What do you know about your church’s history? Whether your church is ten years old or a hundred, the past is always present.

Yesterday, my church, the First Baptist Church of Portland, Oregon, held a “Heritage Sunday” service. The pastor, David Wheeler, dressed up in a tailcoat such as the pastor a hundred years ago would have worn, and so did the rest of the staff. The moderator, Karen Knauerhase, also dressed in the style of the period. David noted that the church would not have had a woman moderator one hundred years ago! He also told stories about the strengths of the past, including one day when the church sponsored a prayer walk around the perimeter of Portland (a shorter walk than it would be today), with 10,000 people attending.

Remembering the past doesn’t mean we have to be mired in it. It can bring energy for ministry in the present. I found this service inspiring and encouraging.

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