Tag Archives: stewardship

Church Life

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Sometimes the life of a church is peachy and wonderful. Sometimes the life of a church is harder to handle, with ups and downs and twists and turns and unexpected experiences.

We’re having one of those twisty turny unexpected times right now, so here is the latest news, a little reflection, and a space to share what’s going on in the church from your perspective.

The death of Jim H this past weekend is a shock to most of us. It is so unexpected, and a little confusing. We’re being church in really important ways–praying, bringing meals, remembering, looking for ways to support Gretchen and each other. If you’d like to help, please call your deacon, who can direct you to the person coordinating meals or cards or visits.

Jim’s memorial service will be in the sanctuary at RCLPC on Friday at 11am. We hope to see many of you, Jim’s faithful friends and colleagues in ministry and mission and fellowship. The reception afterward will be at Biaggi (not in the fellowship hall).
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Our phone and email systems are in the process of being changed…and in the meantime, there may be some difficulty. Please don’t leave voicemail messages, as we can’t check our voicemail. And please be patient with email blasts, as we’re working around a new system.

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It’s about to be stewardship season–though of course we know that the whole year is stewardship season, in the sense that we never stop contemplating what it means to be good stewards of the resources (time, talent, energy, money) that God has given us. Autumn is when we consider more directly our financial investment in the ministry and mission of RCLPC. As we seek to grow as a community, to grow in faith, and to grow in our ability to respond to God’s call to us, we hope you’ll all be thinking about why you are a part of RCLPC, what RCLPC means to you…and we hope you’ll be in worship to hear the stories of others answering these questions! We’re growing a community of believers here at RCLPC, and that growth requires resources. We know that God never calls without equipping, so we believe the resources are here!

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This coming Sunday (the 16th), we will have a guest preacher from Colombia at the 9:30 and 11:00 services. The Rev. Angelica Munos will be visiting. She is studying at McCormick this year. She’s from Baranquilla, Colombia. She’ll be preaching on Jeremiah 17 and 2 Corinthians 4, and her sermon is titled “In Whom Do We Place Our Trust?” It should be a great morning, with wonderful music, a wonderful guest, and inspiring worship. See you there.

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What do you see going on at RCLPC? Where is the Spirit moving? Where have you seen God lately? What do you hope for in your church community?

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vision

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From Travelling Hopefully: A Spiritual Pilgrimage by Robert Fyall…

There are many times on pilgrimage when situations like this occur; we have, we believe, been called by God and yet he has led us into a cul-de-sac. We do not see how he can meet our need so be panic and we blame others, we blame circumstances, and our vision fails.

It is vision in fact which is vital at moments like these. Vision is not seeing what is not there, vision is seeing ALL that is there. The thirst was real, the desert was real, but so also was the presence of God. The difference was that the presence of God was discerned only by the eye of vision. The letter to the Hebrews, speaking of Moses, captures this in a wonderful phrase: He persevered because he saw him who is invisible (Heb 11:27) It is not that thirst can be conjured away but rather that the resources to meet it are there but not yet visible.” (37)

“it is not that thirst can be conjured away but that the resources to meet it are there but not yet visible.” This reference to the story of Hagar (and to the story of the community of God’s people wandering in the wilderness after leaving Egypt, and to Elijah running to Mount Horeb as he flees Jezebel, and to countless other stories in our sacred text…I’m sensing a theme…) is a powerful one for a community in the midst of a conversation about stewardship, and resources, and what kind of church community we want to be. Scripture is studded with these stories of vision–of vision lost and found, “of sight regained” (as one of our hymns says), of hope in the middle of the desert.

We are not a community in the desert, at least not yet. We have resources of many kinds, from amazing talents to servant hearts to time to share. We also have the financial resources to do a lot of things…but not everything we have said we want to do, not everything we believe we are called to do, not quite enough to be who we think God wants us to be in our community and in our world. Our congregation operates for 12 months on only 10.5 months worth of income. We believe we are called to be the people of God 24/7, which includes even those 6 unfunded weeks. And we believe that the resources to meet this calling are there, but not yet visible.

 

What thirst do you have, or do we have as a congregation? And how can we open our eyes to see the resources to meet it? And once we see those resources, how are we going to make sure they get put to good use?