Prayer 7:13 Prayer 713
North Highland United Methodist Church
Sunday, December 17, 2017
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors

 

Energy Zones and Comfort Zones   
 
Buildings are often divided into sections with thermostats in each section. This helps us keep a better handle on energy usage, as well as keep all areas comfortable. Engineers and architects might call these heat or energy zones. Here at the church, we have a thermostat in the foyer area for the offices, nursery and restrooms, a thermostat in the fellowship hall (whose furnace also heats the upper level) and a thermostat and furnace located in the sanctuary.
 
Persons with heating and cooling expertise tell us we should honor those zones especially when the building is only partially in use. An awareness of our call to be good stewards is why you may come into the church and see the doors to the fellowship hall or sanctuary door closed during the week. If there is a meeting in the fellowship hall, the heat can be turned up and the doors closed to keep that particular area even warmer. It makes sense to not have the sanctuary or fellowship hall units kick in when the foyer is cooled or warmed by an open entry door and vice versa. For some of us who are more used to home heating, this is a new concept. Yet paying attention to “energy zones” helps better manage our energy usage and cost, and keeps all utilized areas more comfortable.
 
Now that we have our energy zones identified, what about our comfort zones in terms of ministry and working together as the Body of Christ in the world. Sometimes in this life of authentic Christian discipleship, we may be called to adjust our well-defined comfort zones, just as we need to adjust our understanding about functioning with energy zones. We might be tempted to “close off” to certain ideas or opportunities, and hold on to the energy inside our own personal comfort zones, however that really doesn’t serve us well as a whole.
 
What if in this new year, God is calling all of us as a church, and each one of us individually to reconsider our willingness to extend ourselves even further into areas of kingdom work? What would happen if God’s Spirit is calling us to greater things, and we are all hunched down in our comfort zones? How far will we get? How long will we maintain our mission and vital purpose as a church of mission, outreach, and hospitality?
 
Maybe this is the year you try something new—join a study or small group; play a more active role working with the missions of the church; sing in the choir; try your hand at playing chimes. This list is endless. Stop in for a visit if you have questions or ideas. I encourage all of us to enter into this year with an open and optimistic mind about the future of our beloved North Highland Church. And pray faithfully for God’s Spirit to open you to new ways of serving and living in grateful response to all that God has given us.
 
With hopes and prayers for a wonderfully energized year in ministry together,
 

January 2017