Hi, church! Yes, I’m talking to you, for the church is not a building, or a location, but the people of God called to worship Him, serve Him, and grow in Him – whether they meet in a barn, a warehouse, a home, a traditional church building, or a cathedral. In fact, the early church did not have church buildings for the first 300 years, yet they grew exponentially in size and spirit. Paul often greeted the church that met in people’s homes, meaning the people, not the home (Rom. 16:5; 1 Cor. 16:19; Col. 4:15; Philemon 1:2). Most Christians know this, but it helps to be reminded that WE are the church, not the property at 4700 Mesa Dr. That’s where the church gathers to worship and study and serve, and to be strengthened to live as members of Christ’s church in our community. As we do, and as we share what it means to us to be a part of this incredible gathering for Christ, others are drawn to become part of the church, too.
So how are you doing as a part of this church? The Bible describes us as members of the Body of Christ, each with our own important function:
“For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” Romans 12:4-5 We all matter, we all have a role, we all belong not only to Christ – we belong to each other. So when any of us are missing, the Body of Christ suffers. When many of us are missing, as often happens during the summer – and still from the pandemic – the Body weakens. When any of our members move away or pass away, we greatly miss them.
Ben Alona was a member of our church for 15 years. He and his wife Veth were active in worship, Sunday School, and in the local Gideons. Ben was a deacon, serving as an usher in our 1st service for many years. He was also a radiologist until he retired. He passed away on May 31st after a long illness. We will miss Ben, and will celebrate his life this Sunday, Aug. 7, at 3:00 p.m. at Lighthouse; a reception will follow on the patio. All are welcome.
Cliff Wolf was part of our church for over 10 years; I baptized him 9 years ago, right before he went on a mission trip to Paraguay. He and his wife Donna were active in worship and in 2 different Bible studies, including our Men’s and Women’s groups that meet here on Wed. night, and in a study that met in their home. Cliff and Donna led our Emergency Meals ministry, coordinating meals to those who had surgery, a baby, or another need for assistance. Cliff was in my men’s discussion group for the last year, where I got to know him even better. He was a podiatrist by profession, and he showed much empathy for the other men in our group – for their families, their health, their lives. He asked me about our trip to Montana to see our daughter’s family one Sunday the day before we left, so I was stunned to hear a few days later that he was in the hospital due to COVID, and not doing well. He fought it for 5 weeks before passing on July 19. We will miss Cliff, and will celebrate his life on Sunday, Sept. 4, at 3:00 p.m. at Lighthouse.
People really do matter, because we are all part of this Church. We belong to each other. So it makes a difference whether you are here or not – so if you’re in town, make every effort to join us for worship each Sunday. Because you matter. We all matter to Christ, the Head of His Body, the Church.
Mike Openshaw, Senior Minister