Church – a Community

When you think about the word church what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Our preconceived notions can lead us to think of grand buildings like Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris or
St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. You might also picture a pastor in the pulpit delivering Sunday’s sermon.

For the early church community, church was simply that – a community. People worshiped, sang, prayed, shared meals, and served others together in small communities. We might recognize these small groups in our midst – Bible studies, Godly Play, Thanksgiving Day Free Store, the Breakfast Club, or even church Boards. These make up our church community today. The important thing to remember about these groups and early examples of church is that they didn’t stay in a room or a building. They went out to transform the world.

Tabitha was disciple of the early church who was devoted to the transformation of her community. In Acts 9:36-43 when she is healed, Peter tells her to get up! That movement reinforces the idea of a church that is dynamic, in motion, and moving beyond its walls.

Rev. Donna Schaper of Judson Memorial Church in Greenwich Village, New York City, suggests that public ministry means entering the difficulties of the world with hope – without judgment, blame, and shame. One of her concerns is to liberate public ministry from a motivation of obligation – should and ought – to ministry that comes as a response to experienced grace.

What would that look like to you? What would that look like at Union?

God calls us to rise up, to live, to seek the welfare of others, and offer words and deeds that
Are life-giving. May God continue to fill us with the presence of the Spirit and help us to grow as disciples!

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