Grace to you and peace from God our Creator and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Very often lately I have been feeling “stuck.” It has been challenging to muster up a weekly dose of patience with regard to the building and property renovation plan while we wait for our developer to be able to move forward as our partner. I am told often that “these kinds of development projects take time.” Yeah, yeah, I know, but I’m still feeling stuck. Like we can’t make any “concrete” plans for the future while everything related to our renovation project hangs in the balance.
On a particular Thursday recently I was feeling especially frustrated until I actually paid attention to life in our building. On that particular Thursday three generations of a local Nepali family was working hard in our community garden area getting the raised beds ready vegetable plants. In the sanctuary a group of adults from a sheltered workshop in East Cleveland was volunteering to straighten out the materials in our pew racks (they are coming every Thursday now.) A whole bunch of volunteers were hard at work in the Heights Emergency Food Center sorting, preparing, and handing out food to hungry people. Another group of volunteers from a local public school were also at work in the Food Center, getting “pre-vocational” experience. Dylan, who has a percussion studio in one of our Oakridge rooms, was giving a lesson to a student. Amy Campbell and Kathy Smith were working in their offices preparing materials and programs for the congregation for Sunday. I was meeting with someone in my office. Others of you were ready to show up later in the day for our monthly community meal.
And while not all of those events could directly be called “church work” in the traditional sense of the words, every single activity was enriching the lives of the individuals involved. Every single activity was, in some way or another, bringing hope and healing to one or more lives. And because all of these activities were in the place inhabited by Disciples Christian Church, each and every one of them was, directly or indirectly, being done in the name of Jesus Christ, whom we serve, and by whom we “do all things through Him who gives us strength.”
When I noticed all of this, I felt less “stuck.” I felt like we have so much to do, so much healing to offer our community and world in the name of Jesus, and very little of it actually depends on our building or property.
Thank you. Thank you for faithfully serving in the name of Jesus in our congregation and everywhere else you serve others. While we wait for plans to unfold on someone else’s schedule, let’s continue to look for new ways, and strengthen our current ways, of being a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world.
Your partner in ministry,