Growing Up, Part 2

Now my church family has a lot in common with the Culler family. We’re not all alike–we’re different in age, gender and personality type. We have different talents and levels of education. We each have had different life experiences. The one big thing we have in common is this — God called us together to accomplish His purpose in this place, and we need one another. The 12th Chapter of 1 Corinthians puts it this way:

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different ways of working, but the same God works all of them in all men … (and) to each one a manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good…. God has arranged the parts of the body just as He wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? … Now you are the body of Christ and each one of you has a part in it.”

However, we’re not born into a human family knowing what we want to do or can do as adults, and we’re not “born again” into the Christian family knowing that either. How do we find out?

To illustrate, I’ll tell you a little about how I grew up spiritually at Peace In Christ Lutheran Church ….. stay tuned for that story tomorrow ……

For more posts on the church family see:

Thankful for my Church Family

The Church Family

Living as a Family with One Another

Change, Loss and Faith

This is an article I actually wrote many years ago when my church at the time, Peace In Christ Lutheran in Walkersville, had undergone the major change of buying a new church building and moving to a different location.  I think the ideas are still relevant today.

Our daughter Kate, age 20, who is living and going to college in South Carolina, called recently.  The old car we gave her finally died.  So she went out, bought a new car, and got her own insurance.  When I told a friend about this, she said, “Joan, that’s a good thing!”  And it is.  Parenthood is all about guiding your child to independence.  I’m proud of Kate and relieved she is now able to take care of so many things on her own.  But, at the same time, I feel a pang of loss.  She doesn’t need me as much as she once did.

For some of us at Peace In Christ, the church was for many years “our baby.”  Church social events took place in the homes of our members as we didn’t have a kitchen or fellowship hall.  My husband even taught adult Sunday School in our living room one year!  Just about every active family had a member serving on either the Church Council, Board of Elders, or Sunday School staff.  The success of an event depended upon all of us pitching in and being there.  We were truly members of the same body and the body needed every one of us to function.

At the new facility things have changed.  We’ve grown in numbers and no longer know everyone;  there is a greater variety of interest and level of commitment;  communication doesn’t just “happen” anymore.  This brings a feeling of loss and in a way, even death–death of the close community and roles that were valuable to us.  Elizabeth O’Connor, in her book, “Many Selves” says, “those who participate in change must participate in death.”

However, during this Easter season I am reminded that death is not the end.  We’re called to practice resurrection–which isn’t easy during the painful uncertainty of transition.  Here’s a quote from “Hope for the Flowers.”  Two caterpillars are discussing becoming a butterfly:

” ‘You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar’, Stripe said. ‘You mean to die?‘  asked Yellow.  ‘Yes and no,’ he answered.  ‘What looks like you will die, but what’s really you will still live.'”

When I put on the mind of Christ, I know that what’s really Peace In Christ will continue to live through all of the changes.