Why Church? – by Roberta LaHue Brown
In my years of attending church, I have had many wonderful relationships. Some have been friends, some have been mentors, some teachers, others family, some all of these things in one. I met my husband in church. My children attend church with me and are learning about and praising God right beside me. But my biggest reason for going to church is that attending devotes time to my relationship with God and the others I encounter. Being intentional keeps me focused on the purpose of all this. Intentional means ‘done with purpose.’ Forming ‘intentional relationships’ is one of the reasons I go to church. I go to church to remind myself to look at Him, to thank Him, to praise Him, to let Him embrace and heal me, to make me whole. It is through finding this wholeness that I am able to extend that amazing love to others. Others who are seeking wholeness extend amazing love to me. And in spreading and receiving that cultivated love in our relationships, something amazing happens. A moment that takes your breath away. Makes your heart skip a beat. That instant might be filled with joy, it might be filled with sorrow. Sometimes the miraculous juncture is so fleeting that you aern’t even sure in hindsight if it actually happened. Many times we are exposed to these touchstone moments and blessings through our interactions in intentional relationships that are formed by living in Christian Community.
Today, August 13th, is one of those touchstone days for me as I bid ‘adios’ to Emily and Andrew (TCC’s former co-pastors). These dear friends of mine are embarking on the international portion of their Peace Corps adventure. In all reality, they are probably frantically gathering their bags from the hotel room in DC right now so that they can catch a flight from there to Nicargua. They’ll be spending the next 2 years immersed in a new culture and in new relationships. In this day, and in this moment, I am filled with joy and sadness, tears and smiles, thoughts of past and future…and I am feeling blessed to have such wonderful people in my life. And because I simply can’t put into adequate words what I’m feeling as we say farewell, I decided to let Emily do the talking. Sometimes things are best said by another and we just need to listen. I’m posting Emily’s blog entitled ‘Blessed to be a Blessing‘ here. Emily posted this testimony on her and Andrew’s Peace Corps Blog (www.maywesuggest.com) the Sunday that we said our official congregational goodbye last month.
So, Emily and Andrew, as you leave this ‘land that you love,’ my prayer is that you will love the new land that you are in and it will love you back, and that through this adventure you continue to be intentional and let your blessings flow on.
Thank you for your love, light, kindness, wisdom and friendship. I (and all of us at Tuality Community of Christ) will miss you. God be with you until we meet again.
co-pastor Tuality Community of Christ