Francis and I have landed successfully in our new home and I have been hard at work getting to know many of you and the groups of our very busy church. I am refreshed and optimistic about the good work we will do together.
Our Small Group Ministries and our Worship program will focus on the theme of covenant this month. Covenant is a most appropriate topic because it speaks to the heart of what we hope to become as a congregation. The word covenant has ancient roots but its central meaning is simple and clear: To be in covenant with each other is to mutually promise to bring our best selves to the work of our beloved church. It is embodied in the affirmation we say each Sunday: “Love is the Spirit of this Church and Service is its law…..” (known as the Blake Covenant from 1894). By participating as best you can, you are living “in covenant” with one another.
The means by which we remain in covenant is to embrace the mission of this church. Our mission is to “inspire, connect and act” to make the lives of those in and around our community more fulfilling and complete. In order to live out that mission we must work together in ministry. In fact, ministry is the service we provide in fulfilling our mission. In one way or another every one of us who participates in the life of the church is a minister. Ministry is not just done by a minister, but rather a minister leads us together in doing ministry.
Big ideas here: Covenant, Mission and Ministry. Consider the impact the church has had on your life. Then consider the impact we could have on the world. This past week I officiated at the Memorial Service for a 22 year old young man, not a member of this church. The church was full to standing room only, well over 400 people who had come to grieve and remember his remarkable life. Now imagine how we might serve every one of those people in their healing and multiply that many times over. We are the religion the world has been waiting for. Lives need saving. And our ministry together is just waiting to be set free. Will you join me as we begin our new and promising ministry together?
With Grace and Grit, Rev. John