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Driven by the desire to update my sunglasses, I recently scheduled my annual ophthalmology check-up. Thankfully, I received a great report, except for the usual, “we’re still waiting for your cataracts to ripen.” Then came the assessment of my vision for new lenses. The assistant, detecting minimal change in my eyesight, recommended only a slight prescription change. She stated that I could still see “well enough” if I wanted to continue wearing my current glasses. When the receptionist did not provide the new prescription at check-out, I asked for a copy. In my view, seeing slightly better matters; “well enough” is not good enough. Besides I wanted new sunglasses. When I ordered the glasses, however, my trusted optician discovered that I had received the wrong prescription. Although my sunglasses might look great, my new lenses would severely impair my vision.

During my first few weeks as Interim Minister of Older Adults at Trinity Baptist Church, some have asked about my vision for this ministry. Admittedly, I came to this role without a clearly stated vision, but I responded, “to love God and to love others.” The more I pondered it, I realized that looking through this lens, Jesus’ prescription for all of us, should impact everything I envision. Now my task is to determine how to foster loving God and loving others in the most effective ways, to build community, to love our neighbors both inside and outside the church, and to encourage each other along the way. Trinity has amazing ministries already in place. Great teaching, community, and care occur through our Bible study groups. The CARE and CART teams minister specifically to those who cannot attend church and to those who need help with home upkeep. Older Adult Ministry Action Team assists with overall planning and implementation of ministries to older adults. Let’s build on this strong foundation, keeping our mission at the forefront as we study, fellowship, reach out, and serve together.

Jesus stayed true to his mission. He loved unconditionally. He kept his heart aligned with God through constant interaction with his Father. He met needs as he encountered them, both physical and spiritual. He trained a community of followers to carry out his mission. He had a clear vision. He wore the right lens. We test our vision by checking our lenses daily. Sometimes we need an update, but most of the time we just need to allow God to dust off and clean up our lenses. It does involve a daily check-in, not merely an annual check-up.

I am grateful for the opportunity to walk alongside Trinity church members and welcome newcomers as we carry out our mission. Let’s help each other to keep our vision clear.

Caren Goodman, Interim Minister of Older Adults