This past Sunday we explored together how the gospel of Jesus Christ—his life, death, and resurrection which saves us and restores the world—is literally “good” news. Not always easy, convenient, or even happy news, but “good.”
In talking about this idea, a friend of mine mentioned an illustration of this idea that I was not able to share on Sunday but is worth thinking about. The illustration comes from the storybook The Velveteen Rabbit. Many of you reading this are perhaps already familiar with the tale but a quick summary for anyone who needs a refresher:
The book is the story of a toy rabbit gifted to a certain child one Christmas. After being forgotten for a bit amid all the other more visually compelling toys, the rabbit soon becomes the snuggle companion of the boy each night, and a comrade in play each day. When the boy turns sick with scarlet fever, the rabbit-by now worn out and patchy from the love of the boy—is his constant comfort. No longer a mere toy, the love of the boy has made him “real” despite what others might see as a shabby exterior.
Again, this makes perfect sense for those trying to love according to the terms of resurrection and the good news of Jesus Christ. For the story reminds us that love-like the love Christ shows, like the love that most fills our hearts and enriches our world—does not equal 100% perfection. Such love always, always, always takes us to places that we would rather not go.
And yet, through the lens of love, we find that there is no other place we’d rather be than in that intimate, tender space supporting our friend. Doing not that which is easy, but that which is good.
As we hit the midpoint of this week then, may you see and give thanks for the good that you have experienced, remembering not to overlook the messy and difficult things you have been part of or done. For in those places, resurrection truly does make us alive again.
The Lord Bless and Keep You,
*In-Person/Livestream Worship: Join us each Sunday at 11:00 am in person or online (via Facebook live) for worship!
Online participation via Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/firstpresbyterianchurchofgarner
See our service from May 7, the Fifth Sunday of Easter, below…
On Sunday, May 14, we continue our series “Terms of Resurrection.” Also, we continue our annual tradition of conferring the Presbyterian Women’s Honorary Life Membership Award for a member of our congregation. Celebrate with us as we see “Love Poured Out” for us by God in so many ways.
*Masks are welcome but optional during in-person worship as we continue to contend with COVID and a flu season. We also ask everyone to be still mindful of social distancing and respectful of the personal space of others even as we give thanks for being together.*
*Walking Group: Join the Walking Group each Tuesday at 6 pm. We currently meet at Cadence Senior Living Center (200 Minglewood Dr.). Dress warmly! If you have any questions, contact the church office at 919-772-0727. In the event there is inclement weather, we’ll just gather the following week.
*Mission Opportunities: A Habitat for Humanity work group is shaping up for May 27. If you are interested in joining the work team, please contact the church office! in the narthex. Put your name down if you would be interested in helping in any way with the Spring Faith Build. We will pick a day and project that suits the skills, abilities, and time of those who would like to be involved.
*Youth Group Baseball Outing: Youth Group (5th grade and older) will be attending the Holly Springs Salamanders vs South Wake Sharks baseball game in Holly Springs on June 25 at 5:40pm. All youth 5th grade and older are invited to attend. Please RSVP by June 15 to Christy Turpin, Roxann Porter, or Stephanie at the office.
*2023 Vision Update: In January’s edition of the Spire, Rev. Acton wrote about church leaders (session, deacons, and staff) exploring an emerging vision for FPCoG, rooted in the idea of serving our “neighbors.” The Session continued this conversation at its February meeting and approved the following recommendations:
1. Appoint a group that can help develop a consensus among the congregation for a vision of FPCoG rooted in the image of being neighborly towards our local, regional, and global communities.
2. Complete a demographic study of our region to better know who our neighbors are and what their needs might be.
The next step will be identifying people to serve on the “Vision Team” described above and identifying resources to help us complete a demographic study in a helpful way. The Team will be composed of active members of the Session, the Deacons, as well as the congregation. If you might be interested in serving and helping clarify the call God is issuing to FPCoG for its ministry now and into the future, please contact Rev. Acton or Mike Koenig, the Clerk of Session.
*Share FPCoG with Each Other and Our Neighbors! FPCoG is an active church! To help others know this (and to stay up to date yourself), please consider following and asking others to follow us on Facebook or Instagram!
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