I was very pleased with our Charge Conference yesterday. Reverend Fleming led us well and we had much to celebrate. It is a source of great joy to be part of a church like Central where you can throw a dart at a calendar and, whatever date you hit, show how the church has been ministering. We minister to one another and to those beyond this church in Jesus’ name and are blessed in so doing. The video we watched (click here to see it), the reports shared (click on the following names to read what was submitted: Lay Leaders’ report by Johnny Crouch and Katri Skinner, States of the Church by Council Chair Jim Peterson and Reverends Will Malambri, Derrick Cattenhead, and Meg Jiunnies), and the conversations about how the church members, staff, and clergy come together to follow Jesus, love God, and love neighbor are great indications that the Holy Spirit is inspiring us to faithful service as expressions of our faith.
In reflecting on how any day at Central has a story of ministry, I shared about yesterday’s worship music. I was moved in The Well as we sang together, “You are a good, good Father, it’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are. And I am loved by you, it’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am.” I knew what the scripture and sermon coming up would be – Hannah’s story of desperately wanting a child (1 Samuel 1:4-20) and God answering her prayer. I remembered how much Sally and I wanted children. I was standing by our second child as we sang that, thinking about how much I want to be a good father to her and her brother and imagining what it would be like to hear from them that I am when it occurred to me that our good Father loves us, is very good to us, and deserves to hear the refrain everyday: You are a good, good Father, it’s who you are!
After that meaningful worship experience, I had a second: Don Grice playing J.S. Bach whose composition was based on Felix Mendelssohn’s. Think about that for a second. Then think about that kind of experience is likely to happen any Sunday here. The Well and sanctuary musicians are always prepared to lead us well. The worship services are well designed. The discussions in the Sunday School classes connect our congregation to God and each other. The programs that occur Sunday afternoons and Wednesday afternoons deepen our understanding of the faith and relationships with God and each other. The fellowship events throughout the week do the same. The Preschool gives us an opportunity to minister to our community (two-thirds of our Preschool students are not Central members and half of those don’t report any church involvement). As Reverend Cattenhead reminded us, we are actively involved in over 20 local, state, and international missions.
Any day, every day, Central is faithfully serving God and fulfilling our mission – and I am grateful to be part of it!