Last year Silverton Friends Church committed to make the road by walking together. It was a time to learn new things, take new paths, and have important conversations with one another. Many of us sensed a genuine Quaker intentionality among our meeting to listen, wait, and discern together. This has been spiritually forming as it has allowed us to slow down and begin to explore our assets, our challenges, our opportunities, and most importantly our faith. I believe we have emerged upon a new season in the life of our meeting and that is exciting!
What this means for SFC is that together we have done a great work over the past year (yes, pat yourself on the back – or better yet, pat someone else on the back). We have learned more about who we are, what we believe, and where we have a diversity of thought. This doesn’t mean we have it all figured out or that we have arrived. No, we have only just begun to make the road by walking together.
In the coming year, my hope is that we will take another step in engaging who we are as a community by exploring the way we care for each other and those around us. Our theme will be Weaving a Fabric of Care. More than just walking a road together, this year we will be challenged to link, mingle, connect – interweave our lives with those we encounter in our daily life. And as we weave our lives together, my hope is that we will learn to develop an even more intentional caring atmosphere where our neighbors, colleagues, friends, and relatives will feel safe to grow, ask questions, and find healing.
Our theme verse is Galatians 6:1-10 from The Message. May these words challenge you and begin to prepare you for “weaving a fabric of care” this year at SFC.
Galatians 6:1-10 (MSG)
1-3 Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.
4-5 Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.
6 Be very sure now, you who have been trained to a self-sufficient maturity, that you enter into a generous common life with those who have trained you, sharing all the good things that you have and experience.
7-8 Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life.
9-10 So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.
Grace and peace, Pastor Bob+