Recent weeks have gifted me with powerful reminders of why the church matters. Celebrating Communion and reading the names of our saints who died this year reminded me of how worship bears witness to our unity in Christ. Praying in the columbarium that afternoon with some of you wrestling with grief reminded me of how much we need to walk alongside one another in our pain. Listening to the requiem following that intimate gathering reminded me how music envelopes us with the Holy Spirit in ways we cannot put into words. It was a special Sunday I won’t soon forget.
November has been filled with meetings: stewardship, nominating committee, committee on officer development, COVID task force, the transition team, outreach, race task force, book clubs, to name a few. I am so grateful for all of you who lead, attend, and do the work of these groups. I see you in person or on Zoom knowing you faithfully take on these tasks out of your love for Christ and Christ’s church, even as you work, care for loved ones and fulfill many other roles. I am always inspired by your dedication and commitment.
Last Wednesday evening our third grade Milestones class led us in worship. They sang. They read Scripture. They prayed. They celebrated the Lord’s Supper. They were presented with certificates and a wooden cross to mark this important milestone on their faith journey. It was a beautiful service that embodied so much of what’s meaningful and what matters in a local congregation. There were Sunday school teachers, church staff, elders, parents, and grandparents in attendance, all fulfilling the promises they made to these children in their baptism. I was reminded of the many, many people of faith who have loved and nurtured my children in each of the congregations I’ve been blessed to serve. It felt like a glimpse of the kingdom, a foretaste of the heavenly banquet, as each child was welcomed to the table and the adults celebrated not only their accomplishments, but also their preciousness.
I’ve had no shortage of reminders on why the church matters, why this church matters, and why our support of this place and all we do in God’s name matters. Thank you for your generosity of hospitality, spirit, time, talents and treasure. You matter to God, and you matter to our faith family, and you matter to me.
Grace and peace,