We are entering a season in the life of St. Paul, UCC, where we need to strongly encourage the telling and hearing of our stories. Stories that are heroic, stories that are seemingly mundane or miraculous, stories that inspire, stories that cause us to ask good questions of ourselves, stories of love, loss, hope, fear, anger, need, encouragement and resurrection.
Church is a gathering of people living in response to the life story ofJesus Christ. We are united by our desire to commune with God and to better understand the purpose and direction of the lives we have been given. Each one of us brings a personal history to this community, and it is good for us to share our stories with others. In the church we sometimes refer to this story telling as testimony.
Testimony reveals what makes us unique and what we hold in common. Hearing another’s testimony deepens our relationships; it enhances our capacity for compassion, prompts us to reserve judgment and makes us better at welcoming the stranger.
With all of this in mind, our pulpit will be regularly available for the sharing of testimony. We’ll begin on April 7th, when Judy Gentz offers a part of her testimony, as she tells of love, tragic loss, courage and faith. Come and be blessed. You’ll be moved, I promise. Perhaps you’ll even feel led to share a bit of your own testimony. If so, let me know.
May this church be known as a place where people are graciously welcomed regardless of the life-story they tell. Our God calls us to a common table where we are fed and healed. As we sit at this table, we get to know God better and we get to know each other better. With God and community as our inspiration, our life-story gets more interesting and leads us to places we would never have imagined on our own. So what’s your story?