But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift. The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ. Speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.
selections from Ephesians 4:7-16
As I write this and we approach the beginning of February, the reality of a major building project is setting in. Preparations are beginning as we will relocate the front office to the 5th street side of the church. The church library has been put in storage for the coming year in order to make room for a reception area, and Heather Rey’s office has moved upstairs to accommodate space for a work room. The two upstairs Sunday School rooms that will be impacted are being cleaned out. Discussions are being held nearly daily on how we will accommodate our programs and others who use our building, such as the Linn County Emergency Food Pantry, Foster Care Review Board and more. And this is not even to mention the number of meetings and conversations that are happening related to the actual building project itself! The work of building takes energy and dedication, with a dash of imagination and flexibility on the side.
One might say the same is true for the other building we do at the church, the building up of the body of Christ in love. Tending to a space and a community where people from a diversity of backgrounds can be welcomed and valued, can engage in worship and religious practices, can deepen their knowledge of scripture and its intersection with our world and daily life, and can grow in faith…that, too, is a somewhat daunting bit of work, and not something any one person can do alone. It is perhaps a good time for us this year, to dust off Paul’s words to the church in Ephesus, read them again, and claim them as our own guide. We each have something to offer this community of faith, to each other as we build up the body of Christ. We are a people at work together, ever growing in our understanding of the depth of God’s love for us in Christ and in our call to love one another.
In February and beyond, we will be reclaiming our use of a time & talents inventory. It is my hope that all of our members will take a moment, review the various ministries and volunteer needs that are a part of our life at FPC, and then share how they would most like to engage in our community during the coming year. I would like to be a place where all can participate in meaningful, life-giving activities that build the kingdom of God and bear witness to God’s presence in our world, and where all those contributions are valued and celebrated. It takes a lot to be about the work of building – and we all are needed, each and every one!
Grace & peace,