I am relieved the Lehigh Valley dodged another snowmageddon incident this week. One of the reasons I'm so relieved is that I was dreading writing to you from Sunny Florida while you had a foot of snow on the ground there.
We have spent this week with our college kids, John and Anna, in Orlando hanging out with Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. The lines are not only bearable, they have been enjoyable as moments to catch up with the kids and their college life. And as we wait, I have so much more sympathy for the double stroller pushing parents. Disney with young adult kids really is magical.
Disney does so many things right. And I can't help thinking that Disney has a lot to teach us, especially in our new season of being the church.
First, Disney understands environments matter. From the moment you hit the parks, Disney is creating an experience. You get on the parking tram and on the monorail and the magic begins. You hit Main Street and you feel the energy. Happy music is playing. You can smell the popcorn. You enter tomorrow land and even the trashcans talk. You head over to Animal Kingdom and you feel ready to go on safari. Mickey Mouse is everywhere you turn.
Second, Disney practices hospitality. Parking attendants wave you into your spot. The entrance to every ride or show is staffed with a smiling guest in a matching costume. Every bathroom is clean. Maps are easy to find--the paper kind and the app kind. Signage is easy to follow. And welcoming characters and tempting treats are everywhere.
And last, Disney knows how to tell a story. Each ride and each show not only look good, they tell a story. You wait in line for over an hour for the 7 Dwarfs Mine Train roller coaster. It's long but you don't mind because you have so much to do while you wait. You half expect Snow White to walk down the paths it looks so real--from the lamps and the trail to the landscaping. There were interactive games and animatronics, and anything else they can think of to help you live the story from the line to the ride. Disney is a master story-teller.
Now how does all that apply to us? We have the best story ever told to share with Bethlehem and the world. We tell it together each week in worship and you tell it every day by your life. We practice hospitality each week as we host services and invite guests to be a part of our church community. And we create environments that kids and all ages want to be in and want to grow in. This week, when you get to services at BECA, put your Disney frame on what we do....Every one of us is a part of the environment and the hospitality and telling the story. As we continue to be the church to the Valley, we are praying that men and women and boys and girls find and follow Jesus.
On Sunday, don't forget to move your clocks forward an hour. Mark will be preaching in our series, Seven Days, Journey to the Cross. This week we get to Wednesday, with the story of woman holding nothing back to honor Jesus. Also at 10 am, we will have our Congregational Meeting and Meeting of the Corporation. We will elect new officers and you will receive the 2018 budget. The faithfulness of God and his sovereign hand over our congregation continues to be so obvious and so powerful.
He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it. (Philippians 1:6)
See you at BECA,