I have the best job.
I work with the best staff.
I serve with a good congregation.
In this work to which I have been called, I am able to help welcome a newborn into the world and to hold the hand of a soul who is ready to leave this world for the next.
We rejoice together and we weep together. We serve the world with generosity and compassion and support one another in crisis.
We are patient and kind, each chosen, holy and beloved in God’s eyes.
We sit to talk about how to follow Jesus in ways that he would approve. We pronounce grace on each other when we fail Him.
We come together regularly in worship and at other times. We are friends.
Together, we have witnessed extraordinary acts of generosity, experienced renovation, continue to repair and replace in order to do the ministry we are capable of doing.
We “Welcome all God’s People,” and continue to pray about what that means.
People come to us for help and we do when we are able.
We open our building to multiple groups, hundreds of times a year. We are not afraid of Alcoholic’s Anonymous. They have been welcome here maybe for over 30 years. If so, they have met here perhaps over 3,000 times. They are grateful.
We are the largest giving church to The Well and to Operation Food Basket, but are nowhere near the church with the largest attendance in Paris.
We have put in a gazebo which is used by the kids at the YMCA almost daily in good weather and by various folks in the community each day. It was planned and brought to reality by one of young people when he was under 18 years old.
A man of Cuban descent befriended the church years ago and has worked without asking for compensation before we decided to try and reward him, but not pay him a wage for his work.
We are ecumenical and will work together in the community with anyone who will work with us to advance the kingdom of God.
We have been identified by the community as “the church that helps people.”
We are accepting, tolerant, loving and, if I may say so, do not have a reputation for being judgmental.
We take the Bible seriously, thus not literally.
This is the denomination and the church I choose to serve.
I am pleased and proud to call myself a member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and First Christian Church of Paris.
I hope you feel the same.
Moving to the deeper places,