Talk about your symmetries! The last report I received from Elizabeth Curtis indicated that last Sunday we received birthday gifts for the church endowment of $14,268. On a day when we celebrated 143 years of witness and worship here and asked the congregation to respond in multiples of 143, I find it more than coincidental that our initial total was all but $14,300. Thank you for responding to what will become an annual tradition of working toward our future together as we celebrate our past.
On Thursday, May 15, we will hold a called Charge Conference prior to the Church Council meeting. The purposes of the Charge Conference will be to elect church officers for 2014-2015 and set pastoral compensation for our new Pastor of Christian Formation. Everyone is invited; members of the Church Council may vote.
At the General Conference of the UMC in 2008, we officially entered into full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. According to the General Commission on Church Unity and Interreligious Concerns, “The ecumenical model of Full Communion means that these communions recognize: a) in each other ‘the one, holy, catholic and apostolic faith’ as expressed in the Scriptures, confessed in the Church’s historic creeds, and attested to in the Lutheran Confessions and the doctrinal standards of the UMC, b) the authenticity of each other’s Baptism and Eucharist and extend sacramental hospitality to one another’s members, c) the validity of each communion’s respective ministries, d) the full interchangeability and reciprocity of all ordained ministers, subject to approved invitation for ministry in each communion, and e) a relationship of working together toward greater visible unity and structural cooperation between these communions.” To celebrate full communion (belatedly to be sure), Pastor Ken Ray of Christ the King Lutheran Church and I are participating in something of a pulpit exchange. Ken will be here to preach for us in the sanctuary services on May 18 (theSunday closest to Aldersgate Day) and I will preach at Christ the King on October 26 (Reformation Sunday). I hope you will make an effort to be present on May 18 and welcome our friend, neighbor, and brother in Christ.
This Sunday, as we gather for worship, we will continue our sermon series “A Living Hope” and reflect on what Easter life looks like for the people of God. Hearing 1 Peter 1:13-23, we will reflect on what it means to “Obey.” We will also gather at the table and share in the Lord’s Supper.
That’s all for now. Look forward to seeing you Sunday. Grace and peace.