Community in Action July 15, 2020

I have been thinking and sharing with others about how great our church is. The VBS program is just one aspect of all the good we promote and share with others. But I also know that our church needs to grow in its ministry. And for us to grow there will be times when we are uncomfortable.

    Recently I read a good word about being uncomfortable. You can read it here:

    “How comfortable are you feeling right now?  Most of us like to feel comfortable. And yet I increasingly believe that we learn life’s most important lessons when we are uncomfortable.  And I’m not talking about mattresses and shoes. I’m talking about embracing uncomfortable situations and having uncomfortable conversations.  This is how we stretch and grow and move forward.  Or we can seek comfort and stay where we are. One of the questions Brene Brown asks in her book Daring Greatly when trying to figure out an institution’s culture is this one:  What’s the collective tolerance for discomfort?  Is the discomfort of learning, trying new things, and giving and receiving feedback normalized, or is there a high premium put on comfort (and how does that look)?

    Let’s say you are sitting in a church pew on Sunday morning and a guy comes in wearing a torn t-shirt and he smells bad.  And he sits beside you.  Or there’s a woman you’ve never seen before who sobs throughout the whole worship service.  Do you approach her?  Or there’s a young man clearly dealing with some sort of brain injury who is sitting behind you in worship and he keeps touching your hair.  All these things make us uncomfortable.  All these things are opportunities to love someone.

  Spiritual growth is essential for humans and we have a lot of growing to do if we are going to follow Jesus in a tumultuous world.  And it’s going to be uncomfortable, but also holy and worth it.”            Jan Edmiston

    Now substitute people sitting in the pew with whom you feel uncomfortable and replace it with “all this talk about racism.” Are you feeling uncomfortable about this? I am, but I know now is the time for us to educate ourselves about this issue. Now is the time come together as allies for an issue that pervades our nation, our communities, and our churches.

    There is not quick easy answer, but there is a God who calls us to come together as allies and not adversaries, Galatians 3:28. We can try to learn more about the history of racism in our nation or we can just shove it aside. I would urge you to be willing to be uncomfortable for as Paul says in Philippians 1:4-6, 

       “In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”                            Philippians 1:4-6

Let us take up this challenge for our church has a lot to offer this tri-valley and I believe we long to be a church which is welcoming, caring, and supportive of all who attend here. Let us use this Shelter in Place time to explore how we can better become the church which God calls us to be.


    Pastor Randy

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