There are three important dimensions of any vital Christian community – worship, nurture, and outreach. Over and over again we are embodying these aspects of our common life, and by so doing we are strengthening our witness to the love of God we have come to know through Jesus.
Worship: Sunday after Sunday we gather and pray, sing, listen to anthems, hear Scripture and a sermon, celebrate the Eucharist, be charged and blessed, and have fellowship, and then we are sent out into the world to be the hands and feet of Christ to one another and to our neighbors near and far. Sunday worship is a way for all of us to orient ourselves toward that which is holy. Worship is a pause, an island, in the midst of our sea of days to open ourselves to the Spirit of God that comforts us, challenges us, and empowers us to be the people we were created to be in the world.
On February 26 at 6:00 pm we will begin the forty-day (excluding Sundays) season of Lent during which we prepare ourselves to celebrate the resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday (April 12).
Nurture: Over the last few months there have been quite a number of people and families in our congregation facing dramatic changes due to health issues and death. It is heartwarming for me to watch how so many of you reach out with tenderness and compassion to those who are suffering. I admire the myriad ways this community of faith takes pains to take care of one another by offering companionship, delivering food to homes and to church for memorial services, providing transportation, writing notes, making calls, and more. Through the deacons and through the membership we extend to one another sympathy and tangible help along with persistent prayer. As people who gather in the name of Jesus, these expressions of nurture are the flesh and bones of the old hymn — We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord… and they’ll know we are Christians by our love.
Outreach: Our church is known in the community as a place where people can get food and financial help. We continue to give away, with no questions asked, food from our makeshift pantry. We are a strong supporter of Habitat for Humanity. Our work with the local Family Promise program continues to make a difference in the lives of homeless families. For nearly two decades we have been supporting a medical clinic in Guatemala and providing microloans through the Mam Christian Women’s Association. Every month we hold Convivio, a gathering of Hispanic people for fellowship and Christian education. Our building is used by several recovery groups. Through our Outreach committee we give away money every year to organizations that work for peace and justice in the world. Our youth are leading us again this year in the Souper Bowl lunch and offering on Sunday, February 2, with donations going to hunger ministries in our area. These are just some of the ways our congregation reaches out into the world with the love of Christ.
Grace and peace,