What’s Possible?

There is no power greater than a community discovering what it cares about. Ask: “What’s possible?” not “What’s wrong?” – Margaret Wheatley

If you’ve been paying attention (oh how I hope you’ve been paying attention), you’ve seen this quote before. It was featured on our theme bulletin board as we began the new church year in August. It was part of the full poem by Margaret Wheatley that I read during the worship service September 2nd. This is the year Horizon redefines its mission and vision and creates a new strategic plan to serve the mission and vision. It’s a good time to ask: “what’s possible?” and not, “what’s wrong?”

Can you imagine living your life that way? Can you imagine reading the headlines or watching the news and asking: “what’s possible?” and not, “what’s wrong?” Can you imagine hearing the diagnosis or feeling never-ending depression and asking: “what’s possible?” and not, “what’s wrong?”

At 12:33 a.m. EST on January 1, 2019, more than four billion miles from Earth, a NASA spacecraft launched in January 2006 flew within 2,200 miles of an ancient planetary body, orbiting more than 40 times the distance from the Earth to the sun. The spacecraft, (love the name) The New Horizons, flew by Ultima Thule. Ultima Thule, another great name, is a Latin phrase meaning beyond the known world. The event was not only the most distant planetary encounter in human history, but the object is the most primitive world ever visited by spacecraft.

Ask: “what’s possible?” not “what’s wrong?”

On January 3, 2019, China became the first country to land on the far side of the moon. The far side of the moon is not actually the “dark side,” as it is sometimes called. It does get sunlight, but traveling there is problematic because direct radio communication is not possible. China first had to send a communications relay satellite to orbit above the far side of the moon. They named the satellite Queqiao, which means “Bridge of Magpies.” It is a reference to a Chinese folktale about magpies forming a bridge with their wings to allow Zhi Nu, the seventh daughter of the Goddess of Heaven, to reach her husband.

Ask: “what’s possible?” not “what’s wrong?”

During the month of January, the team assembled to ask for our congregation: “what’s possible? not “what’s wrong?” will be inviting Horizon to do the powerful work of discovering what it cares about. Team members Eric Freeman (chair), Beth Bargar, Peter Hendee, Mary Morris, Camilla Norder, and Laura Wooten will be present in Fellowship Hall for your questions before and after worship throughout the month. They will also host conversations during the potluck, the mid-year congregational meeting, and during various small group gatherings. Please participate.


I imagine that when this congregation was founded in 1987 that scientists were asking “what’s possible?” in order to create the astounding events of the last few days. Imagine living your life that way. Now imagine being part of a community that always asks: “what’s possible?” not “what’s wrong.”  

Elizabeth Gustwick