FROM THE PASTOR
This time of year always finds me doing some soul searching – wondering what the future holds, but also looking to past years of “professional” ministry. As I wander through well over a decade of memories - my story interacting with countless others - I’m very mindful of how truly grateful I am to serve among you and with you. As I sat with my Sunday brunch crew this week, I couldn’t help but be filled with immense joy and gratitude for each and every one of the people gathered around the table – not just as individuals, but also as representatives of the entire First Church community.
Over these last two years I have come to know you as a Spirit-filled people, with compassion and selflessness permeating through your actions. Your dedication to service and reaching out to those in need exemplify the true essence of Jesus following. From our community meal and community partnerships that provide food for the underserved, to the support offered to struggling families, you have consistently demonstrated a commitment to be the hands and feet of Christ in our community.
But the love doesn't end there; it extends within our congregation as well. I am humbled by the genuine care and concern you show for one another, always ready to lend a listening ear or a helping hand. The way you embrace new members and visitors, making them feel like part of the family from day one, is nothing short of inspiring.
Your unwavering faith and the warmth of your welcome have created a place where people can find comfort, grow spiritually, and deepen their relationship with God. Our worship service has become more than just a gathering; it is a vibrant expression of love and gratitude to the One who binds us together.
As we continue to navigate the challenges (opportunities) of the world around us, I urge you to hold onto this spirit of love and unity. Let it be the guiding light that leads us through every trial and triumph. Let us continue to open our hearts and extend our arms to those in need, offering hope and support to those who long for community.
In the words of the apostle Paul, "And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love." (1 Corinthians 13:13). Indeed, it is through our love that we show the world what it means to be followers of Christ.
Are there things we need to work on? Of course - we are "moving on to perfection", and some of us (I'm thinking of myself) have a long way to go! My prayer is that we and God would continue to work together to strengthen our bonds with one another, and with our community, as we walk this journey together. Let us be a beacon of love, shining bright for all to see.
With much love and appreciation,