Monthly Archives: September, 2020
By Alex Stayer-Brewington, Associate Pastor of Youth & Their Families
Our Christian faith is a simple religion concerned with ordinary objects. Animals, tables, and books. Bread, wine, and water. Wood and nails. The items that inhabit our holiest stories are also the stuff of everyday life. Communion bread comes from the grocery store or somebody’s kitchen, and the water in our baptismal fount comes from the same sink where I rinse out my coffee mug. Through and despite their humble origins, these elements become vehicles for the miraculous to occur.
I was reminded of this on Rally Day last Sunday when about 200 of you (not including dogs and a cat) drove through our church driveway to wave and say a quick hello. In our brief interactions there were no profound theological debates and the skies didn’t open up to reveal any heavenly choruses. There was only the simple pleasure of looking one another in the eyes and smiling – connecting face-to-face with the most elemental and profound of human gestures.
Simple though it may be, our faith is built on nothing less than the promise of God’s presence when two or three of us are gathered together. It took several long months of pandemic isolation and then seeing you again in person last Sunday to remind me of the fact that being with other people is fundamental to who we are as Christians and as human beings. Thank you to everyone who came out. Your presence was a sacred gift.
By Marietta Wynands, Director of Christian Education
For many years, a small plaque created by one of my sons during a long-ago VBS graced the wall next to the entrance to our home. It reads, “…as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
Much like a mezuzah that some Jews place on their doorposts, this plaque served as a reminder coming in and going out that God was to be at the very center of our lives. These words, spoken by Joshua to God’s wayward people the Israelites, were a call to the community. They served as both warning and invitation to a people that Joshua knew to be easily led astray by the lure of other gods or the challenges that confronted them. Joshua’s vow to remain faithful to God encompassed his own household and he challenged the community to do the same.
As we launch a new year of Christian Education, we too are in a time of testing. Yet the invitation remains for me and for you and your household. Will we serve the Lord in these challenging times? Will we turn to and rely on the Spirit of God and the community of faith? Despite our weariness with Zoom and our exhaustion with all-things-online, will we seek to connect with our God and to our church family, staying true to our covenantal promises to serve the Lord as we seek to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God?
Here’s another plaque that presently welcomes friends and neighbors to our house. It reads simply, “Welcome, Friends.” Welcome is a core Christian practice. Many of our classes, but especially our new CommUNITY Groups, are a wonderful way to make and deepen friendship. I invite you this fall to make a promise to God and to yourself to connect and nurture faith in CommUNITY, together/apart.