From the Pastor

A Message From Pastor Miranda Denler

I recently attended an online women’s conference that had as one of the featured speakers, actors from Second City. This improv comedy club in Chicago has turned out hundreds of comedians, some of whom you probably have heard of. Two women led us through a series of improv sketches meant to teach us about communication. The first game we played was two truths and a lie. It’s a pretty popular “get to know you” game. Each person takes a turn sharing three “facts”, two of which are true and one of which is not. Everyone else tries to guess which is the lie. I’ll share with you three “facts” about myself, but you’ll have to read to the end of the article to discover which isn’t true.

  • What I miss most about Texas is the magnolia trees.
  • When I was little, I wanted to be a professional ice skater.
  • I love baking, but don’t have too many opportunities to.

The comedians used this exercise to get us familiar with each other and the way in which we would participate in the remaining portions of the workshop. The rest of their teaching focused on communicating well with others. Their main point, and one that I have thought long and hard about, was that the best collaboration comes when we avoid the word “no.” While some ideas people bring to the table may be out there and not possible, we can still attempt to discover the intent behind their idea and how to implement it in a meaningful (and possible) way. Their workshop made me think back to meetings I have taken part in as a pastor over the years. How many times have I said “no”? I don’t think it was a lot of times, but I know I have. Did I unintentionally shove another person out of the conversation because I was unwilling to listen to their idea? Good communication comes when we listen to one another and build on top of each other’s ideas.

As we enter 2021, the Administrative Council will begin to look at the goals set a couple years ago. It’s time for a fresh look at where God is taking us as a church. I am sharing this with you, the congregation, now because I want you to be a part of the process. If you have ideas about the future of Northwest, any at all, I invite you to share them. I am always willing to listen to how the Spirit has moved you. You can also approach other Ad Council members. If you would like a list of 2021 Ad Council members set by Charge Conference, you can contact the church office any time.

I can’t speak for the members of the Administrative Council, but you have my guarantee as your pastor that as we evaluate our goals and the future of Northwest, I won’t say “no.” I may ask you a lot of questions, but when we put all our Spirit driven ideas together, miracles happen. God will use you, whoever you are, to bring direction to me as your pastor and the Ad Council. Don’t be afraid to step up and share. It will take each of us to bring about the will of God here at Northwest and in our community.

In this season of gratefulness, I am grateful to be your pastor. Thank you for all your notes during October for Pastor’s Appreciation Month! (In case you were still wondering, I do miss the magnolias and I love to bake. I have never wanted to be an ice skater, or even been ice skating.) Thank you also for your dedication to Northwest. My prayers are with you and your family this Thanksgiving!

In Christ’s Love,
Pastor Miranda