Dear Church Family and Friends,
Perhaps you were one of those children who disassembled everything in sight in your search to understand how it worked or how it was put together. Or maybe you were, and still are, a person who looks at human relationships or cultural trends and wonder about how they are shaped or influenced. Certainly the followers of Jesus must have been asking themselves after Jesus’ death, “How will we ever do this? How will we ever change the lives of those around us, let alone the world, without Him? How can we ever make a difference?”
Fortunately, we know something they had not yet grasped- they were not alone. Jesus had not left them. He was and is alive, and He did send the Holy Spirit to be present always. But the questions- How does this work? How will we do this? How will our culture and our world change? – still remain. The answer was the same then as it is now. It begins within. From the early followers of Jesus to the desert Fathers and Mothers, to John Wesley, and Mother Theresa, they knew the importance of the inner life. The shape of our hearts and minds determines how we will interact with the world and with each other, and what we will reveal to the world and each other.
For instance, if I awake each morning and my happiness or joy in life is determined by how someone serves me or interacts with me, my whole being is dependent upon how I perceive I am being cared for by someone else, or how I am being served. If I awake each morning and my happiness and joy is based upon my relationship with God and how I can serve others or live out my purpose of sharing Jesus with others, my being is now dependent upon God’s love for me and my willingness to share that love with others, or how I am serving.
Imagine the difference in our relationships, conversations, and social media posts if our inner life was shaped by being a servant rather than serving. Imagine how our culture would begin to change. Anger, discrimination, violence, and hate speech would change if more and more people led from an inner life formed by Jesus. Imagine the encouragement, empowerment, and healing that would occur.
When I wonder how will this all change, I soon realize it begins within. It begins with me and my inner life. How are you and I tending our inner life? How are we as a congregation tending the inner life of this faith community to reflect the One who has changed our lives?
Ministry Celebrations & Opportunities
This past weekend we celebrated at Imagining 2028 with over 300 people, including one preview session. From charter members to people who haven’t even worshipped with us yet, we shared a meal and a conversation about what God is doing in our midst and where we are being called to be in the future.
I want to express my deep thanks and appreciation to all of you who attended, for the prayers of those who were unable to be there, for the teams of people who helped prepare and serve the meals – you were fantastic. I am so honored and blessed to be your pastor.
Several have asked if we recorded the sessions or how they might see or share the information with others. Others have thought of questions they wished they had asked or would like some more clarity on following the gatherings. Our plans are to put together a much shorter video presentation of the gatherings to be posted out for all of us to share and reflect on. I will also be using this space and worship times to help clarify or answer questions that were raised and to share updates on progress we are making towards our vision. Please feel free to send your questions to me: Jon_Spalding@coswired.org.
Each day I am filled with hope as I see what God is doing in our midst and the lives that are being changed.
This Weekend in Worship
“There has to be something more” is a feeling and question implanted deep within us all. The MORE doesn’t have to be more busyness or overwhelm. In fact, the MORE that God has planned for us is found in grace, love, hope, power, and life. This weekend we will continue to explore the more that is found in our masterpiece creation as we dive deep into the idea that we are not only made to love more, but to be loved more. It’s a concept and reality we could all use in our everyday lives.
If you missed last weekend or the weekend before, be sure to watch online – God has been doing some great stuff!
I’ll see you this weekend!