"Here for Good" An open letter from Pastor Phil
Another church within our network of churches has this in their description of their mission and vision - and I think it's the perfect intro for what I want to communicate in this email.
In Jeremiah 29:7, God commands His people who have been exiled in Babylon to “work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare” (NLT).
The Hebrew word translated here as “peace and prosperity” is shalom. It denotes universal holistic well-being – personal well-being of mind, body, and spirit; but also interpersonal well-being: social, societal, and financial. God is telling His people in captivity to LIVE in the city and INVEST in the cultural world and societal good of all.
As followers of Christ, we believe that we are called to pray and work for the peace and prosperity of the city - the geographical areas where God has us planted. We are commanded by God to work hard to help our city and its people flourish in all that they do. We are called to be the people of God being the presence of God in the city for the good of the community and the glory of God.
While not all of us are people who live in the city of Brooklyn Park, we are a church that regularly gathers for worship in the city of Brooklyn Park and tomorrow we have an excellent opportunity to prove that we are a church that is committed to "shalom." We get the opportunity to share our location with the Force Soccer Club who will be holding their annual soccer club on the fields surrounding Edinbrook Elementary.
What does this mean? It means that finding parking on Sunday will be more like finding parking at Target or the Mall on a busy day. For more detailed instructions about parking, check out this quick video we made to help prepare you for tomorrow.
If you're still reading this, allow me to tell you a great story of how God is using this weekend "for Good".
- On Monday I found out that force soccer club was planning to hold their soccer tournament on the fields surrounding Edinbrook Elementary and - having had experience with Maplebrook Soccer's Tournament last summer - I knew that this was going to force us to change our expectations for Sunday.
- I immediately called the school district and they informed me that they did not know about the tournament and that this was something that the Brooklyn Park's Parks and Rec oversees. When I called Brooklyn Park's Park and Rec, they told me they were not aware that a church was regularly meeting at Edinbrook.
- I was suprised through these conversations to find out that there has been a pattern of lack of communication between the city of Brooklyn Park and the School District. At the risk of sounding "overly spiritual" - once I recovered from the shock of an unexpected change of plans - I was immediately reminded of how Jesus was a bringer of the "Better Wine".
- If you don't remember, one of Jesus' first miracles was turning water into wine at a wedding. He wasn't the one host and he definitely wasn't the one getting married, but when a potential crisis arose at this gathering, Jesus rose to the occasion and did what he does best - he brought shalom to this gathering. He made water to wine - the best wine anyone had tasted. He worked to be part of the solution and thus began his earthly ministry.
- This week we have had the opportunity to "bring better wine" by bringing the district and the city together. As I sat in a room with the head of facilities for the District and the recreation program supervisor of the city of Brooklyn Park, I witnessed the city and the district begin coordinating with one another about facility plans for the rest of summer - something that they have not had a practice of doing in the past. As we left the room there was a sense of unity and camaraderie and Clarity Church got to be part of being part of bringing relational and organizational "shalom" between the district and the city of Brooklyn Park.
Still reading? 5 gold stars for you! :)
So, I hope you plan to join us tomorrow for worship as we continue in our series through Galatians 5, learning what it means to wrestle with love by studying and growing in what the scripture calls the "fruit of the spirit".
I look forward to worshipping with all of you soon!