Grace and Peace to You...

A snippet of Pastor Judith's sermon from May 6, 2018 based on Philippians 1: 1-11; a letter of a communal thanks and a communal challenge: 

Grace and peace to you, saints and sinners of Emmanuel Baptist Fellowship.  I do indeed give God a lot of thanks for the ways you have remembered me; for the ways you have cared for me, been gracious to me, been Church to me, been God to me.  I rejoice in the foundation of this place, what this church has meant, means, and will mean to people, because you have found ways to bring the good news to people.  The good news of not only welcoming people in this space, but affirming them for being exactly who they are.  The good news of Jesus Christ.  You not only welcome the child at Christ’s side, but the poor and rich, and unhealthy, and the lesbian, gay, bi, trans, and queer community.  That good news is worth celebrating, so I celebrate that with you.  For that is good and holy work.  I am confident that the work that God has called you, individually and collectively, to do will continue to make this world a better place.  And will bring the KOG closer to here- this place. My prayer is one of persistence.  My hope is that you will continue the good fight for peace and justice.  The will to stay on the fence, the will to stay silent, and be complacent is strong.  My prayer is that you persist over that fence, that you speak up, and ignore the will to be complacent.  Because when you do, you are inviting people into a space that never felt comfortable until now.  You are inviting people that were made to feel broken, and by not ignoring that, we are also less broken.  May we hear the continuous call to join in Christ’s work.  We know that we may have to lead the way, but we stand and work and march together to aid in justice.  With a church like this one, with family like you, we have no fear. Together, we can continue the good fight, and reap the harvest that the work of justice brings to all God’s children. 

Peace be with you, EBF family. Amen.