Since January 2019, the Life is Calling Committee has been reflecting on the calling of Auburn First Baptist. We have been participating in the Life is Calling Initiative through the Center for Congregational Resources at Samford University. It is a four–year initiative, reflecting on the meaning of calling. Through this initiative, the Life is Calling Committee will apply for a grant, enabling the church to live into its calling in various ways.
Throughout this year, the committee has thought about our identity as a congregation. They have reviewed the survey taken by the congregation. They have thought about the stories our Lay Worship Leaders tell at the end of every month in worship. They have told their stories about how they found this congregation and what it means to them. They have also dreamed about how others could find this place of worship and community.
In the midst of those stories, they have celebrated the gifts of this congregation and its story, which is the root of its calling. They have envisioned how we can live into our story in the years to come. They desire to connect with our surrounding community, serving the needs of others and engaging their lives. It has been enriching and exciting to think about ways we can love God and our neighbors together!
In October, the Life is Calling Committee will extend an invitation to the congregation. On Sunday, October 20, they will invite the congregation to write down four words that describe Auburn First Baptist. Following worship, they will also email the congregation on Monday to extend the invitation to anyone who could not be in worship.
As they continue to reflect on the identity and calling of the congregation, they will develop a grant proposal to enable the church to renew its sense of a shared calling. The grant will focus on all ages of the congregation and every aspect of our life together, involving worship and missions as we build community within the walls of the church and connect with the surrounding community beyond them.
Earlier this month when we gathered around the table of communion, we shared the bread and the cup using our beautiful pottery. I thought about the hands of God, which shape our life together like the hands of a potter. God’s hands have shaped who we are and will continue to form us as a community of faith into the years to come.