From the Pastor:
Dear Friends in Christ:
We are entering the most important and most sacred week of the year. My prayers are with you all as we contemplate and experience the profound, wondrous, stubborn love of God. That is a love that will not except our brokenness, incompleteness, sin, doubt, confusion, shame, or even death as the final answer.
Only God’s Word remains:
You are loved.
The theme of this and every Holy Week is simple:
From God: I love you, and I will do anything to bring you into that love.
Nothing else in our everyday reality tells us this Good News with such straightforward, insistent and consistent love. God does. Over and over again, God reaches out to us with grace, mercy, and love. We don’t earn it. It’s a gift.
It is also a gift we are asked to share with our neighbors. In our words and in our deeds, we are called to embody the grace and love that the embodied God so freely gives to us: to free those enslaved by guilt and shame; to feed those who are hungry; to welcome those who so often are rejected for ignored. We are not perfect, but God asks us, in our human, messy and imperfect ways, to share that perfect love.
As your pastor, I am asking you to pray about your part in our life-giving mission. How do you feel called to help? How may you use your gifts to allow others to experience that same love you have received? All gifts are special and holy. Those who help with the maintenance of our building, the preparation for worship, the counting of our offerings, the sharing of music…and on and on…are all equal in the work and ministry we share in Jesus. Where is God calling you to serve?
We also all support the mission through our gifts of money. As you may know, our current financial reality is such that we are often unable to pay basic bills – the lights, the heat, the mortgage – all those things that enable our common work together. May we all prayerfully consider how our gifts of time, talent, and money are part of the mission and ministry we have in Jesus. If you are not yet a regular giver to our financial needs, I encourage you to consider becoming one. Take a portion of your income each month to give to the work of Jesus in our community. If you are a regular giver – thank you for your faithful support! If there is a way in which you are able to increase that gift, I ask you to consider it in prayer and deliberation. Together, we embody God’s promise:
We are embraced in love.
We are sharing that love.
We are, together, living out the “New Creation Community” in Christ:
freed from shame,
freed from sin, and
freed to serve in Jesus name!