Renewal of the Church

Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter,

You will restore my life again, from the depths of the earth

You will again bring me up. You will increase my honor

And comfort me once again.

 

Psalm 71: 20 – 21
 

God speaks to us in many different ways. He can use others to deliver a message that comes from the most unexpected sources. We are caused to be ever alert and mindful that God is always in our midst and always working for our good.  I believe I heard such a message recently and I have discerned it’s meaning and message for God’s Church and the people he calls his own. Our Community Partner LEAP Forward, Inc. sent a recruitment flyer to be read in the morning announcement. One line stuck in my mind. It went something like this. The COVID 19 Virus is not a reason to stop, it is a reason to change.

 

I believe that statement is a reminder to all of us of the importance of our work in God’s Kingdom. Yes, trouble has come. Yes, it has been bitter and life altering. Yet, we cannot STOP! We are caused to think and try new ways to be God’s Church. Trouble has never been the time that God has retreated. We must press forward and find new and improved ways to be God’s Church. In a real sense, we have before us this wonderful opportunity to be creative and expansive in our work. We can’t simply ball up in a knot and act as if God is not still with us.

 

Mt. Olive is offering one of the most complete options available. We returned in the building on June 21st. We have implemented the standards for cleaning, social distancing and mask. We care for each other and ourselves. At the same time, we still offer virtual services. We expanded our worship experience to include Tuesday and Friday Morning Prayer Line Services. We are approaching 60 households participating in this activity. The beauty of these services are they are not restricted by place. Last Sunday, we received messages from viewers in South Carolina! On Wednesdays the Lay Team offers messages of encouragement and hope.

 

We are not stopping there. Javvieaus Stewart, one of our Young Adults who is teaching in Philadelphia will be launching a Young Adult Ministry via zoom. We are encouraging our young people to join in wherever you are. We will set the day and times. It will be a contemporary theme with a focus on God and the real issues of our life, health, home, job, education, relationships, growing and focusing on the future, overcoming the bumps and hurdles of life. Real stuff for real people, God’s renewed Church.

 

Bible Study will start back up in September. We will offer it on Zoom and on the Conference Line. We believe that in time we will double participation. In the comfort of one’s home you can join in learning and hearing God’s word as we wrestle with its meaning in our life and how God’s Word guides our faith walks. In a similar fashion, we are planning to offer Sunday School using the same technology. Our monthly information packages will include lessons and study material.

 

From the depths of the earth, God is providing all we need to launch a renewal of his Holy Church. We believe increased engagement brings him honor. Reaching out to others and finding new and improved ways to be God’s Church is transformative.

 

Spread the Word; Mt. Olive has not stopped; we simply have changed.

 

Pastor Jones