February 4, 2014
On Sunday I shared with the congregation about my call to ministry. It was not a “lightning bolt call.” I did not have a sudden jolt that motivated me to become a pastor. I actually went to seminary in order to learn theology and had no intention of becoming a pastor because I did not like public speaking at all! One day I decided to take a preaching course just to see what it was like. My professor and fellow students were very affirming of me and I found that I actually liked the entire process: studying the scriptures, considering ways to help the message come alive through my words, and even the presentation. Before long I was taking the Advanced Preaching course and was on track for ordination. As they say, “The rest is history!”
In the opening verses of 1 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul wrote to the followers of Jesus in Corinth: “Consider your own call.” This was not addressed to those considering full-time pastoral ministry as a career, but to regular folks who attended church in that thriving metropolitan city at the base of the isthmus between mainland Greece (where Athens was) and the Peloponnesian Peninsula (where Sparta was). Most likely, this was a diverse congregation with people from many backgrounds, and Paul makes it clear that they were your average people and not the well-educated or powerful or noble by birth.
Paul went on in his letter to give instruction and encouragement to the Christians of the first century, which seems appropriate for us today. We are called, first and foremost, to love others. We are called, secondarily, to consider the gifts and talents that we have and figure out how to use them to build up the body of Christ (the Church) in order to support one another and share God’s love with the world.
As my last message to the congregation in this “e-news” format, I cannot think of any better words to leave with you. I have confidence that you will be around for a long, long time if you continue to love each other as you have been doing for many years and as you continue to look for new ways to use your God-given gifts and abilities to build one another up and share God’s love with the world.
As I move on next week to live on Kauai and work with another congregation, I look forward to hearing about the new ways that you love one another and share God’s love outside your walls. I also look forward to visiting and seeing just how the New Beginnings Capital Campaign unfolds in its final year. It has been such a pleasure working among you these past three years and being part of your history of being God’s loving presence in Foster City and the peninsula.
I hope you will remain in touch. Please let me know if any of you are on Kauai: I would love to visit with you and I think you would enjoy attending Koloa Union Church!
You will remain in my prayers and I trust that I will be in yours.
See you on Sunday!