From the Pastor
Last weekend, I spent a couple of days in Chicago at the Disciples Divinity House. You’ve probably heard me talk about DDH before—I’m an alum, and I serve on the board, and we’ve hosted two interns from DDH in recent years. In fact, I got to see both Judith and Thandiwe while I was there! Judith is finishing up her final year in the ministry program and preparing for her ordination on June 11. Thandiwe continues to serve as an associate pastor in a church in Colorado (like me, she was in Chicago for a meeting at DDH). They both send their love.
While I was there, a whole bunch of FCCers were in Wilson, NC, attending the Regional Assembly of the Christian Church in North Carolina. Melissa, Baylee, Bill, Som, and Amanda represented us well. (Read more updates from the assembly on page 3.) As we were exchanging texts and photos about what was happening at these various events, I got to thinking how cool it is that we are a part of a church that extends beyond our local congregation. Here are just a few of the reasons I’m glad we’re part of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
We can pool our resources so we can help people who need it, even if we’re far away. That happens in a lot of ways, but a great example is the Week of Compassion, which provides humanitarian aid and disaster relief assistance to people all over the world. Vy Nguyen, the director of Week of Compassion, will be here in June to be our guest preacher at our big anniversary celebration.
We can send our kids to camp. Were you here for Youth Sunday last week? Our kids did a great job of leading worship. This is no surprise, of course, because they’re awesome. But I love that, in addition to all the great stuff they do at our church, they get to go away to church camp in the summer and grow in their relationship with God. We’ve got a whole slew of kids going to camp at Christmount and Camp Caroline this summer. Being part of a denomination makes that possible.
We’re part of something bigger than ourselves. In anticipation of our own congregation’s 100th anniversary, I’ve been reading about how the founders of Elm Street Christian Church got started because they knew of the Disciples movement in other cities and thought there needed to be a presence here. Our congregation began some hundred years after the Disciples got their start on the American frontier, and of course, we trace our roots to the church universal which goes back way farther than that. Each of our individual stories connects to the story of our church, which connects to the story of our denomination, which connects to the Christian story… well, you get the idea.
There are lots of other reasons, too (oh, hey, you could come to the Disciples 101 class on May 14 to learn more!)
All this also makes me excited about the General Assembly happening in Indianapolis this summer. Every two years, Disciples from all over the world gather for worship, education, fellowship and a little business. This year, we’re going to be electing a new General Minister and President, which will be a big transition for our church. I’m looking forward to that. We’ve got a good group of people from FCC attending this summer—watch for ways that you can support those going. After all, we’re all church together.