Welcome

“Now after Jesus had left that place, he passed along the Sea of Galilee, and he went up the mountain, where he sat down. Great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the maimed, the blind, the mute, and many others. They put them at his feet, and he cured them, so that the crowd was amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel. Matthew 15:29-31

“The church – this church – is but a gathered crowd around Jesus. We come as a crowd with our broken-ness and handicaps, looking for God’s healing touch. We come praising Jesus’ name for making us well. However organized we might be, however prestigious we may feel, we are nothing more sophisticated than a crowd hungering for wholeness.

“People yearn for this crowd around Jesus. A current novel describes how people still “repair to the church on Sundays.” That’s an old word, repair. It means “to return,” “to go often and customary”. But it also catches up the deeper meaning of why people return to church – namely to feel “repaired,” to have the pieces of their lives put back together again.

“People come….searching for understanding, seeking meanings that can soothe fears and give life order. They come….wanting to be understood, yearning for pastors and parishioners willing to listen and know what they are going through. They come…. wanting to belong, looking for the companionship of kindred souls who can assure them that they are acceptable and not alone. They come…wanting to explore a faith community that still uphold values and standards while also affirming that “we’re all in it together.” And they repair…..to the church for hope, thirsting for visions and stories that confirm the significance of their yesterdays, encourage them to put one foot in front of the other, and assure them that the promises of God will be kept.”

- Robert Randall

This crowd around Jesus! When all’s said and done, that’s all we are; that’s why I come here……to be a part of this crowd around Jesus…… to be understood, to understand, to find hope, and to belong. That’s who we are. That’s our mission here. Just know, there’s always room for one more in Jesus’ crowd, any day – any time!

Jim

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