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Pastor's Notes

What is our Work?

From a February 9, 2020 Message by Rev. Susan Tyrrel* Immanuel United Church of Christ, Bartlett, IL

As a Follower of Jesus our Work may be personal or community based.

• To work for social action. So, we read the paper or online news and cluck under our breath about the problems of our community. Leap into the trenches! at the PTA meetings, at city hall, organizing committees, initiating action for Jesus' sake and in the name of justice.

• To work on relational growth. Children grow up fast. Maybe we make hard choices that favor our children / our friendships / our spouse / over competing claims on our time. The church community offers the common denominator for friendships and families to grow closer.

• To work on personal growth. We sense burnout creeping up: we can’t take the easy way out - it’s time to care for -- and feed -- our souls.

• To work toward sobriety. One may finally choose to tough it out, attend the AA meeting, or the helping group of your choice - get help, resist temptation, listen to family intervention, admit our problem, depend on God, and claim that victory.

• To work on our spiritual formation, that is, to deepen our faith. Pull out the Bible or a version of the Bible we can understand. Going to book study or bible study when it’s offered. Learning and stretching our relationship with Jesus and our idea of faith.

• To work toward financial responsibility. One may have maxed out their credit cards - it easy to say we'll pay later. But now, God is showing it's time to take responsibility to exercise sound stewardship with the resources God has given. And in that regard – rethinking the way we give to the church.

• To work on faith witness. Perhaps the thought is: the business of evangelism and sharing the faith is the minister's job. Not in THIS congregational polity setting- where the congregation makes the decisions! Following Jesus is not a one-day-a-week courtesy call on God, it is, as Paul is alluding to - a complete Monday-to-Sunday lifestyle choice.

Working with this new LENS – like a contact lens- or an eyeglass lens -- may be difficult – hard to get used to. However, this Lens of Christ is our hope and He empowers our work.

*Liberally Revised from Writer Bob Kaylor, a United Methodist Minister in Utah.

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