The celebration of 200 years of the founding of the Concord church is a time to reflect on our spiritual forefathers and foremothers and to give us hope for our future. Concord was founded by a group of committed Methodists who were led by laity (non-clergy) and then created a dedicated place of worship. They were served by many circuit riding clergy and preached to by Methodism's earliest leaders - reportedly Jesse Lee, Robert Strawbridge, and Francis Asbury. There is an excitement and energy in creating something new. Hope and promise abound.
Over the history of any church there are times of growth and shrinkage, celebrations and mournings, abundance and scarcity. Concord sustained itself for many years, was closed then reopened, then finally merged with St. Andrews. As current Concord-St. Andrews members, we must be faithful to our former members and mentors, teachers and pastors, and prepare to receive future church members.
The future is never known "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." 1 Corinthians 13:12 King James Version. Our task is ever before us - making disciples of Jesus Christ. How we do this in the 21st century will be different from that in the preceding centuries. Adjustments and innovations will be made while simultaneously honoring our core values and history. I pray that with the guidance of God, the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, and the salvific grace of Jesus Christ we will continue to be in meaningful ministry and mission to the world.
Appreciation and thanks to all who have contributed to make this 200 year Concord anniversary successful - I always hesitate to name names as I fear leaving someone out - but special thanks to former pastors Rev. Bruce Jones and Rev. Art Thomas for helping us honor this celebration.
Rev. Curtis Ehrgott