Now entering my third week here, I’m slowly beginning to figure out what I’m doing, and praying that your patience will hold out! I’ve already made one mistake (I forgot to tell you to pick up the yard signs for Pentecost on May 22!) and am setting up a file to record my future ones, which I am sure will be many. But patience is a good trait, and we talked about it some at the recent Young at Heart lunch, so I have high expectations that you will consider any mistakes I make in the near future just one more opportunity to practice that virtue.
Pentecost will soon be upon us, and it’s my prayer that many of you will be in town to celebrate the birth of the church universal that day. I’m asking you to wear something noticeably RED, the liturgical color for the day. An interesting (to me) side note is that we ministers have red stoles we use only one day each year, Pentecost, unless we are attending an ordination, in which case we get to dig out the red stole again and wear it. You’ll find me robed and red on Pentecost, so someone please remember to turn on the A/C a few hours ahead of worship time!!
There is a lot going on here. I’m especially intrigued by the vision teams and what they are trying to do. I hope at some point in September we’ll all sit down over a big meal together and discuss the implications of doing this work as opposed to NOT doing it. From what I can tell, the vision teams are putting together plans that the whole church needs embrace and actually do. Christianity is not as much about beliefs as it is about doing (as illustrated by my favorite parable, the Sheep and the Goats). Doing nothing is just saying, “Lord, Lord,” and Jesus was pretty clear about the dangers of taking that route.
A few years ago, a friend of mine was talking with a church researcher from the Alban Institute, Rev. Loren Mead. Mead said to him that the church has three tasks to perform, and all are important and necessary to stay alive: love God (worship and personal prayer); love each other (looking after our own within these walls); and loving the world (service and mission outside these walls). We cannot neglect any of these and call ourselves “Christian.” Saint Teresa of Avila said that we are the body of Christ: his hands, his feet, his voice. Un-saint Jamie says unless we do the things that Jesus would do, unless Christ is our first and basic foundation, then the Church, and Christianity, will be nothing but one more fairy tale that no one really believes.
How about it?
Let’s be the church!!!
These thoughts and reflections come from our Senior Minister, Minister of Music and Board Chair. We hope that they provide both challenge and inspiration for your spiritual life.