Pastor’s Letter – July/Aug 2024

Dear Family,
I received the following article from Barbara Sessler under the heading – “Why Go to Church?”
Thought you would enjoy it.
A Church goer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday. He wrote:
“I’ve gone for 30 years now, and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons, but for the life of me, I can’t remember a single one of them. So, I think I’m wasting my time; the preachers and priests are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all”.
This started a real controversy in the “Letters to the Editor” column. Much to the delight of the editor, it went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher:
“I’ve been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But, for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this: They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!”
  • When you are DOWN to nothing, God is UP to something!
  • Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible & receives the impossible!
  • Thank God for our physical and our spiritual nourishment!
  • B.I.B.L.E. simply means: Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth!
When you are about to forward this to others, the devil will discourage you. So go on! Forward this to people who are DEAR to you and TRUST GOD. Shared From a brother in Christ service!!!”

Thinking about this article, I’m reminded that our culture (and long-standing tradition such as church-building signs) has interpreted the word “church” to mean a place where activities like hearing a sermon occur. The word “church,” however, is a term of identity which all Christians possess and share together.

In its original form, “church” literally means “called out ones.” As used in the NT, it refers to individuals (not places) who have a new relationship with God because of Jesus’ redemptive act that one embraces by faith; and in addition, have become part of a new spiritual family with those who have likewise entered this divine relationship and desire to share it with others. In simple terms, “church” and “family” are “kissing cousins.” To be honest, our outside church sign should probably read “The Meeting Place of the Sunriver Christian Fellowship.”
Because of this “church-family-ness” (my own words), our life together, whether in a worship service, study or fellowship group, or just teasing Bob Sessler about the stain glass window (which is soon to be finished. . . hallelujah!!!), provides “family experiences” including nourishment, encouragement, support, outreach, and at times admonishment that enables us to be the church which is what the above article was saying. You don’t need a building to do this. . . but it is a nice accommodation to facilitate our growing “church-ness identity!”
Looking look back over my life, I think I was born in the church nursery! I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t part of a church family and experienced its lasting imprint on my life, even if I didn’t recognize it at the time. And for that, truly I am eternally grateful.
Thanks, Barbara, for sending the article!
Pastor Rob