This past Sunday was a glorious day! In the 9:30 and 11:00 am services we celebrated our developing First7th congregation with a service we called a “Connecting Service.” The more I reflect on those worship experiences, the more connections I see. We are all connected as one congregation with several worshipping communities. Our clergy and laity are connected in our mission to love God and serve people and, in so doing, to transform lives.
The outreach of First7th is connected to that mission. Rev. Lance Marshall’s many gifts and graces are wonderfully connected to this particular type of ministry. The hard work and generosity of all the people involved in supporting this ministry in every way are connected to their passion to create something good and lasting and transforming. Reverend Gary Lindley is the Director of Church Growth and Development of the Central Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. It was Gary’s work, along with that of Bishop Mike Lowry, that formed the partnership of our mission with that of the Annual Conference that made First7th possible. (You can read A Letter From Bishop Lowry here.) I celebrate all these connections!
A few months ago I asked Laura Canfield, a member of our congregation who is a gifted potter, to craft a set of Communion ware to be presented to the First7th worshipping community as a gift from the 5th Street worshipping communities of our church—yet another way to celebrate our connection. We consecrated the Communion vessels and celebrated Holy Communion together using that gift. What a powerful experience of connecting! Laura connected her love for her church and her potter’s gifts in such a beautiful and generous way. While the Memorial Fund of our church paid for most of her expenses, it was also Laura’s gift to the church.
Today, as I write this, I am overwhelmed with gratitude to God for the amazing gift of connections.
Grace and Peace,