When we were working on the Kansha house to get ready for our first resident, one of the plumbers said that we should “pressure balance” the water lines to the bath. After inquiring what pressure balancing is supposed to be with a number of people who might know, I still don’t know the meaning. But in my mind “pressure balancing” has taken on a life of its own. At first I thought that pressure is bad, but then of course that is not true: pressure can be good or bad. For instance, it is good to have strong water pressure most of the time and good air pressure some of the time, but not so good to have high oil pressure. It is good to have the strong pressure of a good massage they say or the pressure of a foot reflexologist. It is good to have the pressure that challenges us to perform, although not so good to have that pressure cripple us emotionally. Pressure can be good or bad whether it has to do with natural elements or it has to do with the functioning of the body.
In the letter to the Ephesians the functioning of the body as in other parts of the New Testament is used as a metaphor of the functioning of the Church. Ephesians 4:16 says:” …joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.” The parts of the body should be supporting each other to the establishment of a loving community. That is the ideal. In reality it is not always so easy. In the body joints can be twisted, spines can go out of alignment, blood sugar and blood pressure can go off the scale; neither down or up is not good news. It is a matter of whether “pressure” is balanced so that bodies don’t go out of whack. This is true of congregations too. We can place too much pressure on a number of people and too little on others. Sometimes in a small church like ours we can put too much pressure on almost everybody for a number of days or weeks. This will affect the functioning of the church body. There may be too little “good” pressure and too much “bad” pressure. There could even be so much pressure on one element of a congregation that resentment starts to build. As I have told you before this is one thing I as a pastor worry about. When you have an awareness of the physical condition or age or the emotional demands or stresses, you need to think twice about what you ask them to do or let them do. It is a matter of “pressure balancing.”
I would like to thank the many people at Parkview who went out of their way to help out in the busy few months which are behind us. There were number of responsibilities Parkview was committed to. Especially Donna should be mentioned. She really was key. Nevertheless we are conscious that we put pressure on you also. There are so many people in our church whose work we count on and may be tempted to take for granted. May we all know our pressure points. May we all know where the pressure is good and where it is destructive. May God give us wisdom so we may continue to be a healthy congregation for many years to come. May God bless our ministry. Aart