This Sunday is our Annual Meeting. For the second year in a row, we will not be able to gather together in the way we want—good food, extended time together, hugs and handshakes, ample time for presentations and questions and conversations. Instead, with limited time and agenda, only a portion of our Immanuel family will physically be present, while the rest participate via livestream. (Bonus for those at home! You get to snack while those of us Gray’s sit with rumbling tummies waiting for lunch.)
Even so, this week is yet another reminder that we remain a united family whose foundation, hope, and purpose remain unshaken. The Annual Report arriving in your mailboxes this week provides ample evidence of that truth. The Scripture readings on Sunday will proclaim it, our liturgy will pray it, and our songs will sing of it.
Pay attention to those songs! In poetry and praise they declare the reality that the enemy would try and use our circumstances to make us forget.
What is our foundation? We will begin by singing the answer:
The Church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord;
she is his new creation by water and the word:
from heaven he came, sought her to be his holy bride;
with his own blood he bought her, and for her life he died.
What is our hope? As we receive the fullness of our hope in Eucharist, we’ll also sing these words to our God:
Way maker, miracle worker, promise keeper
Light in the darkness
My God, that is who You are
What is our purpose? As we move from worship in the church to life in the world, we’ll sing:
Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim
till all the world adore his sacred name.
We will take time during the meeting to address specific details with regard to our life together, but let us remember that these details flow from the unshakeable truths we’ll sing. And those songs are rooted in these words we’ll hear read to us on Sunday:
For us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. (1 Corinthians 8:6)
Your Pastor in Christ,