Monday, January 26, 2009

A Chapter Completed

By Andy Harrison

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. What does the worker gain from his toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on men. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men…”

My friend, Doreen, read this verse from Ecclesiastes during one of our last services at Christ Church: Macomb after it was announced that the leadership team at CC:M believed it was time to turn the page and close the chapter called Christ Church: Macomb.

CC:M was launched as a satellite of Rochester Church of Christ on March 2, 2008. But the journey began a year and half earlier, when the vision for CC:M was originally cast for us. The last service for Christ Church: Macomb being January 25, 2009.

As a small community of faith, what I loved most about CC:M was the laid-back open and grace filled vibe welcoming each person. The families that joined with us and made up Christ Church: Macomb made it a special place. However, after making various modifications throughout the year, better traction in the surrounding community was ultimately never reached.

It is bittersweet to close this chapter, but those of us on the leadership team, which I have been honored to lead, made this decision couched in prayer, discernment and discussion. It is obviously disappointing to close something in which you have invested much time and effort, knowing there are families that have to make decisions about what community of faith God may have them now connect.

Where is everyone going to go now? For some it may be to Rochester Church of Christ. For others it may be another church. And for others maybe something smaller and more organic. Only God knows. However, we are encouraged to know that we have a unique perspective on church and what it can be and how God can use us in it. So we’re going to take advantage of this place and time to discern our family's place in his Kingdom. We are going to do this by continuing to meet for at least the month of February on the campus of Rochester College. Those who have been part of CC:M are invited to join us Sundays at 10:30 in the Rochester College Chapel. We hope to spend this time in reflection, discernment and listening to where God may be calling each of our families.

I can’t say enough about the leadership team. This group of people risked the known and the comfortable and committed to this adventure. They were asked to go and they did and in the process blessed one another and those that were part of our community. My friend Rutha recently commended the leadership team for its faithfulness during this adventure, adding, “you will never know completely the result of the seeds you’ve sown.”

On behalf of the leadership team, I would like to thank the Rochester Church of Christ for it’s investment in Christ Church: Macomb. The leadership at RCC also took a risk in taking “Go and make disciples…” to not only apply to foreign missions but local ones as well. May you continue to grow in your passion for the not-yet Christians in our surrounding neighborhoods.