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Pastor's Monthly Newsletter Message

May 2008

AGAIN! aGAIN!    Reverend Laurie

     For those of you who missed the Sunday night celebration dinner for the “Don’t Go to Church...Be the Church,” Faith in Action Event, you missed a momentous event!  As we gathered for dinner and prepared to pray, I said, “I am speechless!”  I know it is hard to imagine, but it did indeed happen.  I was indeed, for a few moments at least, rendered speechless by the beauty of the day.  If I had to pick one word to describe the day; beautiful might be my choice.  It was beautiful to see the church come together to care for cancer patients, homeless women, the environment, and the autism community.  It was beautiful to see our family of faith coming together for a common purpose.  It was beautiful to see patient and caring adults working side by side with young children.  It was beautiful to see the fellowship of new friends being gently formed and of old friends reconnecting away from the busyness of life.  It was beautiful to see all the good that could be done for the community just by canceling worship for the morning.  It was beautiful to see the love of God alive in this place through the faith in action that took place.  Needless to say, I am no longer speechless!

     One of my favorite things about the day was the sense of peace that surrounded the workspace where the work was being done.  As you can well imagine, the wonderfully generous servant leaders on the Mission Action Team that put this together, spent a tremendous amount of time planning and carrying out the Faith In Action experience.  I imagine, like most big projects, there were moments of urgency and anxiety during the months and weeks and days before “Don’t Go to Church” day and yet, there was a spirit of calm and beauty that permeated the entire event on April 20th. Leonard and I can never express our gratitude and appreciation for the time and energy the team and many helpers put in.  It is rare that so many people are willing to invest so much of themselves in any endeavor.

     It was such a beautiful day that embodied all that being the church is about and I can’t help but think of something that my children were fond of saying when they were small and when they experienced something wonderful.  They would cry out: “AGAIN! AGAIN!”  It is a true tribute to the work of the Mission Action Team that they have clearly tapped into the DNA of this congregation and its call to be a community church united in ministry and mission in the world.  The next step for all of us is how do we keep the momentum going.  Happily, there are many opportunities to share God’s love with the community and one another mentioned in this newsletter.  We don’t have to look far for what we can do next, whether it is helping the refugee families at SHIM, marching for Darfur, or joining in fellowship at the Sunday School picnic; there are opportunities to grow in faith and fellowship together.  In addition to these upcoming opportunities, I implore you to continue to pray about how God is calling Bower Hill to live out the vision of being a Community Church with a heart for mission.  It is my hope that a few people will come forward with the desire to help develop a plan to provide a monthly intergenerational mission project for our community of faith to participate in together.  In this way, we will celebrate what we have already done with a renewed purpose for what else we can do, again and again and again.  Let us together, continue to spread the beauty of God’s love.