by Rev. Erica Thompson
This summer, my two younger daughters learned to swim. And I mean really swim. At the beginning of the summer, both were very tentative in the water. They didn’t dare go in over their heads, and if they ventured out, it was only by clinging to something substantial like an adult or a floatie. Both were incredibly fearful and made it known.
Over the course of the summer, however, I witnessed a transformation. With time and practice, and lots of hard work, the trepidation of June gave way to a joyous and fun-filled August which included doing underwater somersaults and passing the swim test at camp.
And as I passed the hours sitting beside pools, lakes, and the ocean, watching this slow but miraculous transformation happen before my very eyes – I could not help but think about our church and the vision I have for us for this new program year.
For some months now, I have had the sense that as a community of faith the time has come for us to wade into deeper waters. What I mean by that is for most of us, when times are tough, when the winds of change begin to blow, when trouble starts brewing, when the ground upon which we stand becomes unstable and even dangerous, instinct and human nature dictate that we head for the shore. We head for safety, for what is known, for what we can see and feel and control. And I get it! For the last couple of years, I too had been more comfortable staying on the AHCC shores than venturing out into deeper waters.
But here’s the epiphany I had: the rich history of AHCC does not include staying on the shore! Our church family has always been one that risked going deep. Time and time again our community mustered the strength and the courage to engage in brave, bold endeavors that have taken us beyond our imagining. We must carry that tradition forward!
That’s what I am inviting you to do this year. I am inviting you to venture into deeper waters with me. I am inviting you to let go of your fear, your resentments, your mistrust, your anxiety – whatever it is that keeps you from pushing off. I am inviting you into the creative process of crafting our future.
Friends, in the 43rd chapter of the Book of Isaiah, God reminds us that “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.” I am so excited to discover what God has in store for us this year! Join me as we kick off this new program year together on Sunday, September 8 with one service at 10:15am.
Just last week my youngest stood beside the pool. I could see her little body trembling as she looked at the water, thinking about what she was getting ready to do. And then I watched as she extended her arms, bent her legs, and dove head first into the deep waters. When she emerged she threw her arms up in the air and yelled with exuberance, “Did you see that? I did it!”
Asylum Hill Congregational Church – let us wade out into deeper waters together, knowing that God is with us. We can do it!