I’ve been at the California-Pacific Conference - the Annual Conference at the University of Redlands. It’s the conference that I felt that FUMCLA needed to have a presence if we wanted to convince the Conference that our church was viable. And, this is what I’ve figured out: Not only are we viable, but we are vibrant. We are a growing congregation, and are twitchy with excitement.
I’ve been upset, distraught, angry, sad, and then I’m here now. Two days ago I felt like I had to force the feeling that our Church was going to be okay. But, now I have a much better sense that FUMCLA will continue to grow.
We’ve spent years (even before the Brideaus arrived in DTLA in 2004) on congregation building, working with church-growth consultants offered by the district to make sure we were welcoming, that we could be confident in asking people to come to church on Sunday. We spent years counteracting nature: older congregants just up and died, and we couldn’t replace members with new members fast enough.
So here we are. Many of us have sacrificed spiritual growth for the sake of building actual walls of our own that would support our spiritual growth. And, I’m tired.
Whatever our path forward will be needs to honor the history and the intent of FUMCLA. Our doors can't close, but we might not be the big huge suburban-like church. It probably won't have much of a parking lot. And, we likely won't be alone in our space. That's fine. As long as the Urban Foundation, Kid City, and all the ministries of FUMCLA are intact, I will sleep soundly.