I continue to be inspired by this community and the many ways that God’s love manifests in our church and her ministries. Bible Study is thriving. Children’s ministry is blossoming. YASS continues to gather and grow. SoulFood Fellowship is continuing to flourish. And our Saturday Community Lunch Program continues to nourish the spiritual and physical needs of its members. All this to say, The Park is doing what it does best, which is be church. And for that I am grateful.
When I was a kid, I used to love to get the mail. I would run to the mailbox every day after school to see what exciting thing had come that day. Usually it was bills and things for my parents, but every once in a while, I would get a letter or post card. Something that was created and delivered just for me. That seemingly small act made me as a young person feel seen and valued as a member of society, not just as a member of my family.
As I read this week’s scripture from Romans 10, that is the memory that stuck with me. A mail carrier delivering mail to my home and being so excited when someone took the time to send me something. See what resonates with you in this portion of Paul’s letter to the Romans.
How then can they call on the One in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe in the One about whom they have not heard? And how can they hear if no one preaches to them? 15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? As scripture says, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the Good News!” (Romans 10:14-15 [ILB])
At first glance this passage seems to be about preachers and in our context that is generally a specific couple of people. But when you read it again and let the idea of who brings about the good news of Christ expand in definition, it becomes a passage not just for a few of us, but a call to all of us.
Who was the first person to teach you about Jesus? What do you remember about that person and that time in your life? What made that good news- good for you? Now, think about what it might mean for each of us to be that person and bring that good news to someone else? Who needs to hear that there is a community that loves them unconditionally? Who needs to know that our God is one that sides with the oppressed, and does not bless injustice? What do you need to feel confident to talk about your faith and to be the one who delivers the good news of Christ Jesus?
Friends, see how beautiful our community is when we faithfully wrestle with these questions and do so to bring about the good news of the One who loves and liberates. It is so beautiful. You are so beautiful.
A quick prayer for your week: O Lord, make me an instrument in the symphony of your good news. Amen
Children and Youth Ministry Update
from The Rev. Cara Gilger
Dear Park Families,
Last Sunday we studied the scripture passage from the sermon Romans 8:38-39 and explored what it means to never be separated from God. We used refrigerator magnets and items around the house to see what it means that God’s love sticks with us all the time.
This Sunday we will be studying Romans 10:14-14 alongside the adults in worship and we will be learning a little more in depth what Paul’s ministry and letter writing were about as well as a craft where we will think about all the beauty God has created in the world.
Worship boxes have been shipped and are predicted to arrive on Saturday to Park families across the city! If you didn’t email me that you would like one, we still have a few extras and I can put one in the mail to you ASAP. Just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. These boxes have tools and materials to make our ongoing virtual Children’s Worship more interactive as we think about how to worship and grow in our faith as a virtual community.
As we prepare for Sunday’s lesson families can discuss the following table topics during dinner to being engaging the teaching themes:
What is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen?
Would you rather only use Zoom or write letters for a year?
If you could grow a garden what are the plants you would want to include?
Looking forward to seeing your children on Sunday at 10:30am on BlueJeans. If you need a link to sign up for our Children’s Worship email Stephanie Wilson at email@example.com.
Pandemic of Love is a mutual aid community of care that was started in response to the COVID-19 epidemic. It humbly began on March 14th, 2020 by one person and was intended to help her own local community. But, like an epidemic, the act of love and kindness spread quickly and is now a beautiful movement helping those in need throughout the world.
What is a mutual aid community? It connects people in need with patrons who can help with that need. This is a tangible way for people to give to each other, quickly, discretely and directly.
What’s the catch? There is none. Kind people are introduced to kind people which results in an act of kindness and human connection.