By Jeff Tibbits
“He shall call upon me, and I will answer Him.” Psalm 91:15a
Continuing the theme from Sue Kelly’s July message about discerning the will of God, I choose to focus this month on another step in our spiritual journey: What do we after we discern God’s will for us as individuals and collectively as a parish through studying the scriptures, listening for Christ’s voice, praying for clarification, and following in faith? I propose adding a fifth action step to the process of discerning God’s will as outlined in N. Graham Standish’s book Becoming a Blessed Church: acting on faith.
As James asks in Chapter Two of his epistle, what good is faith without good deeds? By acting on our faith, we, as individual Christians through generously giving of our time, talents, and treasures—and collectively as Grace parish through participating in our 67 ministries—are able to get closer to God by doing what Christ Jesus showed and asked us to do: that is to show our love for God and others by serving God, our parish, fellow parishioners, friends, family, and strangers.
One of my favorite metaphors for faith comes when we compare it to breathing. A wise person once said, “Faith is the inhale, works is the exhale.” Another wise man, Australian author and 1973 Nobel Prize for Literature recipient Patrick White (who was born in England and whose family was Anglican) wrote: “I think it is impossible to explain faith. It is like trying to explain air, which one cannot do by dividing it into its component parts and labeling them scientifically. It must be breathed to be understood.” Through faith and God’s grace, we Christians breathe in the life, love, and mercy that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ offers us; and through our acts on faith and with God’s help, we breathe it back out by lovingly serving those places and people to which and to whom God calls us.
In early September, please look for announcements on how we at Grace Church can answer God’s calling to lovingly serve in the many ministries offered at Grace. Or, you can activate your faith right now. Grace Church presently has urgent and ongoing need in the following ministries:
- Service participants – ushers, greeters, lectors, and Lay Eucharist Ministers. The contact person for these is our Music and Worship Director, Kathy Will, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Front desk volunteers. The contact person is Irene Cotter, email@example.com. These people have a very important role as they are the “face of Grace” for visitors to the church during the week.
- Hosts for the Welcome Hour after the 10 am service. Often two families serve as hosts together. The contact person is Elizabeth Blondia, firstname.lastname@example.org.
May God’s peace and love be with you always.