“Return to normal” is not the point – the point is “Being the Church”

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens…

Ecclesiastes 3
– Rebekah preaching this Sunday

It’s not easy to write something enticing on a Monday when the last column I posted comprised “Welcome to Earth” words for Geoffrey William Campbell, our newest grandchild.

So here is the most “clickable” image I have on hand. It’s Rebekah preaching yesterday morning, while our daughter Naomi was in the process of giving birth.

“Ecclesiastes 3:5 should be known as the coronavirus text. ‘There is a time to embrace… and a time to refrain from embracing.’ We are definitely in the time – and you all know how hard this for me, because I want to hug all of your necks so much – to refrain from embracing.”

Rebekah Maul
– John Fawcett, Rebekah Maul, Katherine Peiper

The message – indeed the whole service – was a strikingly positive affirmation of the fact that we are a enthusiastic community of Jesus-followers who remain deeply engaged with one another and with the kind of cutting-edge ministry initiatives that have always marked Wake Forest Presbyterian as a uniquely vibrant church.

(You can view the message here – at the 23.5 minute mark)

John spoke this through his beautiful prayers; Katherine drove it home in a wonderful “Time for Young Disciples”; both the Praise Team and the choir engaged hundreds of people in worship and contemplation via great music.

– members of the Praise Team Sunday Nov. 15

Yes it is distressingly hard to “feel” our connection when we are worshipping together via hundreds of screens scattered all over the community. But when we add up the small-group gatherings, the classes, the youth and children’s get-togethers, the “drive-through” events, the mission initiatives, the hunger programs, the ministry teams… and so much more… then a picture emerges of a church likely busier than we were pre-pandemic, and certainly impacting more lives than it is even possible to quantify.

The point of church is to worship God together, and to literally be the active presence of Jesus in one-another’s lives as well as throughout this community. Having that look like what we’re used to is not the point. The point is that “we are“, and – even more importantly – that “we do”.

The goal is ministry; life and light, mercy and peace, love and grace – DEREK

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Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.

Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.

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