Message from The Pastor – October 2019
During October, there are some special days which we celebrate in our church.
In the United Methodist Church, these days are;
- World Communion Sunday
- Children’s Sabbath
- Laity Sunday
- Reformation Day
When I think about these special days the following things come to mind – Jesus Christ, breaking bread, wine, inclusive, community, building, welcoming, hospitality, discipleship, witness, old, death, resurrection, hope, love, newness, commandment, grace, and salvation.
The four events have Jesus in the center of each of these days. On October 6th we celebrate Holy Communion with the world. This day shows us God’s boundless love and grace by making a seat at the table for everyone in the world. We are ecumenically feasting at the table of grace. Faith and salvation seekers who don’t belong to a Community of Faith are welcomed to come and join us in this banquet.
On the night of the Last Supper, Jesus commanded us to celebrate the breaking of the bread and sharing of the wine to remind us that he gave up his life for us. We must come together as the body of Christ and witness to his marvelous love and grace. Our UMC church reminds us to practice and honor Holy Communion by loving God and one another.
Children’s Sabbath reminds us the role children play in the life of the church and the world. Their baptism reminds us of the importance of their presence. When we celebrate our children’s presence and ministry, we remember that we are building God’s Kingdom here on earth. The children are the future of God’s kingdom.
Mark 10: 15 says “Truly, I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” We must pursue God with holiness and in the spirit of purity. We must teach our children the Word of the Lord as God mandated in Deuteronomy 11:18 a, 19 – “ You shall put these words of mine in your heart and soul. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you are at home, and when you are away when you lie down, and when you rise.” Living in faith means loving, nurturing, teaching, and supporting our children’s faith in God.
Laity is vital to the life of the church and the existence of the Kingdom of God in the world. It serves as the heart, hands, and feet of Jesus Christ in the community and the world. Our Laity displays hospitality, a heart full of grace, and sincere generosity. Laity’s faithful discipleship to God elevates them to sainthood and priesthood in the Kingdom of God. On Laity Sunday we acknowledge the importance of Laity giving of themselves to serve God and others.
In October, we celebrate the anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed 95 “theses”(propostions) to the door of the Wittenberg Castle for debate knowing that doing so would put his life in danger, persecution, ridicule and banished from the Roman Catholic Church. His actions were the catalyst that splintered the Catholic Church and kindled the birth of new churches and faiths.
John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, was influenced by Luther’s Preface To The Letter of Paul to the Romans. While attending the Moravian’s Society in 1738, at which they discussed Luther’s Preface, Wesley “felt my heart strangely warmed”. The experience spurred a spiritual awakening in Wesley where he felt that when one receives God’s mercy and grace, there is nothing that will stop that person from receiving God’s salvation. God calls us to cross boundries and do things which unite people to love God with all their hearts and minds and also to love their neighbors.
God called, baptized, empowered, inspired, and equipped us to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. We are called to speak truth to power and to accept God’s love and grace. When we honor, respect, and harvest God’s love and grace on these special days, we demonstrate to God and others that we are living our faith daily.
I wish you and your family God’s blessings, grace, and peace,
Pastor Sela Rousseau