A Word From Our Pastor
A Letter from Joannie
Dear St. Francis family,
I just finished my third chemo treatment with one more to go. The side effects have been very manageable, and the medical personnel are truly taking care of me, but your cards and support are what have helped me even more. Thank you so much for all your prayers and love. Keep those pink candles burning!
What WE Should Be
As Joannie expressed in her letter above, we are so grateful for all the love and support that you have given to us during her treatments. You have truly lived out what it means to be a spiritual community...which is exactly what I'd like to explore with you.
St. Francis, the community of which we are all a part, works best when we actively and intentionally seek for ways to connect with each other and form small communities of love and support within that larger body. While spirituality may be an individual pursuit, religion is one in which we purposely look for ways to be "the body of Christ" for each other.
These small groups can take on a variety of forms and purposes. Some will be designed for an activity here at church...some purposely lift us outside the walls of our buildings and into the community. Some will be mission driven, while others will focus on the social aspects of our life together. The "church" will set up some groups, while others will form on a much more informal basis. Some of them have been around for decades, and others will form for a specific event only.
Whatever the particularities of these groups, they hold one thing in common: they are the means through which the larger community is held together. As your pastor let me be very clear about this: I need you to be in small groups within our church in one way or another. Coming to Celebration may help us all, but these "communities within our community" will strengthen you and deepen your spirit walk in ways that the large community will not. Let me give you an example.
Every Tuesday for years Snak Paks has come together to prepare food bags for local schools. This marvelous group of volunteers gives a gift to the world around them while laughing quite a bit as they serve. Their "small group" feeds their own souls and blesses the world around them. The school district is changing the way this program will be administered and so Snak Paks (and their volunteers) is coming to an end...at least as we know it, but there are always more ways to connect and serve.
Every single church committee can serve as a wonderful small group, but there is so much more than can do that as well...or better: Sophia Circle, Sunday Night at the Movies, POZ Café, Divine Journey yoga, Choir, AA meetings, Sunday School, the group that serves at Casa Maria, the Men's writing group, Course in Miracles. The list goes on and on and on...and I'm so sorry to all the marvelous groups that I have not named. Each one is an amazing blessing to this church and to the world.
FIND A GROUP TO JOIN! Or maybe two or three. It will bless your life...and change our world.