A congregation of the United Church of Canada
May 4, 2022
The place was just buzzing. I arrived at the church on Tuesday morning and it was a hive of activity. A group of men were working in the back part of the property and attending to some repairs. A group of quilters were practicing their art in the Sun Room. A group of folks were receiving food donations for this month’s food drive. And a group of gardeners were gathering to resurrect our front gardens and bring beauty back to the front of the property. I met with a few people and waved at others as they walked by my study. Now, to be fair, if I arrived on another day at the same time there wouldn’t be nearly as much going on. Tuesdays have become a gathering day outside, especially in the nicer weather.
I can’t express how wonderful it felt to feel the energy that was swirling at the church that morning. There was something about walking from my car to my study and taking in all the various kinds of activity that moved me very deeply. It felt for a moment like all was right in the world. It felt like Faith United ‘used to’ feel in the before times, when these pockets of activity were not unusual at all.
But what I want to point out here isn’t that there was a lot of activity going on – it’s that there was a lot of ministry going on! Care of creation via working on our backyard area is ministry. Quilting projects that benefit various people or groups in the church is ministry. Food drives are ministry. Gardening groups beautifying the church and supporting pollinators and critters and habitats is ministry. And probably the most important aspect of ministry that was transpiring was in the supportive relationships that were being nurtured and strengthened as these ministries happened. Deep conversations between folks while planting, or sawing, or stitching, or receiving food are the rocket fuel that powers churches.
Worship time is great in that we all focus together and collectively pause to ponder and be inspired (hopefully). But the real work of the church happens when the church gets to work! That’s when faith goes from being a personal balm to a shared blessing. Oh, I know that those blessings – that overflowing love – is shared in countless ways beyond Tuesdays at the church. It’s just that this Tuesday I got to witness it in action – and, to quote Genesis 1 – I saw that it was very good!
Tuesday mornings at the church are a vivid example of what I’m always going on about at ‘offering time’ during Sunday worship. It’s the outflow of the love of God that fills us and needs modes of expression in the world. Well, everywhere I looked on Tuesday I saw love flowing! And what makes me feel even more wonderful is knowing that there is so much more love flowing through your lives and actions that I never get to see, but I know is flowing. How is God’s love flowing through you today? What ministry are you engaging in? I bet it’s beautiful!
(Click here for a video version of Noticings)