I had a vision for Tom's Creek before I ever arrived to serve on July 1st, 2014. I created a business card and postcard that had a picture of a road going by fields that said "Come Journey with Us!" For I saw a special church that was in the country that people would travel to, not because it was close or convenient, but because we would have real community and vital worship. A church where people would walk with each other through life even in our many differences. A place where we all realize we still have something to learn about God and the power of the grace Jesus offers to us. A place where we learn about God from interactions with one another and realize each person has something to offer us in the understanding of God's love and the Holy Scriptures. I leave knowing that as we have journeyed down the road this last 8 years we have been able to achieve this in ways many churches have not been able to. I thank you for being willing to take those small steps of faith and being willing to open yourselves up to let others in and how you have been part of creating real community. And we shall celebrate that tomorrow in worship.
We will also celebrate with new members and baptisms tomorrow. Three of the children being baptized this Sunday are coming to be baptized because those close to them know the love of Tom's Creek and feel welcomed. It is because of your witness of how we do church different than other churches around that they feel comfortable to come and have these children embraced in the waters of baptism. Even as I leave they will still be entrusted to your care to surround them with love and grace as they grow in years. May we continue to be a community where people feel welcomed and know they will be part of a caring and loving community of faith in Jesus.
Tomorrow I will lead the celebration of Communion one last time with you. Yet, know that as the Body Of Christ we will continue to celebrate and be connected by that Table of Grace, even as we celebrate communion in spaces where we are not physically together. That is the glory of the Communion Table that we know that we celebrate it with others around the world that are connected by the saving power of Jesus. The table should remind us that even as we go our separate ways that the Holy Spirit will continue to connect us in powerful ways every communion Sunday. AND that one day our souls will unite at a heavenly banquet where all who travelled down the road with Jesus and back again will feast together at God's eternal feast of love!
And, yes, I will be leading a celebration of the time God has blessed us to be together in ministry. It will not be easy to say good-bye as I lead my last service as your pastor but we have much to give praise for, and we will celebrate tomorrow in worship.
REMINDER, tomorrow we will have only ONE service at 10:30am. Sunday school classes are meeting at 9:30am but there will be no fellowship time downstairs. Also, tomorrow there will be no children's church so that our whole church family will be worshipping together the entire time. PLEASE, show love and grace to our little ones and their parents. We are blessed that we have children in our church because many churches around have no little voices. We know that our little ones are going to have a hard time sitting still and keeping quiet the whole service so find ways to embrace the sounds and movements of the blessed wee ones in our midst!!
A reminder that we are having a going away celebration at the Carriage House starting at noon. For this event we needed to have numbers to them in advance so they could prepare. If you signed up to come to this event please remember that we have already paid for your meal and if it is possible please be prepared to attend the celebration. There is an elevator available to anyone who needs it, just let the Carriage House know of your need when you arrive. Also, we are asking those that can, to park at the Elementary school parking lot and to walk over so that those with limited mobility will have closer parking spots.
While this is my last Sunday leading worship at Tom's Creek I will be around until the movers come on June 17th. I plan to be at the Sunday school picnic on Monday and will be available if you need anything. In addition, I promised Eyler's Valley Chapel that I would lead worship with them one last time on Sunday June 12th at 7pm. So I will be there and our Director of Music Ministries, Holly Phillips, will be leading special music. They are open to anyone to join them and it is a special worship place that has no electricity, no bathrooms or running water, but the power of the Holy Spirit is always felt when people gather to worship there.
I will probably write and post one more blog before I leave. SO for now let us prepare for a day of celebration tomorrow. Let us be prepared to have a time where we allow the Holy Spirit to move us in new and powerful ways. So come on and travel down the road with us again!