A Word of Thanks

Hello WCC fam,

I want to say thanks. I have many friends in ministry, men and women who seek to faithfully serve and pastor God’s people. Some are well cared for and have the joy of walking with a faithful expression of the Church. Some are in difficult situations.

It made me reflect on our church family and the common life God’s Spirit is cultivating between and among us. It compels me to give thanks, to God and to you. I know we are a mess of a bunch, imperfect in so many ways. I know we are always learning about what it takes to love more faithfully. I know we can work harder at being more welcoming, loving, and thoughtful in how we care for one another and our city and neighborhoods in which we live. I know that we can work to be more open to not only giving but also receiving, in reaching out to one another when we find ourselves in need or see others among us in need. But I am grateful that we are seeking to be faithful nonetheless.

Please, take some time to read this and celebrate with me. Give thanks and pray that we grow in faithfulness. Here are some of the reasons that I am thankful for what God is doing in WCC, and for each one of you:

  • I am thankful for how you desire to proclaim and embody the gospel of God’s kingdom faithfully and love all people, especially the last, least, left-out and lonely.
  • I am thankful for how you’re willing to humbly receive and learn the Scriptures. For example, I am thankful for how you’re working through our Sunday conversations on the minor prophets (this week we will begin a two week conversation on Hosea and listen to our God who refuses to let us go.)
  • I am thankful for how our missional communities are gathering weekly to discover what God is up through the Scriptures and communal discernment in order to faithfully remain present in their neighborhoods and network of relationships.
  • I am thankful for our family ministry (families with babies to kids in elementary, middle school and high school) and all who lead and serve not only on Sundays, but throughout the week in relational ways.
  • I am thankful for the ‘prayer and care’ life within our congregation, and how we fight for others in prayer and care for those who are hurting, sick, alone and in need, like our Sunshine Ministry; how we connect our families to pray for seniors; our Monday and Friday rhythms of prayer; our Firstfruits prayer warriors; our seniors wednesday bible study group who send cards and faithfully pray for the sick…I could go on.
  • I am thankful for how you are committed to work for the good of our city, from the town square to the neighborhoods.
  • I am thankful for how you’re willing to honestly and candidly work through difficult and often culturally controversial conversations with humble civility and love.
  • I am thankful for our 3e Restoration ministry and how we walk with friends transitioning from homelessness to holistic sufficiency through gracious hospitality.
  • I am thankful for Celebrate Recovery and how our leaders who, by the Spirit, work to help people find recovery and victory over hurts, habits and hang-ups.
  • I am thankful for how you love our beloved Lwanga men and women who live every day of their beautiful and important lives with a particular set of circumstances. I am thankful for how you love and receive the Little Sisters of St. Francis who serve them.
  • I am thankful for your commitment to global mission and for the way you respond to the AIDS orphans in need of sponsorship through CRF, or to Tarakwa Village and Williamsburg Christian Academy in Tarakwa Kenya.
  • I am thankful for your generosity to give to causes, needs, organizations and worthy efforts for the good of others and to the praise of God’s glory.
  • I am thankful for our faithful shepherds and their families, our gifted ministers and their families, and all other ministry leaders (there are so many–nothing happens automatic in our church). They lead and love us well.
  • I am thankful for our praise team and technical team who give unknown hours to serve us when we gather on Sundays. Their talents and commitment is used by God’s Spirit to form us.
  • I am thankful for the people who serve the Church in quiet unseen ways, from cleaning the church building to cutting the church lawn, from watering the plants to organizing the kitchen when it’s out of sorts, from changing light bulbs to repairing our computer network and posting our podcasts…I could go on.
  • I am thankful for our WCC Connections ministry that works to connect college students to families, and all the others who make themselves available and purposefully welcome the college students into their lives. I am thankful for the college students who participate in God’s mission with us!
  • I am thankful for how you all support the many ministries and efforts God’s Spirit calls us to tend to as a church family (from the ones already mentioned to our Relay for Life Sassy Sisters for a Cure).
  • Finally, I am thankful for how we meet around the Eucharistic Table each week in mutual submission as we submit all ideologies to the presence of Christ among us and proclaim our commitment to His Lordship and one another. I am thankful for how each one of you are determined to stay put and work toward reconciliation despite living in our polarizing and ideologically divided society.

I really could go and I will in my prayers of thanksgiving. I just wanted to mention it here so you could see, celebrate, give thanks and dig in as you remain faithfully joined in God’s pursuit of restoring lives in and through our church family.

See you Sunday.

~ Fred

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