Crayons and coloring books are among my treasured childhood memories of days long past. I usually had the standard box of 8 broken and well used colors but longed for the tantalizing large box of Crayola’s, the one with 64 crayons including white and all those glorious metallic colors. I also enjoyed getting new coloring books with the simple black line drawings of Superman, Hopalong Cassidy, and Howdy Doody that were just begging to be brought to colorful life! Sixty plus years later I can still smell that waxy crayon aroma and remember the joy of a crisp new coloring book. Do you share this memory with me and do you also recall being gently admonished by your parents or by your primary school teachers for coloring outside of the lines? And later when you “graduated” to one of those Paint by Numbers sets did you also quickly learn the hard way about the importance of staying inside the lines? (even though your work of art still may have found a place on the fridge door). Ironically, years later in art school I was formally encouraged to forget all those accumulated bad coloring and drawing habits from younger years, to embrace freedom, to let creative energy take over and to ignore borders.
For years now at UCH we have carefully and thoughtfully been staying within the lines assuming that our shrinking membership, increasing costs, slowly deteriorating campus and evaporating savings would somehow be OK as long as we continued to ignore reality. Time has finally run out for “business as usual” at our beloved church and we made a congregational decision at our recent annual meeting to change things. Courageously we have given ourselves the opportunity to explore potential alternate future scenarios under the guidance and expertise of Rev. Jeanne. We willingly accepted the challenge with the understanding that it’s not going to be a simple task, and knowing that there are no lines this time…….and that we have a brand new box of crayons! -Bill