Justice and mercy and faith

"For you tithe mint, dill, and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. It is these you ought to have pursued without neglecting the others."  

Matthew 23:23

I cannot really contain my excitement! Over the next month our church will engage in some heavy spiritual lifting and discernment. I love what happens when we start to seriously discuss and live out of faith together in deeply profound ways! 

Two events in particular stand out:

Sunday, October 22, following fellowship with our refugee family: Mission and Vision Workshop

Thursday, October 26, 6:30pm: Planning Charrette (Session 1) to begin thinking of what requirements we have of a potentially new building expansion and development.

These events are both starting points and the culmination of nearly a year-long effort to envision what UCC Annapolis is to you, the people, friends, and community partners of this congregation. 

As we engage on this work, what gives me joy is that we are called to remember why we are doing this project. It's more than simple physical expansion to accommodate growing numbers of people on Sunday worship. That's a privileged challenge to have! Rather, it is taking this gift of an opportunity to think through what God is calling us to be in service to our community. The possibilities are daunting, but uplifting.

Jesus' statement in Matthew 23:23 reminds us that often our understanding of faith is perfunctory: do as you are told, and you're in God's good graces. Our life goes further -- that our call as children of God is, on top of the graceful giving, to strive for justice, mercy, and faith. This is not a new teaching: it's woven into the Ten Commandments, the law of Leviticus, and the words of the prophets. 

As we embark on this work together, it gives me great joy that we keep in sharp focus that call to justice and mercy and faith, and that what we create with God's grace is in the service of those aspects of ministry that are most needed in our community. 

Thank you for all your gifts, and your giving.

Shalom,

Pastor Ryan