“We are the Church Alive, Christ’s presence on this earth;
We give God’s Spirit body in the act of our new birth.
As yielded open channels for God’s descending dove,
We shout and sing, with joy we bring God’s all-inclusive love.
by Jack Hoggatt-St. John and David Pelletier
The lyrics above are from a hymn that we sing here at Cathedral of Hope United Church of Christ. We often sing it on Anniversary Sunday as a reminder that the church is a living, breathing, changing, challenging and spiritual organism that attempts to live out “God’s presence on this earth.”
This has been the focus of our sermon series during August and together we have explored what it means to know that we are enough, that we have enough, that God’s love is enough. By knowing and believing this, personally, we have enough to share, in sincere generosity (giving and receiving) to complete the work that Jesus began during his earthly ministry. Our “new birth” is one of transformation that helps us to understand what Jesus meant when he said, “you are in the world, but not of the world.” (John 17:14-15)
We bring this sermon series to a close this Sunday and I sincerely hope that you found the series, and the small group interactions both helpful as we each deepen our spiritual lives and values together.
I like to believe that sermon series build on one another and next Sunday we will begin a “mini-series” that will center on our discipleship path. Jesus calls us to be disciples, not just believers. We are to become like Christ and, as such, the church itself should be a representation of where I started this weekly note, “the church alive.”
In the coming weeks we will be launching new small groups and I want to strongly encourage you to sign up and to become a part of small group. They are a place of connection, study, relationship, and fellowship. They are a place where we get to “do life together,” engaging in acts of service, compassion, and spiritual practice. A place where we can grow in discipleship.
We have much planned for the rest of the year and are partnering with many local organizations, working together to demonstrate the inclusive love of God that is a central value of our church. Please watch for more information in the coming weeks.
In closing, we continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 in our world and locally. We take your safety seriously and want you to know that, while things are constantly changing and information can be at times confusing, we have in place as many protocols as reasonably possible to make attendance at worship services and other church events as safe as possible. I also encourage you to take whatever safety precautions you decide to keep you and your family well.
As a parent of a 7-year-old who has recently returned to school, I too make those decisions and know that they are not easy, but often necessary.
I do hope that you will join me in-person or online this Sunday and please remember to support your community with time, talent and treasure. As our current sermon series reminds us, we have enough resources to change the world and we do that through our generosity.