Church Message – July 9, 2009

What more do we need?


Church of the Holy Spirit Belmont

As I write this article, I am also preparing for my final weekend before retiring from Church of the Holy Spirit here in Belmont.

It seems incredible to me that we have been a mission parish for over six years, having started in Sparta in 1993. It has been a wonderful six-plus years, filled with laughter, joy, challenges and most of all a feeling that the Spirit of God was moving in and through all of us at Holy Spirit Church, and through all the churches. I have been impressed with this community and the strong ministry and witness of the churches in the Sparta, Rockford and Belmont area.

Do we really understand that we are atypical of most of the country in the number of churches and the percentage of church attendance? Most of us here have a church and we attend regularly.

I will dearly miss my parishioners, but I will also miss my colleagues in ministry, especially in Sparta, where we came together weekly at Sparta Baptist from 9 to 10 a.m. weekly. We gathered around a table and prayed for each other, our congregations, schools, local governments, students and anything else that was heavy on our hearts or for which we were thankful.

I highly recommend this kind of prayer circle to all manner of groups, or even two or three friends gathering together. The power of these prayers are tangible and make the world and the ministries that we find ourselves part of all the more effective.

I Corinthians 3:5-11 has spoken to me especially these past weeks as I prepare my final homily. Paul says, “So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth… for we are God’s servants, working together; you are God’s field, God’s building.”

 What more do we need to know than God, working through us can do even more than we can ask or imagine, that it is not about us as individuals, but about the body of Christ working through us that will grow the church and spread the Gospel, the good news of Christ’s love and message to the world.

I thank The Rockford Squire for the opportunity to speak, to offer my reflections from time to time in this column. Blessings to all.

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