Dear God

Dear God,

Do you remember us? You know, Greendale People's Church? Worcester, Massachusetts, United States of America in YOUR world? We came together in YOUR service in 1895. Since then, Lord, quite a lot has happened. As our neighborhood grew, so did we, both in terms of congregational size and service to YOU. Locally, regionally, nationally and internationally we have tried to faithfully follow YOUR will to follow the teachings of YOUR Son, Jesus Christ.

The first 70 years could be described as preparing the way for ministry fulfillment. Pastoral leadership and congregational commitment through stewardship of time, talent and treasure allowed us to expand both the building and the programs to meet congregational and program demand and was rebuilt after significant destruction due to a horrific tornado in 1953. We humbly thank YOU for all you have provided.

By the middle of the 1960’s our congregation had grown to over 1,000. We were instrumental in serving the greater Worcester area by providing high quality, low cost elder-care and modern handicapped accessible living spaces in the central core of our city. YOU had blessed us with the vision and capability to acquire a peaceful place on a pond not far away named Selah where we could be closer to YOU through quieter contemplation and reflection in a natural setting. The next 20 years went along well with a stable congregational census and adequate resources to meet the demands of the ministry.

Then things began to change; slowly at first, almost imperceptibly to most. The congregation began to shrink rather than grow. Still a very busy place with lots of work to do but with fewer people to do the work and less money to pay the bills. Pastoral transitions accelerated. Long serving Pastors retired. We had to learn how to search and call new leadership. Some of the new leaders came and left rather quickly. We revised our by-laws to become more effective in our lay leadership. We had to learn how to accept new ways of doing things. Being taught by new pastors, even women pastors!!! This was hard, uncomfortable stuf