There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. . . . Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. ~ 1 Corinthians 12:4-6, 12-14
I recently received a text message from my siblings letting me know our mom’s car isn’t drivable. The tires have air, the engine is ok, the windshield wipers work, the doors open and close, the heater blows hot air, the air conditioner blows cold air, the car is registered, it is insured, etc. and yet the car can’t be driven because it’s missing a part . . . just one small part. The car is missing a working battery.
Now it really doesn’t matter which part of one’s car is missing . . . battery, window, door, engine, fuel, heater, etc. If your car is missing a part it simply won’t run as well as it will if all its parts are up and running at their best. The same is true of the church . . . the Body of Christ. For the church to run at its best, it needs all its parts up and running, from the smallest and simplest to the largest and most complex. Can you run a church without greeters? Yes. But imagine arriving on someone’s front doorstep for a dinner party and, after ringing the doorbell, the door opens but no one greets you or invites you in. No one smiles at you or says, “I’m glad you were able to make it” or offers to take your coat or shows you where to sit or any of the other things that make one feel warm and welcome when they arrive at someone’s home. It’s a little thing but it means a lot. In this church we need volunteers for the small and simple tasks of being greeters and ushers, bakers and servers, people to help take out the trash or clean up after the Fellowship time, fold bulletins and newsletters, etc. in accordance with the gifts you have been given. We also need volunteers who are willing to take on larger responsibilities such as being an Elder, a Deacon, a teacher, a CE helper, a committee member, a musician or singer, etc. in accordance with the gifts YOU have been given. Without the help of everyone who claims membership in this church, the Body of Christ here at United Presbyterian Church can’t possibly function to the best of its ability. We need the time, talent, and money of the whole church to be an effective, efficient part of Christ’s Body at large.
Do you remember the vision statement that came out of the mission study the church did with Pastor Bill? It says, “Transforming lives by sharing our experience of God’s love and acceptance.” That’s not who the church is right now. The church’s mission statement says who the church is right now is reflected in the words “Love God. Love Others.” “Transforming lives by sharing our experience of God’s love and acceptance” is who the church is aiming to be in the future. To get there, every part of the Body of Christ known as United Presbyterian Church will need to participate. The church’s vision statement refers to “our experience” not the experience of two or three people. “Our” experience refers to the whole of the church’s experience of God’s love and acceptance. Since that is the case, this is a great time for the members of the church to start thinking about how the church can use these experiences to transform lives through worship, through stewardship, through missions, through Christian Education, etc. The vision of the church is solid, and the church’s future is bright. Set your eyes on the goal and get going! Together, we CAN make a difference. . . . the journey continues.