The Church Honors our 2020 Graduates

Dear Church Family,

We’re now halfway through our current series called “Credo.” In this series, we’re using the Apostles’ Creed, an ancient statement of faith put together by the early Christians, to better understand our beliefs – our beliefs about God primarily but also our beliefs about ourselves, because what we believe about God impacts how we live.

So far in the series we’ve talked about each of the 3 persons of the Godhead – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Now we turn our attention to the line in the creed that talks about the church. The line goes like this:
 
The holy catholic church, the communion of saints

I’m going to let the cat out of the bag and reveal the main question that’s going to drive the entirety of the message: If you’re a Christian, do you have to be part of the church?

I don’t think it’s any secret that church involvement in Europe and America isn’t what it was a few generations ago. More and more people are opting not to be part of the church. Here I’m reminded of something Galadriel, the elf queen, says in The Fellowship of The Ring, which is the first of The Lord of the Rings movies: “The world is changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air.” The reality is the world has changed when it comes to church. There are many Christians out there who see church as more of a luxury or an accessory to faith than a necessity. So, this weekend we’re going to discover what sort of role the church should play in our lives as Christ-followers. I pray that by God’s grace this message will inspire you get to more involved in church – which, by the way, can still happen even in these days when we’re not having in-person gatherings!

Speaking of getting involved, have you written your encouraging note to our 7 graduating seniors? If not, what are you waiting for? Seriously, what are you waiting for? We have 7 (yes, 7!) students finishing high school this year. We’ll be celebrating these graduates on Sunday, June 7 during our virtual services, but in the meantime, we need your help. Would you please drop a note to Diana Petras (dpetras@communityoffaith.org) with a congratulatory word for these students? You can address each student individually or you can write a more general note to all of them. If at all, please send your note by next week. The students are as follows:

Eduardo Velazquez
Angel Cintron
Rachel Link
Destiny Trammel
Hannah Weber
Clayton Pollard
Abigail Thomas

The last thing I want to say is that when it comes to reopening our building, our leadership has wisely discerned that we’re not in a place where we’re ready to give out any dates. (Sorry!) As I mentioned last week, our first step is to reopen our Learning Center and then, only after we’ve worked out all the kinks, begin the process of reopening the rest of our facilities in phases. I’m sorry I don’t have more details right now, but we’ll update you as those details become available.

You may remember that last year our church did a congregation-wide study on the 3 rules that John Wesley instituted for the early Methodists. The first of those rules is: Do no harm. Physical distancing (I prefer that term to social distancing since we’re trying to stay social through virtual connections) is the way we’re not causing harm during this season. None of us want to put our community at risk. All that said, thank you for your flexibility, patience, and willingness to adapt. By God’s grace, this congregation truly is the hands and feet of Jesus in this world!

“See” you this weekend!
  
Blessings,
Chris