-Rev Melissa Fain-
On November 5th, 2012 Fig Tree Christian was officially launched as an online platform to connect and reach out to those online. So much has changed in those five years. I want to take today, and look back, thank, and celebrate everything that has been accomplished.
The Evolution of the platform
On July 12th, 2012, this website went live with the first meditation. Back then, those meditations were a couple paragraphs long, with no pictures or formatting. Nothing really existed aside from that. Then, four months later, I launched Fig Tree Christian publicly. I started adding images, and the first video was part of a Christmas mediation. It's okay, I'll say it. The video, while nicely edited, is not engaging. Early on, I pulled from the examples around me. There is a tone of voice female ministers have for videos and for sermons. While I believed I was moving beyond those voices, I used them fully, making myself unrelatable in the process. It is really difficult to watch these early videos. Which is good. It means while Fig Tree has grown, I have grown with it.
Since then, we have had bible studies, devotionals, and live casts. We even have a place for congregants to chat and share news.
Our Previous Anniversaries
First Anniversary- Thank You
Second Anniversary- Happy Anniversary!
It still shocks me when I go to public events and state that I'm the minister of Fig Tree Christian. I'm never prepared, because there is almost always someone who knows who I am or what Fig Tree is. The truth is, you can count heads on a Sunday morning, but you can never count the reach of the internet. Even then, there were times I felt I was yelling like the Whos down in Whoville: "We are here! We are here!"
That last sentence probably explains my personal call, and what this 5th Anniversary is about. I can't make others like, care, understand, or at least politely nod at me or what I'm doing. I spent my childhood terrified to even sneeze wrong, in fear that someone wouldn't like me. I knew the phrase, "You can't please everyone 100% of the time," but I didn't learn the phrase until I became an adult. There will always be someone who will dislike me. There will always be someone who will never get me.
I can't change that, but I can decide how my actions affect others. I can make the solid choice to find something good and redeemable in every person I encounter, (even the ones who cannot find the same in me.) It's part of being glue. (A theme that seems to back.) Fig Tree exists not because we are the popular choice, or the one most mainstream voices even understand. Fig Tree exists because we can reach out to the broken and simply share, "We hear you." "You are not alone." That is what this year is about. I can talk about Fig Tree's accomplishments and the awesome things we've done over the years, but the truth is this: The most awesome thing that has happened, the greatest and most stupendous accomplishment Fig Tree has offered, is something that can't be quantified.
People lost in the internet wilderness felt the love of God, and knew it was real. Those are the fruits of Fig Tree. God willing, we will grow, and continue to let people know they are loved and included in the Body of Christ. May that be the message I bring in 5 years at our 10th Anniversary.