“Commit to Community: Space to Grow” by The Rev. Stephanie Kendell

September 26th,2019 Categories: Stephanie Kendell Letters, Weekly Letter
Beloved Church,

I hope this week has treated you well. I am still living with the excitement of our Homecoming celebration. It was so great to see each of you. To imagine with you the possibilities of this community and the new space. To be in fellowship with you in the name of Christ. I give such incredible thanks to this church who continues to see God in every one of us and calls us to cast a vision that utilizes our individual and collective gifts.

This week has been a week of faith and hope in both big and small ways. I got to share with some Disciple and UCC colleagues from around the nation the incredible work that we are doing at The Park and in turn be inspired by the work they are doing with congregations as well. I heard about budding children’s ministries and inspiring work around music and immigration, and I shared about our justice work that takes more forms that I can count. Friends, we have a lot to be proud of and yet there are still places that we need to grow and commit and expand…a lot like both the mustard seed and the mulberry tree from this week’s scripture from the Gospel of Luke.

5 The apostles said to Jesus, “Increase our faith!”
6 Jesus answered, “If you had faith the size of a mustard
seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Uproot yourself
and plant yourself in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

7 “If one of you had hired help plowing a field or herding
sheep, and they came in from the fields, would you say
to them, ‘Come and sit at my table?’ 8 Wouldn’t you say instead,
‘Prepare my supper. Put on your apron and wait on
me while I eat and drink. You can eat and drink afterward’?

9 Would you be grateful to the workers who were just doing
their job?’ 10 It’s the same with you who hear me. When you
have done all you have been commanded to do, say, ‘We are
simple workers. We have done no more than our duty.’ ”  (Luke 17:5-10)

We all have spaces in our life where our faith seems small and yet when something is small it has the most room to grow. We don’t start as fully formed adults; we start as babies and with love and care grow into adults. We also don’t start fully formed in our faith-fully loved by God? Yes! But our faith grows when we encounter Christ in others and recognize it as such. So, while we are told that all we need is the faith of a mustard seed, we also need the experience of inviting field workers to our table…and we can’t stop there.

Friends, who are those in your life that Jesus is calling you to invite to the table? What spaces do you need to grow? How have your roots intertwined with others and where are the spaces in which you soar? Name them. Celebrate them. Give thanks to God for them.

Shalom Y’all,
Rev. Stephanie

A quick prayer for your week: God, help me grow when my faith seems small. Amen