We are the Church!

Laity Sunday, 18 October 2020

Lay Leader, Tina Heal speaks with former District Lay Leader, Lydia Henry and Trista Wynne via Zoom conference call for our reflection this week.  The three women share memories of their childhood experiences in church, some of their current ministries and their hopes for the future of our congregation.  Throughout the service, we share many pictures from the past, present and future of Gresham UMC. 

We invite you to reflect on your own memories of church life or sacred spaces.  Journal about one of your favorite experiences as a child in church, or a sacred moment you experienced in nature.  When did you first become aware of God's presence in your life?  How have you been experiencing the Divine Presence in these strange times we are now living in?  How might we prepare a legacy of love for those who will come after us in this place?

Prayers of the People by Terrie Ham

Oh, God, how precious is your unfailing Love that lives in us and through us.On this Laity Sunday we thank you for the many gifts you have given this congregation. Gifts and abilities to pass on your Love to others by feeding the hungry, working for social justice, and caring for each other through prayer and acts of kindness. We are so grateful for all we've been given, but we ask you to inspire us to imagine new ways we may help and show your great Love to our community and the world. We are the Body of Christ and every cell in this body sings Glory. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 (The Voice Translation)

One Body with Many Members

12 Just as a body is one whole made up of many different parts, and all the different parts comprise the one body, so it is with the Anointed One. 13 We were all ceremonially washed through baptism[a] together into one body by one Spirit. No matter our heritage—Jew or Greek, insider or outsider—no matter our status—oppressed or free—we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Here’s what I mean: the body is not made of one large part but of many different parts.

15 Would it seem right for the foot to cry, “I am not a hand, so I couldn’t be part of this body”? Even if it did, it wouldn’t be any less joined to the body. 16 And what about an ear? If an ear started to whine, “I am not an eye; I shouldn’t be attached to this body,” in all its pouting, it is still part of the body.

17 Imagine the entire body as an eye. How would a giant eye be able to hear? And if the entire body were an ear, how would an ear be able to smell? 18 This is where God comes in. God has meticulously put this body together; God placed each part in the exact place to perform the exact function God wanted. 19 If all members were a single part, where would the body be? 20 So now, many members function within the one body.

21 The eye cannot wail at the hand, “I have no need for you,” nor could the head bellow at the feet, “I won’t go one more step with you.” 22 It’s actually the opposite. The members who seem to have the weaker functions are necessary to keep the body moving; 23 the body parts that seem less important we treat as some of the most valuable; and those unfit, untamed, unpresentable members we treat with an even greater modesty. 24 That’s something the more presentable members don’t need. But God designed the body in such a way that greater significance is given to the seemingly insignificant part. 25 That way there should be no division in the body; instead, all the parts mutually depend on and care for one another.

26 If one part is suffering, then all the members suffer alongside it. If one member is honored, then all the members celebrate alongside it. 27 You are the body of the Anointed, the Liberating King; each and every one of you is a vital member.

Meditation Moment by Terrie Ham

As our lives move through the years we pass through different stages of involvement at church. There are years when we are very active and present in church activities, able to teach Sunday School, sing in the choir, be an usher, or lead a ministry team. Then a time comes when we are no longer able to do these things and we feel that we are not part of the Body of Christ in the way we were.  But that is not true.  There are different jobs for different times in our lives and the most valuable ministry you can do is praying for others.  Pray for the staff at church, pray for your friends, pray for the musicians.  This is an important role you can fulfill.   The Church runs on prayer and you can be the fuel supply.  You are needed.

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