June 1, 2020 - Worship Update
Good morning friends,
As we begin a new week, I’m reflecting on our shared journey— in recent days, over the last three months, and through two years of ministry together. In the ten-minute video above, you’ll hear some of this perspective and my sense of the theological roots that have supported Second Presbyterian Church in every age...the same roots that will sustain and shape the road yet ahead.
Today, as I enter into my third year as your pastor, I can clearly see how this community of faith has embraced the call to a different way of being the church – of holding faith, together. In this unique moment of history, a time of deep challenges and clarity of call, we are to step forward with compassion, empathy, and selfless love – reflecting our God and our mission to be disciples of the Risen Christ. Every day I give thanks to God for each of you and the persistent acts of sturdy faith you have pursued well beyond our church building.
For nearly 200 years, Second Church has been sent into the world. This church has a deep history of public faith – carrying worship and the redemptive love of Christ –beyond its street address. Your identity – our identity and our call as Christians from the beginning of this movement – has never been defined solely by location. And as we read headlines, witness deep strife, reflect on the grief and uncertainty of this time, and strain to see what lies ahead, I am convinced that this moment in history calls us to affirm our identity in Christ.
Perhaps more than ever before, I’m convinced that we are called to be the body of Christ sent to serve in God’s world. Separated from our church building, we are called to renew the work of building the church wherever we are. Our God-given call is to love our neighbors as ourselves, to care for the most vulnerable among us, to take leaps of faith knowing God is always ahead of us, to follow the selfless leadership of Jesus Christ and embrace the call of sacrificial love. To listen with empathic hearts. The world around us is desperate for the faithful witness of the church.
As we look ahead, attentive to the values that we profess and the call that we share, we will continue to be God’s sent people. After discernment and discussion with those whose expertise can guide us—with prayer, patience, and prudence regarding in-person gatherings – we share these decisions with conviction and compassion:
The beautiful breadth of our congregation, the commitment to meaningful worship that invites and engages all, and the precautions we must take to prevent unintended health risk towards any child of God – for these reasons and more, I am convinced that this is the faithful path—the next right thing.
This moment in history is asking much of us. But I firmly believe it is also activating what we have known and claimed all along: that even when it is most difficult, God calls us to walk in the still more excellent way of love. This is our witness to the world.
So, cling to the truth you have always trusted. Hold on to the faith that has carried us this far. God is with us. God will guide us on the road ahead.
With peace and grace,