I had the privilege of serving as a commissioner at the 223rd General Assembly. Here is the church at work in the connectional way that unites us as one. We took to the street of St. Joseph, MO, marching to the City Justice Center with $47,200, money collected during our first worship service and used to bail out people incarcerated for minor offences who could not afford to pay their bail or fine.
We dealt with issues of climate change, immigrant parents being separated from their children and gun violence. We sought ways to put our faith into action at the world, national and community levels. Working through the denomination’s Mission Responsibility, Through Investment Committee we will continue corporate engagement with oil and natural gas companies. After long debate it was voted to stay at the table and use investment as leverage for industry change. The assembly votes 484-34 to approve a resolution calling for the immediate end to the government policy of separating parents and children and to place families “under the care of the community” rather than in detention.
These were only a few of the many issues that we wrestled with. As we look to the future we seek to be even more a church the is faithful to the call of Christ to love God and neighbor in word and in deed.
Two discouraged and disillusioned walk the road to Emmaus on that first Easter day. The crucifixion of Jesus has shattered all their dreams and hopes. Jesus began to walk along side of them. But they did not know that it was Jesus. He began to explain to them the plan of God that had been realized on the cruel cross of Calvary using the Old Testament scriptures to reveal the hand print of God in all that was accomplished. But it was not until they invited them into their home extending hospitality that Jesus revealed himself.
He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight.
Suddenly the Old Testament so skillfully presented by Jesus, as they walked their sorrowful journey, comes alive.
So many times when we are facing our own disappointments and discouragement we forget to look to Christ to find our hope, to look to scripture to find our compass. It is important to remember God’s faithfulness in the past so that we can trust it for the present and the future. Don’t discard your dreams because you cannot see the good that is around you.
He is risen! He is risen indeed!
Christ has said, “for where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am with them.”
We invite you to come and worship with us each Sunday and encounter the risen Christ. Things change when you encounter Christ – or should I say – when you are encounter by Christ. Come meet a Christ that is as relevant for the 21st century as he was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be. It is a life transforming, heart burning experience of hope, joy and everlasting life.
Sometimes life interferes with our plans. When that happens we need to set priorities and put even important things on hold until the appointed season. So I have been away from this page as other significant events have woven through my life and even the life of our congregation. These events have helped to continue to work out God’s plan and purpose which is always intended for our wellbeing. God is so faithful and worthy of our praise.
Nevertheless, it is good to return to blog with you as a way of sharing God’s love and God’s amazing grace. Perhaps in your life you have faced some difficult event or feel an emptiness in the midst of many blessings. A famous passage from St. Augustine’s Confessions (Lib 1,1-2,2.5,5: CSEL 33, 1-5 states “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.” Many have been searching for life’s purpose and meaning through various practices of spirituality. Some long for the certainly of faith they saw in their parents or grandparents but not the rigid rules and condemnation of their faith.
As we enter Holy Week with its expectations, its solemn journey to the cross, and its victorious celebration of Easter joy, I invite you to revisit the momentous reality of God’s love revealed in Christ and its meaning for your life. The world around us may be in chaos but God is sovereign and God’s plan and purpose is good and certain. If you choose we invite you to join us in this journey. Worship times and address are posted on our home page. I invite you to return to this blog as we explore issues that are current and I trust will be a blessing to us all.