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World Communion Sunday and Some Amazing God-is-Great News

posted Oct 4, 2019, 11:13 AM by Tricia Sheffield

Grace and peace to you!


I first want to thank you, beloved of Middletown Reformed Church, for your love of all God’s people, and for the face of Christ I witnessed in each of you during our congregational meeting last Sunday. As your pastor, it was overwhelming. For those who were unable to attend, please know we were unanimous in saying that no matter what happens with the outcome of Vision 2020, our church will continue to be a place where all people, especially our LGBTQ siblings in Christ, are welcome at God’s table of grace and into the full life of the church. After stories were shared and tears were shed, I felt — and possibly heard — a collective sigh of relief as we realized we can now begin to move forward in freedom and joy to the ministry God has called us to do.


Not only did we rejoice in our call of welcome and affirmation for all people, but we also launched our new Capital Campaign called 24 for 24. As I wrote last week, this campaign is focused on the repair and restoration of the front steps of the church. The campaign was received quite well and we got several pledges and some donations.


But then, you’ll never believe what happened the Monday after our meeting. I was approached by two people — who will forever remain anonymous — who said they were each donating $25,000 to the project because God had moved their hearts to repair the steps as soon as possible. My goodness! You can imagine my reaction! I shed tears of joy and gratitude when they told me their intention, and all week I’ve been giving praise and thanks to God for such generosity and faithfulness. 


The one request from our donors is that the 24 for 24 Campaign continue because there is still much that we need to do around the church. For example, we need to paint the sanctuary and repair the plaster and ceiling tiles as the interior of the church has not been painted in over 40 years; the steeple also needs to be painted; we still would like an accessibility ramp for the Education Building so that all people may be welcomed and participate in the events in this building; and the list could go one. But my goodness, again! I still am walking around in amazement at how the Holy Spirit moved our congregation in so many ways this week. God is good . . . all the time! I am grateful, so very grateful for your faithful witness to love in our community.


I hope to see you this Sunday at 10:30 AM when we will rejoice in God’s extravagant love and grace. It is World Communion Sunday and worship will be adapted from “The Communion of Saints: Resources from the Worldwide Church” by Anne E. Zaki. This will be a multi-vocal, multi-gender, multi-lingual, intergenerational worship that acknowledges the unity of the Church Universal. Think how beautiful it will be as we participate with people of faith around the globe, all gathering around the Lord’s Table on this very special Sunday. What a wonderful illustration for the potential of the body of Christ! Our New Jericho Choir will be singing; the Joyful Noise Adult Choir will lead us in congregational singing; and  Deborah Burke, Diane Grady, Dan Pannebaker, and Izaak Thorpe will be our featured ensemble, with Jacie Thorpe on percussion. And after worship we will gather around another table in the Education Building for our First Sunday Brunch. A free will offering will be taken to support the ministries of the church. 


It is going to be a glorious day of worship and I look forward to celebrating it with you!


In gratitude for the joy of being your Pastor and the holy call of loving you,


Pastor Trish

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