We Need Each Other

Recent research suggests that persons addicted to high tech phones are losing memory. Flitting through hundreds of messages daily looking for a new high releases the mind from responsibility to store knowledge. It is a morphing of narcissism that is anti-social and egocentric. What a frightful sight to see people in a group each with earplugs and fingers dancing across a screen smaller than the size of an average hand.

More frightful is the awareness that technology can bring to the screen the best and the worst of good and bad of humanity. Yes, Google will readily provide scripture verses and Bible commentary. Google will also provide pornography and the writings on the ugliest of sins current and past.

The world is aware of the plight of Thai boys stuck in a cave filling up with water. Take note that they stayed together. Second, take note that once found a rescuer stayed with them to encourage them.

In ancient primitive societies persons who violated the ultimate norms were punished with two forms of ostracism. A person could be banished from the community and forbidden to ever return. It was a death sentence.

Or tribal council could be held and the person declared persona non grata, i.e., no longer a member of the tribe. No one could speak to them, look at them, sit with them, live with them or in any way acknowledge them as a human being. It was a death sentence.

Medical and social people readily affirm that infants fighting for life respond to touch and sound and are more likely to live if the voice is from a loving mother or father.

The Church is community. Christ gave his life for the Church. The Church is the coming together of those who are born again of the Spirit of God. The fellowship of the saints is life-inspiring. Knowledge and wisdom flow in the Body.  Caring and love infuse strength and embolden faith. Serving others to the glory of Christ is natural.

Bearing each other’s burdens is who we are. We have received news that Pastor Jerry Steele of Valley Covenant has been diagnosed with liposarcoma cancer. He was Covenant's first full-time staff employee serving for eight years before going to pastor in Pennsylvania. Twenty years later he returned to Covenant as interim Fine Arts Pastor while we worked together to launch Valley Covenant.

Now he and his wife Darlene stand in need of community. Our prayers and love are assured.

Covenant's character is caring. We have countless stories of rescuing, supporting and encouraging. Stories of leading people to Jesus out of sinful pasts. Stories of being community to people struggling to put broken pieces of their lives together.

God has chosen to send many pastors and ministers to us for healing. It is a treasure we hold sacredly with great humility.

My prayer is that all who read this letter will understand the power of a Christ-driven community. We are not only stronger together; we cannot fulfill our mission for Christ if we are not together.

Join with us this Sunday in worship. We will welcome Raji Devareg from Mumbai, India. He founded and leads one of the most powerful missionary causes that I know. It has been many years since we have been blessed with his presence

I love being part of the community of Christ followers. Yes, I need you to be part of my life and joyfully am willing to serve you.

Much love

Pastor Bare

Ephesians 5 (read it carefully and think community)