So this week I go to work in anticipation of Sunday…the day when we celebrate the 50th birthday of my church! The work that leads up to this special Sunday is much like the work of a wedding…We are cleaning up the yard, planting new flowers in the front flower beds, responding to all the invitations that have been sent, checking on last minute preparations… Several of the former pastors are coming, including Bill Smith (the founding pastor), Jim Jacobson, Jim Woods, Andy Werft, and George Cushman. Our Bishop Carcano and our District Superintendent Sharon Ragland will lead in worship. At our celebration lunch, Mayor Phil Gordon and Councilman Greg Stanton will bring greetings. It is a moment of great celebration and we are pulling out all the stops to make it a day to remember…
Which makes me think about the history of this church…like many churches…CrossRoads has experienced ups and downs. We have worshiped with 1000 people and with 60 people. We have seen people come in joy, and watched some leave in a tiff. We have loved, grieved, and loved again. We have thrived, survived, and thrived again. The cycle of life has been very apparent as we look at our history.
We came from Central United Methodist…and along the way…we birthed three churches: Shadow Rock UCC, Faith UMC, and Cross in the Desert UMC. We have been in mission all over the world. And we have continuously fed the homeless and hungry in Phoenix for all of these 50 years.
I am really excited about Sunday! And I’m nervous…hoping that all the preparations come together in the way we planned…and hoping we truly have a moment of joy!
It’s like the Psalmist says,
“What a God! His road stretches straight and smooth. Every God-direction is road-tested.
Everyone who runs toward him MAKES IT!” (The Message: Psalm 18)
We’ve MADE IT, CrossRoads…to 50! May the next 50 be even more glorious!