Hey Church! I hope you’ve had a great summer and I hope you are all, or at least those of you impacted by the school calendar, finding some time to stay sane this week. I know our family is holding on by the seat of our pants at the moment!
I have had the opportunity this summer to spend a lot of time praying and thinking about where I see God leading St Thomas this year. As I have prayed, listened, and wrestled one word really bubbled up to the surface for me. Community.
I am so proud of the church that St Thomas has become over the last 4 years. I am so, so grateful for the incredible men and women who I get to spend time with and grow with, and I am so excited for what lies ahead. That said, I would like to share a vision that hasn’t yet been fully realized. I envision St Thomas as a community that prioritizes relationship with one another and loves one another deeply. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer said in his book, Life Together,
“The person who loves their dream of community will destroy community, but the person who loves those around them will create community.”
I don’t want to dream of a false community. I want to be a part of a real community that loves one another. I know we are all busy, but I think we are missing out on community that changes lives.
One of the things I heard so often this summer is, “Gosh we wish we could have been at church more, but we’ve just had something every Sunday night.” And I hear that. And I don’t blame ya. But let’s be honest and it call it what it is. Most of us are not victims of our schedule; we are prioritizing other things. If attending church isn’t high on your priority list, I get that. It’s okay to be in that place. We just have to name it.
I have heard many people say that they want to go deeper in their faith this year and one way to start doing that is to go deeper in community with one another. The best way to start doing that is by showing up.
SO, will you join me this year in showing up? Will you consider moving St Thomas one slot up on the priority list? This doesn’t mean St Thomas has to be your first priority. I’m not looking for perfect attendance or anyone trying to earn anyone’s approval. I want our church to go deeper in our life, our faith, and our relationships together. I’m committed to helping St Thomas get there. Will you join me?
For everyone who is not ready to make St Thomas your priority, please hear this: You are still welcome here. You are welcome at anything and everything St Thomas does, Sunday or Midweek, whenever you want to come. There is no judgement and no requirement to make this church a priority. This will always be a church that anyone is welcomed at, regardless of the level of commitment they are able or willing to make. For those of us that are able and willing, I want to invite us to go deeper in community this year and invest in relationships with fellow St Thomas folks. I believe the easiest way to start is to show up.
And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
– Hebrews 10:24-25