I was standing in a field in rural Haiti under what looked like a park shelter. It had corner posts and a roof. Although it had no picnic tables, a handmade altar with a cross and Bible stood in the center. In the golden glow of morning light I saw people walking on gravel, and grass…coming from every direction toward worship. We sang and prayed in English and French. The bread and cup of Holy Communion was held up, and although I did not understand the words, I knew them. “This is the body of Christ broken for you.” and “This is Christ’s blood shed for you.”
We each took from the same homemade loaf. We each dipped bread in the same cup. And for the first time in my life, I realized the powerful reach of Christ. For in common cup and loaf, I was united to Haitian strangers. We had one baptism. Resonating in us was the same Spirit of God, given to us at our baptisms. Like DNA shared in families, the Spirit of God we shared, made us brothers and sisters. We received the same saving grace that was poured out for us.
When we prepared to leave that shelter, we met each other’s eyes. We hugged and smiled. Then we turned to go serve the hungry, educate children, and build a future. For in receiving the gifts of Christ’s body and blood through Communion, we prayed together that we would become Christ’s visible body to the world. As the Church we reveal Christ through the way we love, serve, and help heal the world. Beyond all differences, we share a deep and abiding unity.
This Sunday we will celebrate World Communion. We celebrate with Jesus followers in Uganda, Siberia, Thailand, Spain and every “corner” of the globe. In a broken and fractured world, may we be powerfully and beautifully drawn together through Christ.
Community Life: What’s Happening at Old Bethel
The week of October 18th we will be “Catching the Vision.” Come take part in a stewardship meal and be part of Old Bethel’s next step in answering Christ’s call. This will be casual and fun. Also, important information will be shared and discussed. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Stewardship table on Sunday to sign-up.
Families experiencing temporary homelessness will be staying at Old Bethel through our partnership with Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN) Sunday October 4th through October 11th. There are dozens of easy ways to support these families as they get back on their feet. Contact Ric Gasaway at email@example.com or Marge Ohl at 894-0862 to find your place to serve.
This week, I shared the results of the Hearts & Stories listening campaign at the Administrative Council meeting. 136 people from Old Bethel, ages 27 through 89 took part in this listening campaign. Their sense of God’s movement and call will help form Old Bethel’s next steps. At the Administrative Council on Monday October 26, at 7:00 p.m. we will further discuss the results. It will be a time of input. All are welcome.
FX is a fun time for families of all ages to get together, laugh, learn, and join in community. Bring your kids, grandkids or neighbors. Friday, October 2, 6-7:30 at Old Bethel. Dinner is included!
Get your flu shot on Tuesday, October 6, 9-noon. No fee for those with a Medicare/Medicaid card and ID; $20 for others.
Serving Christ Together,