Dear Sisters and Brothers –
I’ve been reflecting on the “Compass at First Presbyterian” neighborhood outreach meeting that happened last Monday night. It was a great turnout – some 75 folks from the neighborhood and city, with lots of enthusiasm and support voiced for the 24/7 enhanced services shelter that will begin later this summer. (Read the article from The Capital Hill Times here).
My overwhelming thought has been, Well, that was fun! There were ten folks from First Presbyterian that we slapped name tags on, and then they did a great job welcoming people – sharing their smiles, shaking hands, and being their awesome friendly selves! It was a great way to meet some of the neighbors, and for them to meet some of us. Go church!
There was one gentleman who sat near the back, who spoke briefly to the whole group – really he gave his testimony about how Compass sort of saved his life some years ago by giving him shelter and support. Compass literally gave him a safe place to face his challenges including a bipolar diagnosis. He is now clean and sober, gainfully employed and reconciled with his family. As he shared, it felt like church! I thanked the man afterwards for sharing, and as we chatted he kinda joked with me, "You know Pastor, I'm a lapsed Presbyterian!" And I said, “Well, come home!” He gave me his business card. I don't know if we'll see him in worship, but we might!
I sure got the sense there IS a neighborhood out there waiting to be known...and loved... It just felt like Jesus is with us, the Spirit is guiding us, showing us the way. We are not alone!
So, here’s the sermon text for Sunday: John 17:1-11. Remember no commentaries. Just engage the text – read it slowly, several times, over and over again, and pay attention: What jumps out at you? What do you love about this text? What seems weird or odd or confusing about it? How does the text connect (or not) with your life or the world today?
See you Sunday!
Grace and peace,