People go to church for all kinds of wonderful reasons, but I was surprised this week to realize that there is one very good reason for being part of the Church which almost no one ever mentions.
I have spent a lot of time this year exploring with the members of our parish what it is exactly that they value about St. Paul’s and why it is they keep coming back. Their answers to these questions by and large come down to two things: 1) Spiritual Growth and 2) Community. People keep coming back to St. Paul’s because of the spiritual growth they experience and because of the experience of being part of a community which, among other things, helps to nurture that spiritual growth. And when people talk about spiritual growth they mention all kinds of wonderful things. The talked about being inspired in worship. They talk about the experience of being refreshed and renewed through prayer and reading of the Bible. They talk about being moved by the music and the Spirit in worship to a place of real rejoicing.
But there is, according to our gospel passage for this coming Sunday, an absolutely essential element of spiritual growth which I’ve just realized almost no one, my self included, ever seems to mention – persistence.
No one ever says “I go to church to learn persistence.” And no church leaders ever say “You know what would really get people coming to church? More time talking about and teaching people about the importance of persistence. That’ll bring ‘em in every Sunday.” No way! Because persistence is hard. Persistence assumes resistance. Persistence is struggle and pain and weariness, and no one wants to go to church if going to church means having to face more of that.
But as we’ll see in the gospel for this Sunday (Luke 18:1-8) Jesus insists that persistence is absolutely essential. It’s essential to our spiritual growth and to the life of our community. The good news, however, is that persistence is not all struggle, pain, and weariness. What I hope to share with you on Sunday is that we have good reason to be persistent. We have joyous reasons, and life-giving reasons to be persistent. We have reasons to be persistent that will carry us so much further than mere determination could ever carry us. And we have reason to grow in persistence. I hope you’re able to gather with us on Sunday as we explore the reasons we have for not only being persistent but growing in persistence.
Do you want to get involved?
There are several ways to sign up.
1. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the dates you are available and what role you would like to fill.
2. Call 832-3375 with the dates you are available and what role you would like to fill.
3. Sign up in person on the chart at the back of the church next to the communications center.
4. Sign up online!
Mark your calendars, November 27th we are having MESSY CHURCH.
I am looking for as many volunteers as possible. I will need help with prep and planning, people leading/helping with stations, and people making and serving food. This is a great opportunity to get yourself involved and meet new people.
The planning has begun! So if your interested in helping with anything please contact me (Jessie) right away.
FOR MORE NEWS…