Did it seem like October flew by to you, too? It’s hard to believe we’re already in the first week of November … Advent and Christmas are right around the corner … and before we know it, we’ll be ringing in 2022!
Which is why right now, this series we are sharing in November is so important. It’s important for us, in the midst of our lives that are still struggling to get back to some kind of regular rhythm, to find the God-rhythm that can ground all our other rhythms.
This series on “Our Stories” invites – really, requires – all of us to show up, to bring our individual stories, no matter how hectic, no matter how unfinished, no matter how messy, to the table as we continue to explore what it means to be a community of faith, here and now, and in the future.
Last week, we talked about how important it is to LEAD, to recognize that our faith is not just about what happens on Sunday morning, or in our Bible studies or Life Together groups … it’s something that must permeate our whole lives in a way that makes us leaders that exemplify Jesus’ life and values wherever we are, with whomever we encounter. And in the next three weeks, we’re looking at the rhythm that prepares us, individually and together, to do that: we LEARN, we LIVE, and we LOVE.
This week we will worship all together with all ages as we look at what it means to LEARN by grounding ourselves in scripture, the story of our faith. Each time we gather around the table, we tell the story of our faith again and again – the same story, but a story that each time we tell it and each time we hear it, we find anew exactly the sustenance we need in exactly the moment we are in.
The following week, we’ll focus on what it means to LIVE together in community and share life with one another, in vulnerability, and in a way that pushes us to listen and understand one another in our similarities and especially in our differences.
And finally, we’ll close our series by talking about the importance of showing LOVE to God through worship, and how worship is our “rehearsal” where we bring all of ourselves – our study of scripture, our listening and learning in community, and our own stories, to practice what leading a faithful life looks like before we are sent into the mission fields of our lives to LEAD.
In addition, during these three weeks, we’ll be centering our worship around the communion table. Each week, we’ll focus on a different name for the sacrament that highlights the many facets of our practice of sharing bread and cup.
And I’m excited to tell you that we will be offering multiple options for how to partake of the sacrament as we see the impact of the pandemic begin to lessen on our community in the last few weeks.
You’ll have the choice to either continue to utilize the prepackaged elements we have been utilizing for in-person worship, or come forward to receive bread from the common loaf and an individual cup of juice.
I hesitate to say it’s helping us get back to “normal” – but it is a chance for us to keep moving forward and finding a new rhythm together as a community of faith, seeking to discover how God is shaping our community now and in the weeks, months and years to come.
If you haven’t listened to this week’s podcast yet, be sure you check that out before you come on Sunday morning – we have some inspiring Biblical teaching from Candler School of Theology professor Dr. Eric Moore, as well as Pastor Jenn’s interview with Pastor Jad, Liz Vasquez and Tom Hoback about the importance of LEARNing God’s story in scripture.