Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Adventures...May 2017

What a month April was!!  Amidst the weather not making up its mind if it would be cold or warm, we made it to the end of our Lenten journey and through Holy Week and Easter.  However, what a powerful and meaningful Holy Week and Easter we had here at Community UMC!!  Even though I am writing this installment of Adventures two days after Easter, the afterglow of our Easter Sunday is still with me as I feel uplifted from the music, seeing a full sanctuary, and that we are slowly seeing signs of Spring around here.  Our Holy Week services had a wide range of emotions from the excited shouts of “Hosanna” on Palm Sunday that quickly turned to “Crucify Him” as we made our way through Jesus’s Passion, the Last Supper, his arrest, trial, crucifixion, and death.  But of course as we heard and saw on Easter, death WILL NOT have the final say. 

            But now, we are in the Great 50 Days between Easter and Pentecost and although the candies, fake grass, baskets, and other goodies have long been put away or sold at markdown, IT IS STILL EASTER for us as people of faith.  Easter is not so much the culmination of Lent, but is the beginning of a new journey.  It is a journey of faith and encountering the risen Christ along the way.  During the Easter season, we hear of the stories of how the disciples got to encounter the risen Christ as they were still hidden away, then called back into service.  We hear the account of the disciples encountering Christ on the Road to Emmaus, or on the beach.  But just as quickly as they see him, he disappears.  But one role of faith that is important is believing in what can’t be seen.  We may not see Jesus Christ today, but he still with us.  He is with us through our words and actions, whether it is through our service to the community, or when we see each other every Sunday.  He is with us when we visit those among us with health problems or in the hospital, and he is with us in the midst of when we grieve.  Even though we don’t physically see Jesus, he is with us in one way or another. 

            As we are in the midst of these Great 50 Days, how are you going to be Jesus’s hands and feet?  How are you going to encourage others to encounter the risen Christ in your midst?  It is hard to believe that I have almost been your pastor for a year now and I have learned so much and have seen so much of how we are Jesus’s hands and feet in the world today and also excited about some new potential we have to extend that service further.  As I referenced in my Easter sermon, I am interested in discerning new ministries in our community, particularly with the Ohana House, the new dorm housing for Feather River College where the nursing home used to be, but also how we can partner with the schools and better serve the families in our community.  These are some new places where we can be the hands and feet of Jesus, but also create new relationships and places we can encourage people to look for the risen Christ today.  And another item I referenced in my Easter sermon is re-visioning our Christian Education and am currently working with the leaders and Sunday School teachers on casting a vision of how we can better serve the families in our area so that we can foster spiritual growth in our church and greater community.  Because like the many plants and trees around us, we need nourishment for our spiritual lives as well and it is important for us to grow in spirit.  As we live into the resurrection and encountering the risen Christ, let’s keep seeing what is possible as we continue to grow in spirit…Pastor Andrew

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