Love Letter to the Future Generation
We light this chalice in deep respect for the mystery and holiness of life,
With honor and gratitude for those who came before,
In love and compassion for those who dwell among us,
And with hope and faith for the generations to come.
By Rev. Ken Jones
Imagine an ancestor either from your faith tradition or your family. Conjure the ancestor in your mind. Got it? Imagine if they sent you a letter telling you what they were thinking when they made decisions they made. Were they scared? What did they struggle with? What spiritual practices did they turn to for sustenance? What hymns did they sing while they worked? What other ancestors did they partner with? What kinds of conversations? Did they ever think of us in the future? Wouldn’t it be absolutely amazing if they had written a love letter to us?...
Here is the reality, we are someone’s future ancestors. And we can write a love letter to the future congregation we are attempting to birth. What shall we tell them?
Why did we initially gather? What were we seeking?
What is going on in the world and how do we show up for our wider community? Who are our partners?
What fears and obstacles do we currently face that we wish to overcome?
What internal resources do you inherently possess that will help us, now and always?
What goals do we have that we aspire to?
What is the ultimate and underlying reason why these goals matter to us?
What are our strengths? What are our values?
How would we react if we met our future congregation? How would we interact? Create a sample dialogue—see where it goes!
What are we sacrificing to make the way easier for this future congregation?
What else do we want them to know about us?
What hopes do you hope for this congregation?
Put this letter in a safe place. Perhaps start a scrapbook. What is your unfolding story? Start telling it! Make sure to include pictures and artifacts!