Bro. Erwin Oliva, who writes for a national daily suggested that local congregations should have a way of remembering their beginnings. I couldn’t agree more. Although, by word of mouth, we have heard how congregations started and flourished. However, we do not have written accounts to preserve these memories. While exchanging e-mails, Bro. Erwin and I agreed to start researching how our own home congregations started and have asked some brethren to do the same. The following are some of the reasons why we should be writing our congregational histories.
Churches, as a whole, provide sources of meaning and hope for many people than any other single type of volunteer organization. A congregation, however, is a unique group that shares joys and sorrows, baptisms, marriages and funerals – the landmark happenings of life.
Each unique congregation is a cherished place, a place that has remained the same throughout turmoil, joy, crisis, change, blessing which comes into all people’s lives day by day.
Congregational functions are one of the oldest and most enduring forms of human activity. Throughout both the Old and New Testament the stories of groups of people brought together to worship have been told. And we know about them because they have been written down and passed along through the generations.
As common place as our day-by-day congregational behavior may seem to us, unless it is described and interpreted by current observers, much of it will be lost forever.
A written congregational narrative provides a sense of accomplishment and new perspectives of these deeds. By putting these deeds and figures together in a meaningful way, the assembly gets a better picture of the congregational identity, of what the goals of the church leadership are, and of the accomplishments of the year. The historical narrative will provide a plumb line which is anchored in the past to chart the future
If there are brethren out there who are interested in helping compile these histories, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are starting an online collaboration and will send details to those who are interested. Alvin C. Tanicala