Last Friday, October 17, I had the honor of presiding at the graveside memorial service for long-time St John’s member, Wendell Swords, outside of Springfield, Ohio. The service was held at the family burial site, where Wendell’s wife of 52 years, Tina, and his son Bruce, are also buried. The Swords family then hosted a reception in Columbus that was attended by many St John’s members, as we all remembered a man who gave his life to being a blessing to others. Wendell lived his faith by quiet example, and he felt blessed with God’s grace and love through the end. Wendell would appreciate our new theme at St John’s, Blessed to Be a Blessing(Genesis 12:2b) as we prepare for Sunday’s Congregational Fall Planning meeting. May we all remember Wendell’s blessed example of being a blessing to others, as we move forward into a new day of ministry at St John’s.
On Sunday, October 26 our Scripture passages for this year’s Reformation Sunday (our celebration of the Protestant Reformation) are Psalm 1 and Matthew 20:29-34. My sermon is entitled “Spiritual Sight” as I ponder the difference between spiritual blindness and spiritual sight. What is blurry to you in life? What do you need to focus on? How does Jesus sharpen our vision? Sometimes, all we need do is apply Christ’s light to an issue, such as our church budget, in order to clear up our ministry vision ahead. Don’t miss a chance to get your own pair of “perspectacles” on Sunday, as we find new perspective, and hope, in our journey together.
Following worship on Sunday, we will host our Congregational Fall Planning Meeting. We will have a new slide show presentation, “The Year in Ministry 2014,” while we enjoy refreshments and fellowship. All are welcome!
Finally, tomorrow morning (Saturday) October 25, bright and early, our purple t-shirted brigade from St John’s will gather at our sister UCC Church, First Congregational Columbus, for the Annual Fall Meeting of the Central Southeast Ohio Association of the United Church of Christ. The theme of the meeting is Feed Your Spirit. I will be joined for a vibrant meeting with our sister churches, guest speakers, and workshop leaders. We look forward to posting lots of fun pictures on Facebook during the meeting, and sharing our learning with you in the weeks to come.
In prayer and with thanksgiving for the courageous people of St John’s,