One Body of Christ

        “As part of the one body of Christ we welcome all to the Lord’s Table as God has welcomed us.”  These words from our Disciples statement of identity move us with energy toward a special sabbath we call World Communion Sunday. We will humbly gather with “great cloud of witnesses” past and present to “do this in remembrance of me.” The unity of common, ordinary bread and the shared contents of a chalice will allow us to acknowledge our oneness in Christ that is far from ordinary. This becomes for us an ordinary act of breaking bread together that has extraordinary implications for the sharing of Christian love in a hurting world.

Also on Sunday we will share words of appreciation and education about our Reconciliation ministries. We are called to “plant seeds of hope” and be a prophetic voice for healing and justice among all God’s people. Among other things our Reconciliation offering supports the good work of the prison congregation Luther Luckett Christian Church, located near LaGrange, Kentucky.

I look forward to gathering  in worship  and especially being at the Lord’s Table with you this Sunday.  Grace and Peace,

Active Listening

Don McLaughlin      I never intend for it to happen, yet on occasion it does. My confession is that when I am distracted or preoccupied and I assume that I have listened.   Inevitably the truth of the word “assume” comes into play. The realization of not listening well is almost always embarrassing. Thankfully, most of the time people are gracious enough to help communication take place and carefully correct my listening deficiencies.

As I shared recently, research tells us that we spend 70-80 percent of our waking hours in some form of communication. That breaks down to 9 percent writing, 16 percent reading, 30 percent speaking and 45 percent of our communication is listening.

Surely we realize again and again that to be faithful to our calling as servants of Christ we are to be good listeners. Many of us have been blessed by the helpful techniques of “active listening”. As a friend of mine said recently “don’t miss a good opportunity to shut up.” In hectic moments let us remember the counsel of Psalm 46:10  “Be still and know that I am God.” In a similar way let us come to each moment of communication especially with family and friends with an open mind and a sensitive heart. By the way, did you know that the National Day of Listening is November 23rd?         Grace and peace,

Making Choices

Don McLaughlin When we face moments of confusion we are often forced to think through what we believe in order to make a wise decisions. There are occasions when we are not given the luxury of stepping aside for moments of quiet reflection. Critical situations such as emergencies call us to react quickly and decisively. In these moments our training kicks in. Perhaps  we have heard rescue personnel say similar things as they reflect on life saving situations.

Who we are as followers of Christ becomes a matter of the heart. Our ethics are lived out in the ordinary and extraordinary decisions we make. Who we are is reflected in the decisions we make when no one is around. Thankfully we know we are not without the resources which provide for wise choices to be made. We learn from our mistakes and grow stronger in our broken places.

This becomes a manifestation of God’s grace. God meets us  in our times of confusion. God accompanies us on our journey of struggle. And in our times of disappointment God is saying “I will not leave you, no matter what may happen.” Many  are the times our call is to “keep on keeping on.” As you know, this requires the strength of patience. As plain as it may seem, we are serving a high calling when we are just putting one foot in front of the other. May God bless you as you share this part of your journey and as we journey together as a family of faith.  Grace and peace,

Building Up the Body of Christ

The gospel readings for the past few weeks have presented the beautiful metaphor of Jesus as the bread of life, a theme that continues for another few Sundays. So we have been led to ask ourselves about the content of our spiritual diet. With what do we fill our minds and hearts? How do we use our time and talent? Does the positive and spiritual content of our lives bring balance to us when we encounter the negative and worldly?

There is a different kind of emptiness that leads us to consider the description Jesus uses for himself. The hunger we have for the bread of life is a spiritual matter. We are fed by scripture and prayer. We are nourished by worship and acts of service. We discover more about the truth that sets us free when we share fellowship together “building up the body of Christ.”

In the coming weeks you will be hearing about a study opportunity entitled “Making Sense of Scripture”. This will be an occasion for our church family to “build up the body of Christ” and gather to be nourished through study and fellowship. Also, Midweek Manna classes are now being planned and will begin on Wednesday nights mid-September and our Sunday School classes meet each Sunday at 9:15. ” . . .by his hand we all are fed, thank you God for daily bread.”

Grace and peace,


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