NOTE FROM PASTOR J R FOR SUNDAY, JULY 22, 2018

This Sunday I will conclude my 3-part sermon series on our Covenant Vision Statement, “To be an inclusive community of faith: Offering Hope + Showing Faithfulness + Sharing Joy.” This year we have been revisiting our Vision Statement as a means of helping us to live it out in our daily lives.

The following assigned lectionary text for this Sunday shares these truths from Ephesians 2:14-16, 22 (CEB): “But now, thanks to Christ Jesus, you who once were so far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. Christ is our peace. He made both Jews and Gentiles into one group. With His body, He broke down the barrier of hatred that divided us. …Christ is building you into a place where God lives through the Spirit.”

As I was preparing to address the “Sharing Joy,” part of our Covenant Vision; using the above passage of scripture, I realized two things.

(1) Our Covenant Vision is a collective vision but one that is lived out in the actions of each of us individually. But in doing so, “Christ is building ‘us’ into a place where God lives through the Spirit.” (v. 22)

(2) Each part of our vision is aimed at improving people’s lives through experiencing the peace and comfort of God’s love; while also seeking to break down barriers of hatred that divide us in to “us” and “them.” This is certainly needed in our world today. So, for the past two weeks I’ve encouraged us to live into and live out our Covenant Vision.

Join us this Sunday when as part of the sermon, one of our members will share an encounter she experienced this week in living out our Covenant Vision as a Birmingham Police Officer. My sermon is “Part 3 – The Vision is Offering Hope + Showing Faithfulness + Sharing Joy” based on Ephesians 2:11-22.

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