Summer Worship Reflections – Part 3

Here’s What Folks Are Saying!

Summer worship has been a great source of fun and fellowship.  The feedback from those attending has been overwhelmingly positive.  I think part of what folks have enjoyed is the opportunity to talk together about the scripture and how it is speaking to FCC in this moment.

On July 17th  the scripture was Mark 8:27-30  The discussion questions were:

  1. Who do you say Jesus is?
  2. Who does FCC as a community say Jesus is?  How do you know?
  3. How has FCC’s perception of who Jesus is changed (or not) over the last 15 years?
  4. How does this perception of who Jesus is influence FCC’s mission and ministry?

After discussing the questions at their tables, one person was invited to write down the highlights of their conversation.  Here is what people are saying in general response to the scripture questions:

  1. Jesus is…
    • Jesus Christ, the Son of God, our Savior and Lord, our Salvation, the Creator, Redeemer, Messiah, friend
    • Son of God – Person whose teachings I follow. 
    • Actual person rather than just a spirit. Jesus wants each person to come to the revelation of who he is.

  2. As a community we say Jesus is…
    • Our example of Service to Community
    • Teacher
    • Still speaking
    • We don’t have alot of education or background of “who” we (FCC) are in the UCC
    • Seeking sharing and serving Christ
    • We don’t usually talk with each other
    • Someone to follow and be more like him.
    • Savior; thing that unites us.
    • Leader and symbol of the church, but each of us needs to take our own perception of him to follow.

We know because:

  • Because of the feeling of unity we experience.
  • Individual experience that we feel him showing us the way.
  • The church gives us building blocks to develop our own perception of Jesus.
  • Exposure to events, large and small, add to the formation of our faith.

  1. How has our perception of Jesus changed?
    • Jesus gets “lost” in our difference with each other’
    • We think everyone still has a relationship with Jesus but, still maintain our differences/ conflicts with each other.
    • Shift from food baskets to essential baskets as reflection of shift of Jesus view?
    • Wondering what Jesus would do with our challenges?
    • Important to remember we still have quite a lot
    • How to manage when leadership and congregants have different views. 
    • Majority of our members are more open to sharing their faith, influenced somewhat by the Covid pandemic.
    • Church members have become more introspective. 
    • Members feel more unity in FCC than other churches they have attended or belonged to.
    • Church is becoming more inclusive but still more work to do.
    • We feel abandoned and we have abandoned
    • Closer because of our struggles
    • Closeness comes and goes
    • We are pulling away

  1.  How does this influence mission and ministry?
    • Find ourselves weak in Mission – Giving and doing things for others outside our church
    • No follow through on “New” pathways – ONA as an example
    • Past has been about money and “things” with reluctance to sharing our wealth and faith with others who are “different” from us. 
    • How to recognize what Jesus would have us do community engagement/ mission/ garden the purpose behind those? 
    • Are we as welcoming as we could/ should be?
    • Recognize there is a mutual relationship/ claiming between FCC (as church) and members
    • Distinction between taking care of our members and reaching out to others in Jesus name
    • Perception of who Jesus is, is helping us to love one another and work with one another.
    • Perception gives us goals to work toward.
    • Jesus is telling us we can get through things together
    • Doing less for community
    • Too much socializing
    • Survival mode
    • Jesus is calling us to task
    • “Get at it”
    • Struggling

And a few other notes:

  • We officially become Open and Affirming, supporting our community’s belief that Jesus loves all people.
  • We think we could embrace sharing this belief further outside of pride month or “standard”
  • We’ve added solar panels and LED lighting and taken pesticides out of our landscaping and gardening.
  • Through adult forums we’ve made many connections in our community where we’ve started serving individuals or in isolated ways. We see a need to make this bigger.
  • We’d like to go beyond “basic” missions and have mission determined from “bottom up” rather than “top down”

How does your understanding of who Jesus is translate to how you live your life?  

How does it influence how FCC lives out its mission?

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