From the Pastor – April 2023

Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her. John 20:18

The familiar refrain at Eastertime is “He is Risen!” And, the response is “He is risen, indeed!” This speaks to the unexpected new life that is yours though Jesus. This good news started small, with one conversa-tion in a quiet place between two people. But, then it grew! Soon, all the disciples knew, then all of Jerusalem and soon the world. This small conversation has become the moment that many measure time as before and after. As I reflect upon these words and how they speak to us today, it occurs to me this new life is what we are experiencing in the church. There is a heck of a lot going on, although it is small and quiet now, it is growing!

Your Session (the leadership meeting of the church Elders) has been working overtime! They are reworking the way we meet, worship, and eat together. They are especially working on the kitchen project and an up-and-coming solar project. Some of these projects are quickly achieved, some take more time, study and persistence. But, work they do!

As the Session is considering what and how we do things, they are choosing to be intentional about the way we function from here on out. In many ways, COVID provided a reset button for us. So, as we continue to gain steam this spring, we would like to do it with thought to who we are, what we do, and how we do things.

In a Session retreat, we affirmed the most basic statements about who we are can be summed up by, “Jesus is Lord” and “the Kingdom is now here”.
Jesus is Lord: our identity as people of faith springs from our affirmation that it is Jesus and the work that he is still doing that brings us together, lifts us up, and sends us into the community to minister is God’s name. As we gather, grow, and serve, it is Jesus revealed in the Old and New Testaments that guide us. We have other interests that spring from our relationship with Jesus- caring for the least, the lost, and our environment. But, it is Jesus that is our common bond.

The Kingdom is now here: is the very message of Easter. Jesus’ resurrection from the dead means that we don’t wait until heaven to join the family of God. It happens here and now. As mem-bers of the family, it is our joy to set about the work of the family household. So, we work to make the world the place God invisions as our ideal habitat. In the Lord’s Prayer, we recite “thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” That is our calling. There are countless ways of doing this work, but that is what defines it. Easter reminds us of that every year.

As Easter arrives, please be aware of the important events. Some of our old friends are yet to return from the COVID hiatus. Easter would be a great time to return and greet your old friends and meet new ones.

Peace, Jim