Love Notes... A few words from our pastor

As Community Spirit prepares to gather on Sunday for a service that will weave together worship and our work as a congregation (otherwise known as an annual meeting), I find myself amazed that we’ve managed so much in such a short amount of time. Just yesterday, it seems we were gathering at St. Paul’s and getting launched—here we are now with bylaws under our belt, new leadership coming on board, and the boldest promises of giving for the coming year that our congregation has ever seen!

Even as we grow and change, some things remain the same. For instance, we are still committed to seeking the Spirit’s leading at every turn, which is why we are being intentional on Sunday about bringing worship and our meeting into conversation with each other. And we still can’t resist saying (most Sundays, anyway), “No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you’re welcome here!”

Something else that is staying the same is our practice of declaring our membership or friendship with the church on an annual basis. On Sunday, those of you who wish will have an opportunity to covenant with the church as members or declare that you want to be regarded as an official friend of the congregation. If you were in worship on January 8th, you might have picked up one of our response cards to convey your wishes. If so, bring your completed card with you this Sunday. If you didn’t pick one up, we’ll have extras on hand or can mail you one upon request. You can also print out a card here to bring with you or mail/email it to the church.

Unlike the fellow in another setting who asked me, “If I join your church, what do I get in return,” at Community Spirit, we understand that membership or friendship with the congregation is relational rather than transactional. This relationality, this covenanting, is what empowers us to be the church together rather than turn the church into some kind of vending machine where we feel entitled to receive certain things in exchange for this effort or that contribution.

While declaring yourself an official friend of the church doesn’t call for more than communicating this intention, those of us who covenant as members do so by making the following promises: to participate in worship on a regular basis, to pray for the church and its pastor, to take part in the church’s other offerings and activities, to serve however the Spirit leads, to live into our Relational Covenant, and to support the church financially.

Community Spirit celebrates that whether you’re a covenanted member, an official friend of the church, or someone who isn’t ready for or interested in either of those identities, your presence in our midst is a gift from God. We are grateful to have you join us on the journey, and we vow to do our utmost to create a climate where we are all regarded equally. (The only discernable difference between members and those who are not members is that only members can vote on matters before the church or serve in elected positions.)

I look forward to gathering on Sunday where we can celebrate our 2022 God-assisted triumphs and look ahead to a year in which we turn 10 and look for new ways to be the church God has called us to be—radically inclusive in the way of Jesus, committed to bearing witness to God’s love and justice, and open to the leading of the Spirit.

With you on the journey,