|A favorite quote of mine comes from the late Winston Chur-chill. After losing battle after battle in the early days of World War Two, the British army finally turned back Rommel’s Afrika Korps in Egypt. Churchill went before the House of Commons on November 10, 1942 and said, “This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” |
“The end of the beginning.” I have always liked that phrase. It speaks of a journey started as well as a journey continuing. It speaks of destinations yet to be reached and the sense of heading in a definite direction. It’s like the graphic Johnny Carson used to put on the screen when The Tonight Show would break for a commercial: “More to Come.”
When I taught confirmation class in a previous church I used to disabuse the students all year of the notion that confirmation is a kind of graduation from church. “If I ever hear of you saying you’ve graduated from church,” I would lecture, “I will personally come back and haunt you.” And then I would quote Churchill. “Confirmation,” I told them, “is merely the end of the beginning.”
I thought about the end of the beginning as the first group to go through Life Keys had their last session on October 15. Through eight meetings they had examined their life gifts, personality types, spiritual
|gifts, values, and passions, and had begun to explore where all those “keys” might be used in service to the church, community, and the world. But the process continues. The discovery does not end with the last Life Keys session. And as Lois, Pat, John, and I affixed a small lapel pin in the shape of a key to each person’s collar, I knew it was not the end, nor the beginning of the end. It was the end of the beginning. |
As a church we are approaching another “end of the beginning” soon. Note on page two the announcement of a congregational meeting to discuss a plan from the capital campaign committee for funding of our renovation project.
Soon after the vote to approve the project last January several groups began meeting — one to explore grant options, another to find creative ways to raise funds, and another to determine the possibilities of a capital campaign. Since I can’t be in three places at once I spent most of my time with the latter group. Not only were they professional and spiritually sensitive, but they also gave up many beautiful spring and summer evenings to do their work. Now, with Church Council’s approval, they are ready to challenge us with the next step.
This is not the end, nor is it the beginning of the end. It is the end of the beginning. We have a long way to go, but we have a great God who is leading us and will not call us to a task without providing us with the resources to do it.
More to come.