Gifts of Grace
Romans 12:4-8 (NIV)
4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
Have you ever felt like you didn’t belong, weren’t needed, or didn’t fit in? If that strikes a chord with you re-read the above verses Paul writes in Romans 12. The last Sunday in April we had people join Pilgrim and become members of the body of Christ here. Each has gifts. Each has a calling as God’s son or daughter. It is true for you too. Paul says: “each member belongs to all the others.” There is a connection here that goes beyond a feeling, beyond a sense of purpose, beyond what one brings to the table or feels they have to offer. If we belong to Jesus, by virtue of our Baptism and faith, then we also belong to each other.
Notice also, each of us is gifted according to God’s grace. Not all the gifts are listed, but many are: serving, teaching, encouraging, contributing, leading, and showing mercy. In each case Paul not only says people have been given these gifts by grace, but when they use their God given gifts it becomes an expression of God’s love and work in them.
What does that look like? Look at the list, or other lists of Spiritual gifts. What is the gift (s) God has given you? How have you been doing at using your gifts? May 12-13, we met for a leadership retreat. We addressed not only the survey about the needs of Pilgrim but the feedback on the priorities for the next steps of improving and responding to God’s leading in mission.
For those who are leaders, we are to do it with zeal, with passion, with diligence. That is important. So often our leaders are spread thin, with many duties at home and at work. Often times the ranks are thin in leadership positions so it can be hard to keep that zeal. So I would ask you at this point to exercise another gift we have by grace. Part of our calling is to be constant in prayer. (Rom.12:12). Please pray for our leaders: from those who represent the various ministry teams, the church counsel, Elders, Parish education, Board of education, Principals, Teachers, DCE, support staff, and me as your Pastor. We need your prayers because we need God’s help. Pray for our families too. Often times being a leader can take time away from what we might otherwise spend at home. We all belong to each other, and to be constant in prayer, keeps us seeking the Lord who has given us the gifts, the direction, and the focus we will need to lead, to serve, to teach, etc. with the passion, motivation, and quality that God desires, and accomplishes in us.
Thank you to all who serve and for all who are praying. There are exciting things happening as we move forward in Ministry:
- We will be refining the ministry plan for the months and years ahead, and sharing/refining that plan with the congregation
- We will have a work day Saturday June 3, to clean, fix, and improve the church properties. Come and join in this important work and have some fun.
- We will be commissioning our first 6 Stephen Ministers (June 11)
- We will be working with the other new ministry teams to resource and encourage their growth and service.
- We plan to have cottage meetings with the congregation. More on that to come.
- The plans for the 75th anniversary celebration are moving forward with special thanks to Jean Marie Herkamp and the anniversary committee
- We are looking at refinancing our mortgage and how we might finance some much needed repairs at Pilgrim. LCEF is offering variable rates that would bring a substantial savings over our current fixed rate mortgage with them.
- Sheri Lam has accepted the contracted position to be Pilgrim’s Principal for next year. Jim Riedel will continue part time (3 days a week) as Principal Mentor, while Sheri is working on her Master’s Degree in Education Administration.
- We have completed our 10 week study of “Joining Jesus in His Mission; How to become an everyday missionary.” Now is the time to put it into practice.
- From July 2-Sept. 10 our summer schedule one worship Service, Sunday mornings, 9 AM with Bible Class to follow.
God bless you as you invest your gifts for the Good of others and for the glory of God and as we work together to share in His mission.
Pastor Bill Hering
May 25, 2017