When Jesus rose from the dead, he could have come out of the tomb looking for retribution. After all, he had been unjustly convicted and executed. However, he did not go after the people who had caused him so much pain and suffering. He appeared to his disciples (some of whom had deserted and denied knowing him) and charged them to go and share good news of forgiveness and peace. He broke the cycle of trading insults and attacks. In so doing, he invites us to follow his example. This Sunday, I will be leading an adult forum about having “difficult conversations.” Most of us have had times when we needed to discuss an uncomfortable topic with another person. Sometimes those conversations just end up in a cycle of ugliness. If we, as a church, are active in our mission of “restoring all persons to unity with God and each other in Christ,” we will encounter times when it is uncomfortable, because the world is divided. We can practice ways of listening and sharing that move us toward healing and wholeness instead of defensiveness and further division. This was one of the goals we identified in our “compassionate community” weekend back in February. I hope you can come and join me on Sunday at 10:00 in Sydnor. We will also record the session so that it can be shared.
This week, we are mailing out quarterly financial giving statements. In that mailing, you will find a new piece of paper, a little spiritual encouragement from me about why we give. You can read that statement on our blog (LINK here) as well. Please know that we are currently behind on receipt of pledged financial gifts for 2016. Our income is not matching our expenses (which are within budget). Please try to catch up on your giving. If you want to adjust your schedule of giving or want to increase or decrease your pledge, please contact Ben Hicks, our business manager. It helps us in our financial planning to know how much people are giving and when they intend to give.
May this Easter season be a season of experiencing reconciliation and abundance as we follow the Risen Christ together.