Skip to main content

Home Again


Ah, my friends, greetings again!  My trip to South Africa was truly an incredible experience, and I look forward to sharing with you about in the days to come.  Right now, though, it is also very nice just to be home in Greencastle.  30 hours of travel will do that.  But, it's not just that.  As Anna, the kids and I drove through Greencastle late Wednesday evening, I found myself with refreshed eyes and heart for our city and community.  I suppose being able to see God at work in a distant land has reminded me God is always at work in our own community.

I hope you have been well, and I am looking forward to seeing you and worshiping with you this Sunday.  Lo and behold, I picked a good Sunday to return.  We are highlighting our commitment to the mission of Heifer International this Sunday.  If you were to ask me, "What can we do to help the people of South Africa?" In all honesty, I would say purchasing a chicken or goat or cow would be the place to start.  It gives practical, direct help.  Even if you can't make it to worship on Sunday, I encourage you to visit
www.heifer.org to learn more about this mission and to give for the sake of others.

I had intended to write more while away, but I found other pastors with me were writing just as well.  I highly recommend Brent Wright's reflections, which can be found here: 
revbrentwright.wordpress.com.  Plus, God was moving me to take more time to simply pray this last few weeks.  That said, this Sunday before worship I invite you to join me in the fellowship hall before worship so I can share a bit about my trip.

I was really moved by a man named Peter Storey, who spoke to us from his many years of serving churches in the difficult days of South African apartheid.  He had one quote in particular that really struck us as pastors, and it's a quote we should always keep before us as a church:  "The church is not really the church until it moves beyond merely serving itself and becomes the church for the world."


I am grateful for the ways God has already moved us as a church to be this type of community.  But how else can we move beyond merely being a church community that exists for our own sake and become a family that works to build up the community of Greencastle?


Friends, may God continue to lead us in that way, as surely God will if we but follow our Lord Jesus Christ.  In the words of Peter Storey again, "If you are looking for Jesus, go to where his friends are:  the poor and the sick, the children and the powerless, the oppressed and the prisoner.  Go to the ones Jesus spent his time with and you will find peace and joy and life."


Can't wait to see you soon.  God's peace to you,


Wes

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Acts 5:1-11 - Questions for reflection & prayer

This past Sunday we looked at one of the more unsettling stories in the Book of Acts:  the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira.  As shared by Luke, this couple sold a piece of land and then proceeded to bring only a portion of the profit to the apostles - laying it at their feet for the good of the community.  However, what appeared to be their grave mistake (pun intended) was their collusion in claiming to have brought all the proceeds to the apostles when - in fact - they were keeping some back for themselves.  Peter announces first to Ananias the Lord's judgment, followed by a similar verdict being handed down to Sapphira a short time later.

Seen by itself, this is a strange story, but it begins to make more sense when we see it as "part of the whole."  The story of Ananias and Sapphira comes right after we hear once again of the community's unity and generosity, including their willingness to share their own goods and resources to take care of one another (ch. 4).  Th…

Acts 6:1-6 - Questions for reflection & prayer

As the Holy Spirit empowers the Christian community, new life emerges and new members are added.  This is a beautiful thing, and it is extremely important to point out that this is God's doing.  God is initiating diversity within the Christian community.  However, this also creates new tensions and new challenges.

Acts 6:1-6 gives us our first glimpse of a tension that will extend all the way to chapter 15, until the leaders of the early Church come up with a way to address the growing differences within the Christian family.  Some feel that they are being left out and that others are getting preferential treatment.  The Hellenized Christians feel they are getting the short end of the stick.

All of this is extremely relevant to thoughts and feelings occurring in our own day and age.  Across the spectrum, a majority of Americans feel like they face some form of discrimination.  But, it also points to an ongoing challenge we all face from time to time, the challenges that arise when…

Life in Greencastle: That Greatest Architect

God's peace to all of you on this beautiful Saturday afternoon.  I hope you are enjoying the warm sunshine.  Perhaps you are even still enjoying one last sunset at the beach.
We stayed fairly close to home this Spring Break, taking two short trips, including one to Turkey Run State Park and the other to Columbus, Indiana.  Anna and I had been longing to go to Columbus for quite some time.  Back in the day, we became friends with Emily and Manish Desai in our small apartment complex in Pasadena, both of whom had recently graduated with degrees in architecture from Cal Poly.  Manish would go on to earn his license in architecture and has designed a number of really beautiful spaces, including private residences but also a church out in the desert for a Native American tribe.  Anna and I have always appreciated Manish and Emily's aesthetic, which is why we knew to take note when they started telling us about Columbus, Indaina a number of years ago.  They didn't know much abo…