I’m happy to share that we had a enlivening and productive church-wide retreat just a few days ago. New members and Long-standing members, young and seasoned members all spent quality time talking, listening and most especially discerning where God is leading this church in the future.
While we certainly couldn’t name, plan and button up the entire future of the church, one thing is for sure: the body of Christ is alive and well and inspired for the future!
The three main values of this church were clear: This church first and foremost values, “Welcoming All”, followed immediately by a tie of both valuing “Love and Prayer” and then also a tie: Worship and Hopefulness”. No surprise here. Hopefully those of you who couldn’t make it, concur!
The “vocation of the church” survey also revealed that first and foremost FPCB is “a place of music and expression of faith”, followed immediately by the “desire to provide worship” and then a drive to “feed the hungry”. Again, no surprises here. Hurray!
Additionally, the purpose of the retreat was to also determine where God is leading the church, next. Three main themes emerged, that are all rich, meaningful and also reflect the marks of a healthy church: 1) shoring up and up the faith of the disciples through Bible study, 2) caring for the lost and lonely 3) Developing inter-faith relationships beyond the Christian church.
You’ll hear more about this after the Deacons and Elders meet next week and start laying ground-work for these initiatives. At the same time, we are 22 days away from Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent.
This year’s Lenten theme is : “Renewing and Restoring the Body of Christ”.
This is reflective of our desire to reconnect and grow as well as continue to shore up our faith and our church, in these (mostly) post-Covid times.
Caring for the body, both literally and figuratively is a spiritual discipline. It can be very challenging as well as rewarding so there’s no better time than Lent, to renew our bodies and faith and restore the faith community that is so strong. I will be working through 1 Cor 12 as well as other texts, related to body and soul throughout Lent, starting Ps 42 and 51 (on Ash Wednesday) and again offering Wisdom Wednesday, for the 5 Wednesdays in Lent, beginning March 1st.
As we prepare to strengthen and restore the body of Christ, why not get a head start and begin to ponder God’s words to us in Scripture in 1 Corinthians and in the Psalms:
“ If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” 1 Cor 12:26-27
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Ps 51:10
Seeking to restore and strengthen the body with you,