5125 Main Street (just east of the I-290) Williamsville, NY 14221
This past Sunday, our siblings at Crossroads Lutheran Church went through their service of Holy Closure after many years of ministry. While I was not able to attend in person the service, I was able to watch part of it online. So first I ask for your prayers for these siblings in Christ. Second, I wanted to share with you one of the pieces of the service that really struck me. It came right at the beginning in the introductory remarks from the council president who, while acknowledging that members of the congregation were in different places with the decision to close, said that she didn't believe that God made mistakes and that God was not making a mistake right now. While she went on to talk more about the continued legacy Crossroads would have in the community through their generosity and gifts, I kept thinking about the first part of what she said. It is hard right now, for lots of reasons, to be the church. Many congregations do not look exactly the same as they did before the pandemic began, and even worship itself is slightly different. And while it may be hard sometimes to be hopeful about what is yet ahead, the council president's words are a good reminder that whatever ventures are yet to come for us, they are held by God and the promise that God will be steadfast and faithful through it all. And while so much of how the church looks and how the church is may not be the same, God is not done yet. With us as the church or with us as individuals and people of faith. The way forward may look different than we first hoped or imagined, but God will not leave us alone as we move into whatever new future it is that God holds onto for us.
Our texts this weekend move us from rumbling tummies and flaring tempers to a refocusing on the blessings poured out and
the primary benefactor. We see the gifts of God, which come in a variety of ways: physical nourishment, roles and talents lifted up in community, new life given now and into the ages of ages. We find that the gifts are responses to various actions –complaining, building for the future, longing for signs of promise and hope. Yet each of these actions and gifts mean little if we are not able to see the one who is the giver and to recognize that the gifts are not merely about what we can do to get them or what signs are needed to prove them; rather, it is about trust in God, who is the source of life and living – the one who provides the true bread from heaven. Our role in this story is to tell the history of God’s giving. It is to open our eyes to the way the bread of heaven is sustaining us today, physically and spiritually. And as a community living in God’s promise, we look to the one God sends to us as the bread of life. The readings this weekend point us to see how a longing for food opens a greater dwelling place for the gifts of faith and promise.
A few highlights from the update:
*This week my Sabbath day will take place on Monday due to a memorial service at POP on Friday.
*Check out the contact information in the newsletter for our new interim dean, Rev. Nancy Milleville.
*Both in-person and online worship has resumed. Join us Saturdays at Amherst at 5pm, Sundays at Prince of Peace at 10am, or online at 10am on Facebook and YouTube. All are welcome!
*Check out the Golf Classic info for Lutheran Charities found in this email.
Dates of interest:
*Fall Conference Assembly - Wednesday, September 22 at 7pm, location TBD
*Service of Holy Closure for Northpark - October 31 at 3pm
Amherst Lutheran Church