It’s been a while since I’ve written one of these Monday morning reports, but I really want to try to keep y’all updated on what’s happening around City Road, so here are a few random thoughts for today:
Summer of Love Worship
I want to thank Kent Goodson, Jerry Armour, Jim Walden, Janet Passinger, and Deb Naylor for the great work they did yesterday in leading our worship music. I thought it would be fun to travel back to the 1960’s to sing the Youngblood’s “Get Together,” and really loved how all of you got into singing that song. It was a great service and I hope that y’all experienced God’s presence in our worship.
I also hope that there was food for thought in thinking about the practice of friendship. Certainly, I hope that you are able to have the “Jonathan and David” type of friends in your lives, but as importantly I hope you will think about what it means to love our neighbors (not just in a figurative sense, but the folks that literally live in our neighborhoods). We experience and demonstrate Christ’s love when we are able to bear one another’s burdens, so be thinking about how God is calling you to reach out to those around you.
This coming Sunday we will be looking at familial love, drawing on the Greek word Storge, and thinking about the practice of kinship. Families should be places of love, but for many of us, they can be places of stress and hardship. How does God’s love reflect and affect our understanding of what it means to love our family?
Neighbor Needing Assistance
We’ve had a woman visiting our church recently who lives in Madison Towers, but who will be moving to another city to be closer to family. She is needing folks who can help her load a U-Haul truck on Saturday, August 5th @12:30 p.m. She is disabled and on a limited income, so your help would be greatly appreciated. If you think this is something you can help with drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
15forward Service Sunday!
We announced on Sunday that our Youth and Young Adult Ministry has a new identity — 15forward. Since this coming Sunday is a 5th Sunday, the 15forward group will be gathering at the church at 2 p.m. to go out and offer the love of Christ in a direct way to our friends and neighbors. All folks in high school and college age are invited to join us for this project to be announced.
In Our Prayers:
- Our friend and member Judy Terry was taken to Skyline Medical Center and is in the ICU there for dehydration, pneumonia, and a possible stroke.
- Mary Lee Moore asks for prayers for her sister Hope, who is having cancer treatment surgery in New Yourk today.
- Bob Passinger will be having hip replacement surgery on July 31, 2017.
- Eddie McIlvaine will be having knee replacement surgery on August 8, 2017
A Final Word
It’s always interesting to me to hear the rumors flying about what’s going on in our church. I’ve recently heard that I wanted to get rid of our youth ministry, that I wanted to end the organist position, and that I failed to offer assistance to church members in need. None of these rumors were true.
James in his letter to the 12 Tribes of the Dispersion repeatedly says that we need to be careful in how we respond to what we now call “fake news.” He wrote that disciples of Jesus Christ should be “…quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger…” for that anger does not produce God’s righteousness. Likewise, he notes “If any think they are religious, and do not bridle their tongues but deceive their hearts, their religion is worthless.”
I’ve been in the church long enough to know that rumors will always be with us, but I want to encourage us to take the time to listen and make sure we know all the facts before we speak. If you are hearing reports of things that I’m doing or not doing, come talk to me directly and find out if they are true. I am always willing to admit my mistakes and be challenged if I’m not being faithful to God’s call for our church and my ministry. But I can’t address issues when I don’t know about them, so come ask.
Yes, we are going through great changes in our church, but I believe that God continues to be with us in those changes. Part of being a people of God’s embrace is the willingness to talk honestly about our fears, our concerns, and our grief about those changes. Parking lot conversations about rumors will never get us to a place of health and growth. It’s only when we can let down the masks and be ourselves that we will be able to fully carry out God’s work here in Madison.
Thanks again for a great service on Sunday. I hope to see you on Wednesday at Vespers or next Sunday Morning.