Painting a Beautiful Tomorrow

Presbytery of Chicago Mission Statement 2023

Pursuing worship, service, and communities of justice, we are the Presbytery of Chicago, flourishing together by relating people, neighbors, and churches to one another in Christ Jesus.

Anat Shenker-Osorio is a communications specialist and highly sought after political consultant. In the book, The Persuaders, she talks about using images instead of words when helping people understand a policy. For her, Climate Change becomes clean fresh air to breathe and water to drink. Classism becomes paying people enough to provide for their families. Get the idea?Shenker-Osorio likes to say, “Sell the brownie, not the recipe,” and “Say what you’re for,” and “Paint the beautiful tomorrow.”

I wonder what is “the beautiful tomorrow” your church is painting? What does your church or institution look like in flesh and blood? What does the mission statement of the presbytery look like if we could visualize it?

Playing around with the mission statement of the presbytery, I came up with the following.

Pursuing worship looks like this:

Where people leave better than they arrived.

Where learning is met by action.

Where all generations find home.

A church flourishing in community appears like this:

The church in community means to calm and excite, to lead and to follow, to show all what it means to be a member of God’s family.
When people hear us say Jesus,” they smile because they know we care and love them for who they are.

As we meet and make difficult decisions, we know other churches in the presbytery support us, will help us, and encourage us.

These statements are only the beginning of painting the picture of a beautiful tomorrow. What about your church? Try closing your eyes and seeing the people in worship. Visualize the people in the community and see the community coming in the church. Now see people exiting the church and going into the community! See their smiles? See their laughter? See their connections and caring for one another? Feel their hope? Let’s make that beautiful tomorrow happen!

Rev. Craig Howard