Thursday, April 8, 2010

The power of legacy…

I should tell you that some ideas for this month have changed. I wrote in the April Creeksider there we were planning after-church events for the 18th and 25th. Well, I was half-right. We’ve canceled things for the 18th, but not the 25th. Sorry for the late notice, but in my opinion, we’ve switched things up for the better.

The original plan was to hold a mini ‘training’ on the 18th about the concept of ‘legacy.’ Then, on the 25th, we’d ‘interview partners’ about their unique stories and values. Truth be told- upon further reflection- we thought that plan wasn’t as effective, fun or appealing as we’d prefer. But Plymouth Creek is anything if not adaptable, so we…adapted. Now, we still plan to design the sermon and service, on the 18th, around the theme ‘legacy.’ But after service, all that’s happening is we’ll hand out packets with ideas and questions to help you build on what we explored in worship. The next week, though, having pondered ‘legacy’ for a week, we’ll encounter part two (like a mini-sermon series!). And after service, everyone who wants to should stick around for a unique event. It won’t be a ‘training,’ or a series of interviews. It’ll be a Legacy Extravaganza!

Okay, that’s a bit dramatic, but it should be fun. What’ll happen is you’ll gather around tables with fellow Plymouth Creekers- folk you know well, folk you’ve wanted to know well, folk you’re only used to staring at across the aisle. Each table will have a ‘host’, to nurture conversation and take notes. And we’ll also have an emcee, who will spark the table discussions by briefly introducing ideas and questions designed to help you talk about one feature of your life story. So, after the emcee’s finished, everyone at the table will share stories, jokes, memories and insights, until sufficient time has elapsed. Then, you switch tables, to be with a whole new group. Together, you’ll chat, laugh and reminisce about a completely different part of your stories (as prompted by the emcee). And time will again expire, again you’ll switch tables, a new exercise will be presented…you get the drill. We’ll do this for an hour or so, so we don’t get over tired. But if all goes as planned, time will fly by, and we’ll be a better church for it.

So why go through all this over something as unusual as ‘legacy’? Short answer- Because we’re Christian. Longer answer- My grandma. Grandma Ray died when I was ten, and had lived a thousand miles away besides. So I didn’t see her much, but when I did visit, Grandma told me stories- from children’s books, about her late husband, about my Dad’s childhood (which made him blush). And I believe it’s through those stories she took the time to tell that I knew my Grandma loved me.

Still, I wish she’d lived long enough to tell me more. Indeed, many people my age experience nowadays what you might call ‘a loss of generational consciousness.’ Our world is faster than ever. Families live farther apart. Some of that’s for great reasons, but it creates a danger of losing something Christian faith is founded on- Legacy (aka- the stories and wisdom of the ages). After all, the Bible is simply a set of stories, told over generations, that people finally wrote down, and those words still inspire people to know and love God and neighbor. Legacy is important! As much for churches as families! But given today’s challenges, we have to make it a priority for it to work.

So, call it selfish, but I want to a) learn more about the stories and wisdom of those I worship with, b) learn to tell my story of life and faith better, and c) learn how to shape my legacy into something worth leaving behind, whenever or wherever that might be. That, in a nutshell, is why we’re doing this Legacy Project. I hope you’ll join us; it’s for all ages, for we all have stories to tell! And who knows? Perhaps they’ll inspire someone. Actually, having got to know you, I’m sure they will.

Grace and Peace,


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