Churches are often described as "faith communities," and rightly so. We are, by our very essence, a community of people brought together, not by our socio-economic status, not by our political leanings, or by our careers. (Regrettably, of course, churches do sometimes seem to be gathered by social status or politics.) Instead of being brought together by various outward things, we are brought, or rather, called, together by Christ Jesus. We are called to be part of His body, the Church. We are baptized into the family of Christ's Church, and made members of His community called by His name.
But like every community, sometimes Christ's community can be... complicated. Feelings get hurt. Words are exchanged. Trust is broken in whispered conversations. As the world can tell you, the Church is full of hypocrites whose mouths confess the Creed, pray the Lord's Prayer, and receive the Body and Blood of Christ each week, but then tear down their neighbor.
Pain and conflict in the Church are real. I invite you to join us for the next several weeks as we learn how to handle conflict, how to heal from hurt, and how to work together as the Body of Christ in the world. Our series, Church as Community, will take place primarily on Sunday nights. We will hear from guest speakers, have intentional time for open discussion, and offer several different worship opportunities, including a healing service. There will also be space for families to join our conversations and worship.
Although the Church is made up of broken people, we are, nonetheless, a people called and made holy by God Himself. And He promises to heal our hurts, and to forgive, renew, and lead us through this troubled life. We may struggle, but we never struggle alone. Thanks be to God!