momentum and trajectory, and we have the opportunity and the privilege, and perhaps the responsibility, to build this momentum and fine tune this trajectory so that future generations of PB UMC participants may enjoy the life-giving ministry made possible in this community of faith.
Here’s how some of our Labor of Love team put it:
The building at Thomas and Ingraham has welcomed the beach community for decades. In recent decades, the congregation has expanded its definition of Community, and loved and welcomed those without a church to call their own. My hope is that this project will allow our church community to continue to extend that welcome and love to anyone who needs a community now, and provide a foundation for future generations to continue to practice extravagant love. – Joan F.
PBUMC symbolizes a community of love and acceptance for all. Not only is the church a place of worship, but a place of shelter and physical/mental healing…a true sanctuary for those in need. Our physical presence in PB is represented by our Sanctuary and Education buildings, and they are a first impression to many who encounter our church. Labor of Love seeks to build on the foundations established many years ago by ensuring structural stability and refreshing our outward appearance to continue to welcome all members of the PB and surrounding communities to one of our many ministries. – Rick B.
I invite you to join in worship, and especially listen during these first three weeks in September for a celebration of what this congregation has done as well as an urge to participate in building momentum and guiding trajectory for the future. There can be little question that this congregation has changed lives. Let us commit ourselves to the same labor and love that previous PB UMC members have shown so that future participants in this faith community may continue to experience spiritual transformation. In this way, the light of faith and love shines brightly in the community of Pacific Beach.