“A Place in the Heart”

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dear Linwood Friends,

The long awaited and eagerly anticipated start of the 2012 worship season at Linwood is about to begin!  This Sunday we will hold our first worship service, starting at 10:45 a.m. in the Chapel.  If you have returned to Linwood, or live on Ohio’s North Coast, we would love to have you join us.

I am thrilled to be back with you as your Park Pastor for the 3rd season.  Yes, I know, 3 seasons at Linwood leaves me as a raw rookie.  However, each season I have grown in my appreciation for all that makes Linwood special.

Linwood is blessed with a unique chunk of lakefront property and an incredible stretch of beach.  The specialness of Linwood, however, goes beyond the geography.  It includes “The Stand,” “The Tabernacle,” “The Lodge,” “The Playground,” and the other recreational facilities.  But, most of all, it is found in the people – you – and your commitment to authentic community, a shared heritage, and a vibrant faith. In a world that is often and increasingly isolated, quick to embrace the “new” and forget the past, and increasingly secular, Linwood is indeed special!

With every blessing – every gift – there are challenges and responsibilities!

It is not enough to cling to and guard the things that set Linwood apart.  If we do, community becomes ingrown and closed, heritage becomes no more than nostalgia, and faith is relegated to past events.  And, worst of all, the blessings are not passed from generation to generation.

Here, as I see it, is the great challenge and opportunity before us in the years ahead – to embrace and celebrate the community, the heritage, and the faith that set Linwood apart, but to do it in a way that invites and welcomes the next generations to both embrace and shape that experience.

The Scriptures make a big deal about “the generations.”  It is not enough for one generation to be faithful.  They are commanded to remember all that they have learned of the Lord and “make them known to your children and your children’s children.” (Deuteronomy 4:10)  In a fast moving, fast-changing world – where generations are more and more segregated, that is hard!  Yet, if it is something the Lord asks of us, it is possible.

I was privileged to be the Pastor of Bay Presbyterian for 33 years – a long time.  One of the blessings was the opportunity to see some of the long-term results of ministry.  Through the years God was at work in our midst in wonderful ways – sometimes working through me and sometimes working in spite of me.  What an incredible joy when God uses you to make a difference in another person’s life.  But, do you know what is even more satisfying?  That is when God uses someone you have touched to make a difference in a third person’s life.  In a way that person becomes your spiritual grandchild!

My prayer is that each year there would be those who become “children of Linwood” and “grandchildren of Linwood” – those who joyfully and thankfully embrace and shape the community, heritage, and faith that make this such a special place in today’s world.

Hope to see you Sunday,

Expectantly yours in Christ,
Hu Auburn, Park Pastor

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