This Sunday: August 25, 2019
10:00 am Combined Worship - Sanctuary
Amy Starr Redwine. preaching
Week of August 16, 2019
Why Are We Doing All This?
This week I received via email a newsletter for church leaders which began with this question: "Can you hear it? Can you feel the rumble of your church’s program train pulling out of the station and beginning to barrel down the track?” In my head (maybe even out loud in my office), I answered with a resounding, “yes!” After a wonderful summer pause during which the church has been relatively quiet, things have begun to ramp up again in earnest as we plan for the program year to begin. And there are lots of wonderful plans: all-church fellowship events, music and education opportunities for all ages, a new sermon series, stewardship conversations with members and outreach partners — and that’s just in September! Which is why I was glad to read the other question in that newsletter: Why are we doing all this?
Why are we doing all this? In the first chapter of the book of Isaiah, the prophet asks that “why" question about the act of worship, reminding God’s people that they do not worship for the sake of worship alone. Worship is integrally connected to how we live as God’s people, which for Isaiah is all about how we enact God’s justice and peace. What is true of worship is true of all of our church programs and events — we do them, not for our sake alone, but that through our worship and learning and serving and building relationships with one another, we might be equipped for the hard but necessary work of living day by day as God’s people, people who seek justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God — in a world that makes these seemingly simple tasks exceedingly challenging. The fruit this work bears takes time to cultivate — longer than one month or even one year. As you reflect on that “why” question about the many things that demand your attention and action, may you be guided by this poem by poet/pastor Steve Garnaas-Holmes:
Like artisans building a cathedral,
we are engaged in work that outlives us.
The building of justice will take generations;
knowing this, we do not grow weary or lose heart.
Sustained by those who have come before,
who endured so that we may be brought this far,
we carry on, against all odds, against all opposition.
We are not intimidated by the thought
that we will not achieve our goal in our lifetime.
Of course not. This is not for us,
but for our children's children's children.
Our little triumphs and failures are ennobled,
not by our successes, but by the immense grace
of the work to which we devote ourselves.
Discouragement, despair and even death do not trouble us,
for our lives are insignificant in the shadow of this work,
which bestows its blessings to the ends of the earth,
and to generations far beyond us.
Friends, take courage. God is in this;
this is where, though you are small, you become immortal.
Thanks for listening!
Please keep in your prayers:
Those with special concerns:
Charles Blackburn and family on the death of his mother, Diana Blackburn, on August 15.
Members and family serving in the military:
Jenny Sigel Burkett
Nathan Thomas Meade
Please let us know if you have a joy or concern that we may lift up in prayer. Contact Mary Kay Collins, or any church staff. If you are in immediate need of pastoral care, please call the church office at 358-2383. During night and weekend hours, your call will be transferred to a pastor on call.
Friday, August 16
Saturday, August 17
Sunday, August 18
Monday, August 19
Tuesday, August 20
Wed., August 21
Thursday, August 22
Friday, August 23