We were welcomed to worship with song: “ This is the day that the Lord has made, Let us be glad and rejoice in it”. The Holy Spirit encircled our congregation as we gathered together in worship and Bible study under the leadership of Pastor Dale Selover to share our hopes and expectations for the opportunities God is presenting on our journey to find a new partner in ministry. We shared God’s Word, God’s meal and a light luncheon. We remembered our baptism as we chanted “Spirit of the Living God fall fresh on me”. We offered uplifting hymns of praise and words of prayer. We were energized. We were renewed. It was a day where we each, in our own way, found nurturing for growth in our individual and collective spiritual journey.
Members of the congregation offered gifts of sweatshirts, knit caps, socks, chocolate and tee-shirts in lieu of an offering. During our retreat the children assembled the gifts into satchels to be donate to Seafarer International, a Lutheran ministry that serves the crews of ocean-going vessels when they come into the port of New York/New Jersey. These will be Christmas gifts to seafarers from around the world who are often at sea for 10 months at a time.
Our banner represents the many facets of our congregation’s faith journey. ”For as in one body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function, so, though many, we are one body in Christ “(Romans 12:4-5). This is represented by the multitude of colors of the butterflies. The butterflies represent how we are growing spiritually, being changed, shaped and transformed by each of our guest pastors who bring God’s message to us. We are being transformed as we “pray without ceasing”, discerning what God is inviting each of us to and where God is calling us to next.
The butterflies form a rainbow. In Genesis we read that God set a rainbow in the sky as covenant with all generations, a sign of hope from God’s hand. The butterfly rainbow reminds us of our faith covenant with God, that He will provide for us, as He provided for Noah’s family, as we continue our journey to discern God’s will for our individual and collective ministries. Our banner hangs in the Narthex to serve as a reminder of God’s covenant with us in our ministry as we continue to be transformed, spiritually grow and prepare for a new partner and new opportunities in our shared ministry.
Our Christian journey starts and ends with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, Alpha and Omega.