Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
As often happens when I am asking the Spirit to guide me in developing my weekly columns I am hit with something from one of my many mentors from seminary, Cursillo, high school, family, etc. This week is no different. One of my closest friends, in fact, the one most singularly responsible for getting me to recognize God's call in my life and head to seminary posted this on his facebook page:
"God is not calling us to go to church; God is calling us to be God's church; the hope of the world."
It's important to remember that going to church is important, it is a way to keep ourselves focused, to maintain community, to learn, to be reminded what it is like to live like Christ (even though at times...we see a side of church that isn't picture perfect. Most of us need to come to church...it has become a part of our being. That is great, wonderful, life-giving...but we also know that growing the church takes great intentionality. We have to be willing to share Jesus Christ with others and invite others to consider following Jesus as Lord and Savior. This won't happen if the primary focus of our church life is us. This does not mean that we cease to provide ministry to those who are already members of the church, but it does mean that we make others the priority.
Let's be intentional in making others the priority. Let's be less consumed with getting people to come to our churches and more focused on bringing church to the people of our communities. As Episcopalians we operate in a "parish" system. The parish is a "geographical" term not a church building term. We are called to serve an entire geographical area and to bring the face of Christ to all those we meet. May it be so.
Have a blessed week and Sunday!
Blessings & Peace,
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