A word from Reverend, Dr. Allison Byerley, Senior Pastor
What a great Back to Church Sunday we had in September! Thanks to everyone who invited someone to worship, whether they came or not. One couple who joined us reported that no less than four members had invited them! Keep it up!! This may have been the Sunday we emphasized inviting, but we should extend invitations often. Keep your eyes open for upcoming activities and events that present opportunities for special invitations. For example, on October 21st, we will celebrate Laity Sunday and the Redeeming Hearts Praise Band will be playing. Patrick McCarthy, our Lay Leader, will be preaching, and others will be taking part in the service. It's another great time to invite someone to church.
And I was more excited on the following Sunday. Several of those we invited came back! I looked out at our congregation and saw the most amazing picture. There were old and young; there were different races and ethnicities; there were people who had been raised in the faith and those who were new. It looked like the kingdom of God! We are a place of welcome, hospitality and relationship.
Our vision team is finalizing our understanding of God's vision for us in making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Not surprisingly, what we have been discussing reflects that spirit of welcome, acceptance, and relationship. We are a warm and caring fellowship, but lots of organizations can say that. What makes us different, the best thing we can offer, is that at the center of all our relationships is our relationship with God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. That is the first and most important relationship for us, and it defines who we are and how we interact with one another and the world.
Take a look around you some Sunday and see the new faces who have heard the invitation and come to see what God has to offer. Invite someone to be part of this fellowship, this joy divine (to borrow from the hymn "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms"). We will all be richer for their presence!