I hope this finds you doing well and having a great week. As we move through the season of Lent, I hope and pray that you continue to find a deepening in your spiritual journey and in your relationship with God. As we continue to move through Growing Together, I hope you see all the ways in which our church is making a difference.
This Sunday we will be looking at Jesus’ encounter with Zacchaeus. If you grew up going to Sunday School, you are probably singing “Zacchaeus was a wee little man; a wee little man was he.” We will not be singing that this Sunday but we will be seeking to understand how his story challenges some of the common narratives about the church today. Last week, one of my friends and neighbors asked me if I wanted to be on our neighborhood pool board. I asked him why he thought I would want to be on the neighborhood pool board. His response was striking, “well, I know you are in the church, so I figured you are okay with sitting through long, unproductive meetings.” At the time, I thought he was kidding, but maybe not. My neighbor’s image of the church illustrates to me one of the image problems that Christian community faces. I know that what people hear and read about church sometimes is not true because I have witnessed firsthand the power of the church, the same power that enabled a man like Zacchaeus to be transformed through an encounter with Jesus. We will take a look at what Jesus and Zacchaeus have to say to us about what it means to be church today. My sermon is entitled “Talk” and I hope you will invite someone to worship with you this Sunday.
Finally, I want to lift up the Serve part of Seek, Serve, and Grow. One of the greatest things the church does every week is send people out to serve in the name of God. I had two conversations this past week that illustrate the ways in which we are doing that. Samantha French is a freshman at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville. Last week she was informed that out of 7,000 students she ranked in the top 30 people in the whole school in number of service hours. She did so by taking advantage of SSCC’s mission opportunities- Mexico Mission, Rattlesnake Ridge, teaching, serving at Vacation Bible School, and the list goes on and on. I think it great to we are a place that provides one enough opportunity to rank in the top 30 of a school when it comes to serving. Congrats Samantha and thanks for being an example for everyone. I also was talking this week to one of our homebound members who are no longer able to serve the way she once had, but still wants to do something. She told me one of her ministries is to write letters to deployed troops each month. Recently, she had purchased ten boxes of Girl Scout cookies to be sent overseas to troops. I am so proud that not only do we offer chances to serve at SSCC but that we also empower people to serve through so many avenues in life. I am so grateful to serve with you and I look forward to seeing you Sunday.
Grace and peace,