Welcome to our blog! This is a place to share ideas, thoughts, concerns and joys of our faith journey. I'll be posting sporadically, but hope you will feel free to comment and join in the discussions.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

God's Work, Our Hands

Last Sunday, we had one service and the Congregational Meeting was held after it. It was good to see all of us together at once and even better to share the good news with one another. At the congregational meeting held once a year, we find out how our hands have been serving God and how God has been at work among us. I always find out something new and encouraging at this meeting of the family. There are so many projects and outreach things that I wasn't aware of, that my heart swells with the joy of our commitment.

This year, I was elected to be on Church Council. It was a feeling akin to Sally Fields accepting the Academy Award for her role in Places in The Heart, "you like me, you really like me!" she said (except I found out later, she didn't really say that, she said something similar--so much for quoting famous people). I felt grateful and humble at the same time. Now lest you think I am making too much of this, I would add that it has been more years than I can count that I have been on council. When I had kids at home, I was on council and once a month I made my way to the room upstairs to be a part of the "governing" body of our church. But this church is not the same as it was then. Oh, the building is basically the same, but the people who are involved (for the most part) are not. There are new things to be considered and new ways to consider them. Those of us who have been here for a while remember the things the way they were, those who are newer see things that could change and be different. And to be perfectly honest, I'm a little nervous. I'm nervous because its been so long since I was a part of this, it may be really different than I remember. I may be asked to do some things that I don't want to do because now I'm not just looking out for myself. I'm looking out for the interests of others who aren't there in the room. I'm thinking of someone other than me. I've been really comfortable for a long time looking out for me, myself and I. Now I have to readjust. I have to think of others. It will be a change and I'm not always comfortable with change (in any form). BUT, I have friends on council with me. And I have the body of Christ as my back-up. And for once in a very long time I feel called to do something. Something for someone other than myself. And really, that's kind of what that whole,  "God's work, our hands" thing is all about, right?

Friday, January 17, 2014

A Meeting of Congregants

If you read that title and wondered what it meant, I will translate. A meeting of those gathered together. Isn't that redundant? You ask. Possibly. This Sunday at St. Marks we are having such a meeting. A getting together of those who are members of the family of St. Marks. A congregational meeting happens once a year for most congregations. The talk centers around what has happened during the year, they go over the budget for next year, but most important of all--they meet together! We come together around the Lord's Supper and then we sit around and talk about how we are all the body of the one we just shared! If you are a member of St. Marks in Oaklyn, NJ, I hope you will find the time to come to the table AND the discussion following that to be part of our family. Don't forget, one service this Sunday at 9:00.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Life we Share

One of the greatest joys of being a member of our community of faith is the coming together of the people within the community. We get together Sunday mornings of course. But we get together for other things too! Opera performances in the sanctuary, Christmas programs put together by the Nursery School children who use our facility. We meet for so many different reasons. We become closer through these meetings and get togethers. We find out things about each other and our families. We learn about each other's histories, our fears, our conquests and sometimes even our hopes and dreams are shared during this together time. It really is like having a whole "other" family as opposed to the one into which you were born.

One of our members passed away a few days ago. He was woven into the fabric of St. Marks as much as the covering on the pew cushions. He was there with a handshake and a smile every time I saw him. And even though towards the end of his life he was really, really sick, he still had a smile for you. He was a matter of fact kind of guy. A man who helped you to believe the good in people, even as a Superintendent of schools! To say he will be missed is probably an understatement, but true nonetheless. We don't have assigned pews in our church. Oh, sure, some people sit in the same place most Sundays, but our names aren't engraved in the wood or anything. But his heart is engraved in the in the hearts of those who knew him and loved him. And as much as I love being a part of this community of faith, I wish I didn't have to know what it was to lose someone like him.

It was great knowing you Tommie, thanks for being you.