Isaiah 6:6-8 - One of the flaming creatures flew over to me with a burning coal that it had taken from the altar with a pair of metal tongs. It touched my lips with the hot coal and said, "This has touched your lips. Your sins are forgiven, and you are no longer guilty."
After this, I heard the LORD ask, "Is there anyone I can send? Will someone go for us?"
"I'll go," I answered. "Send me!"
Blast from the Past: Just a short post this morning. I'm up to my eyeballs and beyond in a project that's turned out to be huge. A while back I agreed, in a moment of insanity, to write "A History of the First Presbyterian Church of Brandon, Florida" (www.fpcBrandon.com). Well, now it's time to bring all the research and conversations and factoids together.
Rebekah has been the pastor of this amazing church going on 15 years (see newspaper clipping). Enough has happened in the past ten alone to write a 500-page account.
First, "Note to self": The next time I agree to write a church history, make sure I'm writing about a church where nothing much happens! Good grief, fpcBrandon has a lot going on!The challenge is how to present the 50-year story of a faith community. The active membership roles have varied from as low as 100 to as high as 600 (on paper). Annual average attendance statistics have been recorded at less than 100 to over 400.
But, over the years and with the fact that people move to other towns... and new people join... and babies are born... and kids grow up.... and people die... it's possible that several thousand assorted Presbyterians have been - at one time or another - a part of this story. In a transitory town like Brandon, we typically have to take in 40 new members every year just to maintain.
So what I have done is to search and interview and listen, and to try to find the following:
- A single thread of continuity - a strand of DNA if you will - that knits the half-century together
- The evolving story of the personality of the church, and what particular events contributed to that evolution.
- Who, now that we're all grown up, have we become? Because the most important element of this historical document is not so much the past as what that past has led to in terms of faithful witness to God's love and care in this community
So today, and over the next two weeks, my primary writing task will be to actually write this history of fpcBrandon. I'll likely share some vignettes along the way. It may be my most interesting book yet.