As I sighed at yet another example of fear mongering in political campaigns, I realized that churches are as guilty of it as political parties. We can go from crisis to crisis as a management style, using doom and gloom to motivate.

Crises create anxieties. Anxieties look for crises as justifications for their existence. It becomes a cannibalistic circle, one feeding the other and consuming us.

When I think of human beings as bearers of the image of God I think of the human capacity to look beyond what is, imagine what could be and then help create what is envisioned.

It is past time for us to make use of the image of God in us. What we envision we can create. If we have no vision we fall back into reactive anxiety.

When I think of Pioneer Church I envision a group of people who care for one another, the community and the earth itself. This includes some things that do not exist yet, but could be. I envision groups that go regularly to help feed the hungry, to help build shelters for the homeless, to make compassionate visits on those in distress, and to work at making Pioneer more eco-friendly. I envision activities that lift up our spirits, that teach us new ways of viewing ourselves and that reach beyond our borders to help impoverished people in other lands. I envision fellowship groups that help individuals find acceptance, work through grief and create new visions.

We have run out of excuses for inaction. We have to choose. Will we sit and wait for another crisis to come on us, or will we proactively fulfill our visions of a better life, a better church, a better community and a better world?

Next month, we will send out the traditional stewardship material. The nominating committee will be seeking new members for the church council and other boards. How we respond to these opportunities will be evidence showing ways we are thinking beyond the crises and into the creation of a more godly world.

Pastor Phil