What excites me most about the church these days? The astonishing faith, ministries and leadership of the laity!
Sarah and I have had opportunity to travel in Europe and in the States this year, and the resiliency of the people of God — in good times and in bad — is heartening.
We’ve seen the church stay strong even under oppression — and we’ve seen in parts of Europe how colorfully the church of Christ springs back after Communist rule and other oppressive forces are stripped away.
In Charleston, SC and elsewhere, we’ve witnessed the power of forgiveness flowing through people of faith — even those most deeply wounded by the cruelty of others.
In congregations I serve in Maine and Florida, and in other places where I have been privileged to preach, there is inquisitiveness and a heart for ministry. Gifts and talents are put to use.
At St. John’s Church, downtown Tallahassee, for instance, the theme of the year is “Grounded in Faith, Growing in Service.” Inreach ministries care for members of the congregation. Hospitality ministries care for all who come — thru the website or through the doors of the buildings. Outreach ministries care for residents of the city — and for the people served by a sister congregation in Cuba, to which youth and adult members of St. John’s go regularly. Through the Visioning the Vineyard ministry at St. John’s — and the clergy and lay staff that support the ministries of the congregation — the church follows a dynamic plan to grow the ministries of the church in Jesus’ name.
Living Compass ministries are being introduced to foster and encourage wellness, wellbeing and wholeness.
St. John’s is just one of a huge number of congregations that is growing in number and in service. Have a look: http://www.saint-john.org/