These past months have changed our world. How long this change will last and to what extent this change will define our society has yet to be seen. But if the COVID-19 pandemic has shown me anything, it is the importance of roots. Roots are those beliefs, relationships, or activities which give us hope and confidence in crazy and chaotic times for they hold us steady and connect us to something greater than ourselves. Our roots define how we respond in difficult times and how we move forward together.
As a congregation, our roots are firmly planted in Jesus and His life, death and resurrection. In fact, St. Mark has chosen to articulate our mission statement in this way: “Connecting People to the Vibrant Love of Jesus”. And, in light of this pandemic, being connected to the love of Jesus is more important than ever.
How is this mission accomplished and made manifest in the life of people? As we continue our Easter celebration, I would like to begin to answer these important questions and see how they will form for us a common vision for ministry. Together we will see how we personally continue to be formed as disciples of Jesus and imagine how we will go with Jesus on his mission to, “...make disciples of all nations…”. To form this common vision for ministry we will use an image from our region's agricultural history:
Rooted in Christ
Growing Together in God’s Word
Branching Out in Love to Our Community
In the midst of this pandemic and, certainly, in its wake, our Bay Area community needs, perhaps more than ever, a church that dares to invest in the land and the people who live here. Like any agricultural endeavor, this takes time, energy, patience and a narrow focus. This series of devotions will serve as a guide with daily scripture readings, reflection questions, and prayers. Each Sunday we will also dive deep into this vision in worship:
April 19th - “What Are We Here For?”
April 26th - “Rooted in Christ”
May 3rd - “Growing Together in God’s Word”
May 10th - “Branching Out in Love”
May 17th - “Seeds Planted”
My prayer is that the coming weeks will be formative for us individually and as a community. I ask that you would be in prayer as well - praying that God would make our roots firm in Him and show us how to love and care for our neighbors as we emerge from this crisis.