Often people throw around founding dates and such to prove that they’re good-that they work. We’ve been selling cars since 1900. We’ve been cleaning teeth for forty years. We’ve sold real estate since before you were born. That means that we’re the oldest ones-so we’re the best. We’ve figured out what we’re doing. We are proven in worth by the amount of time we’ve been around. I don’t think this is always so. Often I see these things and think “Yeah, but what have you done lately?’ or even “I realize that your grandparents were pioneers in their business, but that doesn’t say much for you.'” Time just has never impressed me as much as it should, I suppose.
Several months ago, I was put on the Centennial Celebration Committee. It was at sometimes my least favorite meeting. Several of my friends can tell you about phone calls after the fact. However, that doesn’t change everything I’ve witnessed on such a committee. A lot of time was spent talking about the archives and I found out that it is a pretty contraversial issue to discuss what really is the oldest church in the conference.
Even though, everytime I walk into history I’m ready to criticize every person Coach Austin mentions (because it drives me crazy to hear some of the things they do), even though things that are time-tested don’t usually impress me. Even though I wasn’t an official-in-the-book-member of the UMC until Palm Sunday this year. Even though I think it’s more important to know where we’re going. I have to admit that this is a big deal.
There are so many people that have paved the way for our current ministries. Everything The Church is doing today is because of someone else. There would be no ImagineNoMalaria if someone hadn’t started that first mission outreach. We wouldn’t have the wonderful churches with screens and projectors and basketball courts and kitchen and coffee makers and a couch in every corner- if it weren’t for the first brick of your church. And everything that will someday come for our conference coems from what is happening today.
Tomorrow, we are gathering together to celebrate all of the wonderful things that have happened in Central texas since the 1840s, and the wonderful 100 years we have spent as the CTC. This conference really is a special place. And I know that God put us all here together for many, many reasons. If that’s not a reason to celebrate-we’ll never have!