your family plus a positive faith community = God’s best

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Enjoying grandkidness
Enjoying grand-kid-ness

“Summer Vacation 2015” was built around one simple goal: Rebekah and I wanted to attend worship and meet the faith communities of people we love.

That’s not necessarily an easy task for a preacher’s family. We tend to be kind of tied up Sunday mornings. But this was important. Naomi and Craig have invested themselves in Richmond’s Southminster Presbyterian Church, and Tim and Kelly Black are now firmly rooted in the ongoing story of Central Presbyterian Church in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.

Our first trip took us to PA, and you can read that series of stories in the following three posts:

Then this past weekend we made our way to Richmond. Sunday I posted about our visit to the National Battlefield at Petersburg. Today I’d like to share about family, and the privilege – the necessity – of worshipping together.

Mauls, Campbells and McVeys at SPC
Mauls, Campbells and McVeys at SPC

FAITH COMMUNITY: For us, the idea of family is built around our faith community. Being family means loving with abandon, sharing our faith, including God in every detail of our lives, and actively participating in a local community of faith. I honestly believe that everything that makes our family the super-cool, defined by love, and relationally high functioning experience that it is emerges from our commitment to follow Jesus in the context of church.

Stated another way: I don’t believe it’s possible for any family to be the kind of family God intends outside the context of an active relationship to the faith community. Church is that important.

Rebekah with future
Rebekah with future “Rev” Bruce

So Sunday morning Rebekah and I were thrilled to be able to attend worship at Southminster Presbyterian with Naomi, Craig, David, and Beks; to sit in the pew together, sing hymns, listen to God’s word, pray, and meet some of their new community.

Then, in an added serendipity, the Bruce and Jen McVey family joined us for worship and lunch. I may share Bruce’s story in another post, but the short version is that – after several years making a hugely important contribution to the life, and leadership, of First Presbyterian Church in Brandon – the McVeys have moved to Richmond, where Bruce will be working towards his Masters of Divinity degree from Union Presbyterian Seminary.

The photograph of Rebekah with Bruce is just one more in the series that represents a connection between Rebekah’s ministry and emerging leadership. We are proud and thankful.

YOU’VE GOT A FRIEND: In one more special moment, I was privileged to be able to play guitar as Naomi sang during the offertory – our adaptation of Carol King’s classic – popularized by James Taylor – “You’ve Got a Friend.”

15906_10100546472796432_6534563608157365595_n“You just call out God’s name,” Naomi sang in her clear and beautiful voice, “and you know, whatever your pain, he’ll come running, to heal you again. God is your friend.”

Like I said, I can’t imagine family without the healing love of God. There really is no other way – DEREK

(enjoy a few more weekend pics)

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