Exile & Exodus, Commitment Statement

Two things:

1) At the end of last week I was invited by the mayor’s office to contribute toward a collection of faith leader messages addressed to city residents.  The intention was to offer words of encouragement during the anxieties of this pandemic.  In the message I suggested this time has similarities to two of the major storylines in the Bible – Exile and Exodus.  The 4 ½ minute video can be viewed HERE and you may recognize some of the other clergy in the playlist.    

2) Despite our inability to be together in person, we are going forward with Membership Sunday this weekend.  In our recorded worship service we’ll hear brief faith journeys from each of our nine new members, who will also lead other parts of the service.  Our preparation time via Zoom included reading through and discussing our Membership Commitment statement, newly written last year, a fresh expression of what we hold dear as a congregation.  In a disorienting time I found these words a welcome reminder of the center that holds.  I appreciate this congregation’s practice of reading the statement together annually, a renewal of our own commitments to one another and God.  On Sunday we’ll have another live gathering at 11 via Zoom to welcome our new members and share communion.  May we continue to live these words:

CMC Membership Commitment 

The Spirit calls us from where we are
       to walk with Jesus
       toward a more just, peaceful, and merciful embodiment
       of God’s love in this world.

Ours is a story
       of those who journeyed by faith,
       whose questions opened fresh possibilities.

Ours is a story
       grounded in scripture, centered on Jesus,
       re-envisioned by Anabaptists, ever-expanding in our time.

Ours is a story
       of death and resurrection and all things made new.

To live more fully into this story,
as individuals and as a congregation, we commit to:

        Gather for worship and around the table
        where everyone is welcome;

        Learn from one another,
        allowing the wisdom of all ages to teach us;

        Honor all seasons of life,
        caring for one another through joys and hardships;

        Share our time and resources,
        discerning our call to both work and rest;

       Love our neighbors and enemies,
       pursuing wholistic peace with justice;

       Care for the gift of creation
       out of gratitude and responsibility;

        Seek transformation through prayerful listening,
        growing toward the fullness of our humanity.

Because we often fall short of this high calling,
we will extend compassion and forgiveness as we journey together.

By God’s grace, may we be a sanctuary,
where we welcome, protect, and challenge one another.