The Christian church is an institution that provides two very important qualities to an individual's life. The first of these is that a church provides meaning for an individual's life. The second is that it provides a context for belonging to a group that together can effect societal change. The two -- meaning and belonging -- are the reasons we live our lives faithfully throughou the week and then join together on Sunday mornings. In the first church I served many years ago, one older gentleman told me that he had heard sixty years of sermons and that he did not expect to learn anything new. He said that he came for the coffee and time with friends. His primary focus was on the belonging aspect of the church, but I think he benefited nonetheless from hearing the Bible lessons again and again. Another man in that same town told me he worshipped in "God's great outdoors and that was good enough." He obviously discounted the value of being with others in matter of faith.
The faithful witness to Jesus as a church member is to hold meaning and belonging in balance. Sure we can be faithful alone, (but it is lonely). Sure we can be a committe of one and accomplish our goals without interference, (but we can't accomplish much). Bethel United Church of Christ works best when we worhsip and learn TOGETHER and when we put our talents and treasures TOGETHER to help those in need.
Come and worship with us and add meaning and belonging to your life as you dedicate yourself to Christ.
Rev. Dr. Anne Abernethy Wepner