The challenge before us is to live the Easter message every day

What a glorious celebration we had on Easter Sunday!  Our breakfast crew prepared good food and welcomed us into nourishing fellowship. Our egg hiders and hunters created great merriment. Our musicians, pastors, and lay leaders led us in meaningful and uplifting worship.  All of us together rose to the power of life and love as we have seen and experienced it.
The challenge before us is to live the Easter message every day.  To remember – and to witness to – the power of love to trickle through and wear down the hardest hearts. To let our lives be shaped by the practice of Jesus and the hope of resurrection.
It’s a challenge that touches all parts of our lives, and in the weeks ahead we’ll reflect on the impact of our Easter faith on our giving.  This Sunday we begin our annual stewardship emphasis, which will culminate with Commitment Sunday on May 14. Our theme this year is “Journey to Community.” Our journey of faith is one of continually growing into the image of the beloved community God calls us to be as a congregation, and with respect to the world around us.
It is an exciting time in our life together as we witness the continued growth of our congregation and its ministries.  The apostle Paul might say: Some have planted, some have watered, and God has given the growth. (1 Corinthians 3:6)  We honor those who have worked faithfully for so long and seen this congregation through some tough times. We rejoice that new people have come with new talents and resources.
I believe that, building on our long history and strong sense of mission, God is calling us to do some new things.  Those things may include: further development of our ministry with children, youth, and families; formation of more small groups; outreach to millennials and others in our immediate area; the development of our worship life; the full engagement of newer people in the life and ministry of the congregation; and being a fomenter of deeper connection and relationship in our neighborhood. We believe that there are people around us that need a community like Central, and that Central helps us all to make a positive impact on the world
Our ministries require our financial support in order to thrive.  In the weeks to come you’ll be hearing more about these ministries and our response, and I look forward to sharing the “Journey to Community” with you in the weeks ahead.