It seems like only yesterday that we were preparing for the Annual Congregational Meeting and here we are again! The breathtaking speed of life!

I know that many of you think of these annual meetings as rather dull and boring. But I assure you, after attending at least 35 annual meetings over the course of my ministerial career, I find them far from boring. Of course, you would expect me to say that. After all, if the Minister finds the annual meeting boring, what is left for the rest of us? So, to counter that prevailing thought about boredom, let me offer you a checklist of why annual meetings are important and deserve your attention.

YOU get to participate in a democratic process that ensures accountability. The annual meeting is actually your time to discuss the decisions that have been made by the Board of Elders on your behalf over the previous 12 months. This is a right that should never be taken lightly. There are places around the world where democracy cannot be exercised because people in positions of power do not want to be held to account or to answer for the decisions they have made. Yes, an annual meeting in a church gym may not seem such a big deal on the world scale, but I assure you that it is at meetings such as this that the wisdom of the people is distilled into important, often life-changing decisions that do have an impact.

For example, what if the Board of Elders decided that it was time to shut down the Celebrate Life Recovery service that is held at Central on Sunday evenings. It costs too much. Its not worth the effort. There are better ways to spend our money. Wouldn’t you want to have a say in such a momentous decision? I would certainly hope so!

YOU are a valued member of the team. Being Christian and following in the footsteps of Jesus is a team sport. We need each other. It is only through your energy and passion that Central United Church even continues to exist. You make it happen. Through your donations, your talents and, above all, by the time that you pour into the ministry. It’s as simple as that. None of it could happen without you. I repeat—none of it!

YOU are visionaries! God knows how much we need visionaries in a fractured world that builds walls and armaments at a speed and cost that overwhelms the mind. Who will carry God’s banner of peace, inclusivity, compassion and love into the hurting world? You, as a community of faith, are a constant and daily reminder that there is an alternative path to wholeness and safety other than building walls. It is called love and it is being lived at Central every day – not flawlessly or perfectly–but consistently and diligently. You are the hands and feet of Christ and you give hope in a world that often feels hopeless.

So, stick around this afternoon and attend the annual meeting. God needs you!

Blessings, Linda