Well, 2012 is in the can. As I have mentioned repeatedly, I believe last year will go down as one of the most important in our history as a church.
But 2013 ain’t going to be bad, either! On November 17, 1963, the Reverend Paul Neel led 96 charter members to establish Chapel Hill Presbyterian church. Coincidentally, the establishment of this new Presbyterian work fell 50 years after the very first Presbyterian mission was established in Gig Harbor in 1912. So, as of 2013, Chapel Hill has existed as long as did Memorial Presbyterian Church, its predecessor.
We make a big deal about 50 year celebrations in our culture. Golden anniversaries are rightly celebrated as a major milestone of love and commitment. We will do the same throughout this year as we celebrate 50 years of our ministry in Gig Harbor. And we will do so around the theme, “Jubilee!”
The idea of Jubilee is found in Leviticus 25. It was like pushing a re-set button on Jewish society every 50 years. During the Year of Jubilee, all debts were forgiven, slaves were freed and land was returned to its original family owners. It was God’s plan to ensure that every new generation would have the opportunity to flourish and to carry on God’s mission of salvation to the world.. It was, in a sense, an “Emancipation Proclamation” several thousands of years before Abraham Lincoln was born.
The great thing about Jubilee is, it is not just about looking backward and reminiscing. It is more about turning our eyes forward to the future. This Sunday, then, I will be sharing what I believe to be the three most important things to which we must devote ourselves as a congregation as we begin our next 50 years of ministry together. All are welcome, of course, but this is one of those Sundays when every single member—every stakeholder—should be present to hear and respond to this vision for a new generation.
Jubilee! Even the word sounds exciting!
P.S. One of my most important responsibilities as your pastor is to pray and think about our future. I believe the Lord has laid upon my heart three things that require our attention in the coming decade. I will share those this Sunday. Please don’t miss it!