As we begin the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend, I recall Dr. King’s famous “Letter From The Birmingham Jail.” Dr. King wrote the letter to admonish the clergy of Birmingham to be proactive in fighting injustice. King reminded them that the church is called not to support the status quo, but to create and promote communities that resemble the kingdom of God on earth. As we take time this weekend to reflect upon Dr. King’s legacy, it is important to remember that Dr. King’s accomplishments were motivated by his faith in Christ. As is so often the case, a movement that made life better for a whole society began with a deep faith conviction and the courage to act upon that conviction. When we know and embrace the reality that Jesus Christ is walking into every situation with us, we have no reason to be afraid. .
Last week, Pastor Gary challenged us all to remember that our mission is about people. If we are going to grow and thrive as a church in 2022 and beyond, all of us must see ourselves as ministers who seek to meet new people, welcome new people, and love new people just as God has loved us. If you see someone at worship or on the Grace campus whom you have not seen before, take the time to introduce yourself, learn the person’s name, and ask a few questions to learn about that person. Many people are hungry for such basic friendly human encounters, and a church campus is the place to find them.
This coming Sunday, Pastor Gary will be sharing a message based upon Luke 1: 26-38. His message is entitled “Say Yes”, and I look forward to how the message will inspire us to embrace and live into our mission as a church. We will offer in-person communion at both services. I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve communion every week, as I value this sacred encounter.
Next Wednesday, January 19, we will have our chili cookoff in the fellowship hall starting at 5pm. It has been two years since our last chili cookoff, so come out and enjoy this opportunity to be together.
Friends, regardless of which service you attend, invite others to join you! Share something about Grace UMC on your Facebook page. Let people know what you love about your church. Remember that we are called to the ministry of hospitality, and God uses us to grow His church!
See you Sunday!