For the love of Christ urges us on…. 2 Corinthians 5:14
Christian congregations like Peace survive because the Spirit of Christ keeps calling us to be here, to do Christian things, to practice loving God and loving one another. The spirit calls us to listen to ancient and strange words as if they contain the secret to life for us. The spirit breathes through those ancient words, calling our busy and troubled spirits to quiet moments, calling us to examine our lives, calling us to receive forgiveness, calling us to lives of service, calling our hearts to peace. The spirit is alive in the mystery of the sacrament of the altar, the center of our life together.
The Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome, I thank God in Jesus Christ for all of you… Romans 1:8. I do the same thing. A church like ours exists in a climate of trust and hope. We trust one another; that makes us a community. We trust God; that’s part of what makes us Christians. We hope to be led into new ventures.
As members of a community of faith we need not have the same political ideas; we need not be the same age or gender; we need not have the same educational, social, economic or ethnic background. As long as we are patient with one another and do not insist on our own way, diversity makes us strong. In our increasingly stratified society, a little church like ours can be a place where real community exists, as an assembly dedicated to worship, service and learning.
Together, according to our talents and means, we offer what we are and what we have to maintain and support our community. As we do this, a mysterious thing happens: we are served, even in the act of giving of ourselves.
Each of us contributes in a slightly different way but each contribution is valuable and makes a difference. I thank God for each of you. Here are just a few of the new things happening at Peace now.
Prayer ministryCarol Green began a new ministry focusing on this foundational spiritual practice.
The gardens and grounds have been expanded and improved.
We continue to find people who will share our building as neighbors and partners.
Sabbatical bylaw amendment
This will help the whole community in years to come. Our congregation will be strengthened through regular pastoral sabbaticals. I intend to take a sabbatical sometime in 2016.
Long range planning
In the fall we will begin a new planning cycle that will focus our special efforts. All of you will be invited to contribute ideas, hopes, dreams, energy and enthusiasm as we plan for the future.