We Are Church (July 2020)

By Lindsey Bina, Care Pastor (2020)

You have probably heard it more times than you can count since the pandemic hit the US: “The building may be closed but the church is alive and well!”

Indeed, our building on Johnny Cake Ridge Road may be closed, but the people of SOTV who are a part of the church of Christ continue to live out our call to worship, learn, connect, and care. We have been doing so in many ways:

  • Vibrant worship online, featuring gifted readers, soloists, musicians, and engaging messages for children and adults
  • Weekday Facebook Live “Coffee Break with a Pastor” and Wednesday evening Bible Studies
  • Continuing care for others through support group meetings via Zoom
  • Connecting families and elders in caring relationships with a new ministry called Cross-Generation Connect
  • Checking in on one other with friendly phone calls
  • Equipping groups of people interested in doing ministry alongside their neighbors
  • Meaningful children, youth, and family ministry opportunities like The Great Faith Odyssey – a scavenger hunt/geocache experience
  • Helping others by donating goods to benefit our food shelf, neighborhood partners, and those impacted by the closure of stores and COVID-19
  • Making and delivering cloth face masks (over 5,000 so far!)
  • Creating cards and artwork that has brightened the lives of many seniors
  • Customizing and delivering gift bags to celebrate our graduating high school students
  • Discussing movies and books in faith-filled settings
  • Offering the rituals of funerals, weddings, and baptisms in low-risk ways

I am encouraged, uplifted, and inspired by the ministry that is taking place not only among the dedicated staff and pastors, but also among the rest of the church body. Yes, dear friends, I’m talking about YOU! Many of you are doing ministry in quiet, unassuming ways, humbly serving and loving your neighbors and siblings in Christ through both word and deed.

Each of us has the chance to live into God’s call to be a part of the body of Christ that makes up the church. We do so by listening closely to God and the needs of those around us, evaluating our gifts and skills, and then humbly showing up to share what we have with others. When we respond to our varied vocations with faithfulness, we all experience God’s love, mercy, and grace.

Dear friends, be bold in your proclamation of the Gospel wherever God has called you. Trust that you are equipped with what you may need, united with others by the power of the Holy Spirit to make a difference in this world as the church of Christ!

We All Are One In Mission (ELW 576)

We all are one in mission; we all are one in call,
our varied gifts united by Christ, the Lord of all.
A single great commission compels us from above
to plan and work together that all may know Christ’s love.

We all are called for service, to witness in God’s name.
Our ministries are different; our purpose is the same:
to touch the lives of others with God’s surprising grace,
so every folk and nation may feel God’s warm embrace.

Now let us be united, and let our song be heard.
Now let us be a vessel for God’s redeeming Word.
We all are one in mission; we all are one in call,
our varied gifts united by Christ, the Lord of all.