As we continue in the season of Lent with the theme of courageous journeys, it’s useful to know that the English word courage comes from the French word la couer which means heart. To be courageous then means to have a vital heart, a big heart, and that we are to maintain our hearts. Sometimes the Scriptures would describe someone who has lost their way as becoming hard hearted. This is the opposite of courage. Our job as a community is to nurture the heart, that life force, that animating soul force that leads to life serving commitments and action, that leads to continued healing, hope, and vision, and that leads to the kind of presence that nurtures relationships and community.

As your interim pastor, I see our congregation on a courageous journey of renewal. I do see hearts being renewed and hear stories of the same. Whether it be volunteering to serve the homeless with the Breakfast Brigade on Saturdays, or experiences in small groups like Seekers, Men’s Bible Study, and Companions in Christ, or service-learning trips of youth to California and adults to El Salvador, or leading our church organization, or experiencing revitalized worship, I see hearts being nurtured, strengthened, and renewed.

I experience that as en-couraging. It en-courages me to keep on my journey of ministry and to en-courage others to find and live out their ministry. All of us have ministries, expressions of service that we are called to live out. Everybody can do something whether it be dishwashing, organizing, recycling, preaching, singing, praying, listening, teaching, creating, gardening, donating, welcoming, ushering, cooking, repairing, writing, cleaning, protesting, peacemaking, or calling your congressperson.

We can all add to the field of courage when we offer our ministry, our service to what incarnates more fully God’s Dream of Beloved Community.

I look forward to continuing the journey with you this month, concluding in Holy Week when a new creative Holy Thursday drama from one of our own will be offered (7 p.m., March 28) as well as the traditional Easter Sunday celebration worship with lots of music (10 a.m., March 31).

Blessings,
Pastor JT