Oct31SatOctober 31, 2020
Now that the Manor is closed due to Covid-19, many of you may be wondering what we are doing. So I wanted to give all our supports an update. We are not called to do church but to be the church. And how do we live out the church on a daily basis? Let’s go back to the first church. Acts 2:42 says “And they devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and prayers.” Acts 2:44 “And all who believed were together and had all things in common.” Acts 2:46 “And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts.” The definition for community is “A group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common; a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interest, and goals. Does this not sound like what Acts was describing as the first church? As we find ourselves unable to go into the Manor, we have realized that we are not limited to a building or even the concept of ministry and outreach. We now have this empty space, once filled with outreaches and ministry objectives, which can be filled with something else. Not something fresh and new, but something old. We are re-envisioning what it means to be called to The Manor and beyond. To do that we go back to Jesus, our greatest role model. Was Jesus concerned about agendas, outreaches, or carefully planned programs, or did he sit at the table first with his disciples and then with the community around him. I look at Jesus and at how much time he spent simply sitting at the table with his disciples. He knew they first needed to be filled with the Holy Spirit, before they could then be released to spread his love and truth. Acts 1:4…”Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.” They did that together in community. This is the importance of community; to be filled with the fruit of the spirit before giving it away. Jesus had a few types of community. His community with his Father, which we are all called into relationship. His community with his disciples who he referred to as his friends. John 15:15 “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” And then his calling – the community of the world in which he was called to save. Jesus understood his need to be first be filled through his relationship with his father and then to share that filling and be even more filled through the teaching and support of his friends. Mark 14:33-34 “He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.” Lastly, he gave from this infilling as an overflow into the community in which he was called. Jesus recognized the importance of community and taught us how to create one. The first church was an excellent example of community. As we walk through Covid-19 and the transition of leadership we are refocusing our attention to community and what it means to be a team. We have renamed our team TOGETHER. We are TOGETHER as a team and as a community. TOGETHER has the amazing opportunity to lean deeper into community with each other, just as Jesus and the first church did. It’s a time of throwing agendas out the window and instead focus on relationships. Jesus commands us to love the Lord God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:37-40). How do we do that? Together, in community. It’s a safe space to learn, live, love and practice our giftings. We do this at the table, through fellowship and the breaking of bread with each other. We eat, pray and love together! From the table, we will learn how to grow our table, so we can invite more and more to the table to share in our community. So here we are. TOGETHER at THE TABLE in COMMUNITY.
Jenny is presently working on her worker status with the Christian and Missionary Alliance. She is the new leader of our Together Team and is an apprentice with New Ventures of the CMA