"That they all may be one."

John 17:21

"Pastor Michelle's Monthly Newsletter"

Michelle Torigian is Senior Pastor of the Church

Pastor’s Message

Old Keys and New Doors

On the first night of Art on the Square, I popped into the old Keil’s Landmark Building (where Blanquart’s Rusty Gem Vintage Market now resides). Near the back of the store, I found a new sign on a vintage bicycle wheel that said this: “Old keys won’t open new doors.”

I know I’m grateful for the new keys in my life - the key that opens my house and the key that opens my car door. I’m grateful for the keys that get me inside the church building so that I can live into my calling.

Admittedly though, I probably have old keys in boxes, never to be used again. I know I have an old key on my personal keychain, and I’m not entirely sure why. Maybe I am too sentimental and want to keep a piece of my past. What good is it for me to keep this key?

This reminded me of the Gospel reading when Jesus tells his followers in Matthew 9: “No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old cloak, for the patch pulls away from the cloak, and a worse tear is made. Neither is new wine put into old wineskins; otherwise, the skins burst, and the wine is spilled, and the skins are destroyed; but new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.’”

Sometimes, we are called to look at the previous ways, programs, and styles and measure it against fresh perspectives and ideas. As Jesus would probably reframe the sign on the vintage bicycle wheel: No one inserts an old key into a new keyhole, for the old key can jam an old lock. The new door cannot be opened by this old key. Jesus may wonder why I have my old key on the
keychain. Jesus may wonder why any of us still do what we do if it no longer works for us.


As we just celebrated Reformation Sunday on October 31, we are reminded that old rules didn’t work for a Church yearning to be transformed. Martin Luther found this out during his time. Luther’s new perspectives and movement attracted a number of people who were no longer connected to the Church of the past.

When we think about it, the keys that were used in the 1840’s no longer fit this building as we don’t have the old building across the road. The keys that were used in the 1910’s and 1950’s no longer help us unlock the doors each Sunday morning either. We are a church that has listened to our still-speaking God and has embraced the new key when the old one no longer fits. Over the past 180+ years, we’ve come to worship in different sanctuaries and display new paraments. We’ve changed our primary language from German to English during our worship services. All of these changes remind us that we have continued to transform this church as God has called.

It’s fascinating to think about what could be next for our congregation. As we look to the visioning process in 2022, may we know to dispose of our “old keys,” hold onto “new keys,” and know that God’s Spirit will inspire us to open new doors so that we can head into new directions.


Pastor Michelle