MATTHEW 25 CONGREGATION: 09/28/2021
from pastor Katrina Pekich-Bundy
Recently in the PCUSA there has been encouragement for churches to become what is called a Matthew 25 congregation. If you don’t have Matthew 25 memorized (it’s ok – I don’t have many memorized, either) I encourage you to look it up, focusing on verses 31-46. It is the passage in which Jesus tells the disciples that whenever we do anything to someone else (clothe, feed, listen, the list goes on) we are doing so to Jesus. Likewise, if we don’t do these things to other people, we don’t do them to Jesus. It is a passage that reminds us that Christ’s light, God’s image, the imago dei is in everyone. In a world that is torn apart I think we could use this message – even though sometimes we might truly struggle with those whom we disagree to see God’s light within them.
Within the past couple of years First Presbyterian Church became a Matthew 25 congregation. If you aren’t sure exactly what that means, don’t fret! We will be learning as a congregation together so that we can live into this identity. You’re already worried about the community, reaching out in ways to help those dealing with food insecurities. The Community Café and Food Pantry are ways that we address this issue. You are looking at becoming a vital congregation through the new partnership with the college. From conversations with many of you, systemic racism is a topic you are hoping to address, too.
To begin this journey we will be learning about the Matthew 25 initiative each third Sunday of the month. This will be a time in worship where we will learn, discuss, ask questions, and make a plan of action for how to be a Matthew 25 church in this community. Each third Sunday we will worship at 10:30 in the Fellowship Hall. This space will give us a way that is more conducive to conversations.
Rev. Dr. Jan Edmiston, a former General Assembly moderator, writes in her blog about Matthew 25. (you can check it out here: achurchforstarvingartists.blog/)
I love that she encourages Matthew 25 churches to reflect on decisions they make in meetings and as congregations: “How does this decision support congregational vitality? How does this decision dismantle structural racism? How does this decision eradicate poverty?” What if we asked this after a session meeting? What if we asked this after a worship service? What if we asked this pre-emptively each day: “How will I support congregational vitality today? How will I dismantle structural racism today? How will I eradicate poverty today?” Of course, the “I” becomes a “we,” because we need one another, and we need God. We are in this together, and are equipped by God.
I hope you will join us each third Sunday in Fellowship Hall to discuss, learn, and worship the Creator who calls us to good things in the community.
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First Presbyterian Church of Alma has an opening for an Administrative Assistant for 20-25 hours a week. Position reports to the pastor and performs a range of administrative and clerical functions in support of on-going operation in the church office. Flexible schedule with schedule to be determined at time of hire. $11.50 an hour.