A Note From The Pastor
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved,
a workman who has no need to be ashamed,
rightly handling the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)
The verse above comes in Paul’s letter to Timothy talking about God’s call to ministry. I’ve always enjoyed the words that were shared by Paul as mentor to the young man, Timothy. There are instructions and suggestions that he shares. And Paul is very honest that he hasn’t been perfect in his own life and ministry, but that he strives to do his best.
So, I’ve been thinking about my own call to ministry this year. We celebrated the 30th anniversary of my Ordination last June. And I thank you for the love that you shared with me. Now, we have the opportunity to share in the process of examination and ordination with our own Mark Dibelka.
One of the things I appreciate about the United Church of Christ is that we honor ministry of all believers. But in setting some persons apart for particular ministries, we all have the chance to “vote.”
On April 12, at 3:00 in our chapel, we will meet with other brothers and sisters from our Association to examine Mark and help decide on his fitness for Ordination. Mark will present some of his theology and his understanding of pastoral ministry. Then there will be the chance for those of us who gather to ask questions concerning his understanding of Sacramental life of the church.
We get to have a say! You are welcome to attend this Ecclesiastical Council. Your thoughts about this are important. And, as our own church Moderator has said, “If you don’t vote, don’t complain.” Come to support Mark and hear his views on ministry. Come, be the church!
l A Note From The Pastor
I recall a Stewardship campaign quite a few years ago that asked if we could live on ten times what we give to the church. That has stuck with me over time. We are invited to tithe to the church, and that means to give a tenth of our income. And that means no one is burdened more than anyone else. Each person gives according to our means.
In 2 Corinthians 8, Paul is writing to the church in Corinth about the giving of the people in the churches of Macedonia. He says, “for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of liberality on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own free will….”
During Advent we ask people to give. We give an abundance of things and of financial gifts because we know Christmas as a time of giving.
During Lent, traditionally, we have asked people to give up something of value to them to remind them of the sacrifice of Christ’s life for all people.
You know that I am a great supporter of the One Great Hour of Sharing Offering. It always falls in the season of Lent, and it always reminds me that I have been blessed and am able to reach out through my giving.
The people of Macedonia were excited to be able to give to help the folks in Jerusalem who were suffering because of a famine. The church of Macedonia was not a huge church. It was not a rich church. But the folks there knew that they could help to change the fortunes of people who were suffering.
We have the opportunity to join with brothers and sisters in many denominations to help change the fortunes of people who are suffering in our world. What we give by ourselves may not change the whole world, but when we join with our Christian family (like the folks in Corinth joined with the people of Macedonia) we may begin a chain reaction that reaches around the world.
On March 15 we have the opportunity to “Give and Change the World…..It really is that simple.” Won’t you join us?