Dear Members and Friends,
Everything is part of God’s beautiful creation. A cool breeze on a summer’s day is a welcomed feeling. Appreciation and recognition for a job well done is also welcomed. At Falls Village Congregational Church, we have welcomed members, members-to-be, and family visitors wholeheartedly into our sanctuary. With enthusiasm, we have celebrated anniversaries, birthdays and baptisms. We have also said goodbye to friends and family but have had each other to uplift our feelings away from separation. Thankfully, we are here as a community to comfort and encourage each other. Towards The Way, we gather together to worship and praise God within the sanctuary and without our open doors.
The Way is written in the Scripture. When read or hear, the direction of The Way is able to lift off the pages to enliven our hearts. It gives us a blueprint of who we are and who we could aspire to be. Jesus tells us that “‘I am The Way, and the truth, and the life (John 14:6).” We have chosen to believe that Jesus is our guide. “(For) a little while the world will no longer see (Jesus Christ), but you will see (Jesus); because (Christ) lives, you also will live (John 14:19).” As we strive to live a balanced life to honor God fully, let us pray that we are able to lead full and productive lives by completing cycles of traditions and becoming involved in new missions and relationships.
The union of a pastor and a congregation is a unique experience. I had my initial visit to the North Canaan Congregational Church during the Installation of their new settled pastor, Rev. Savage Frieze. It was a grand celebration with many clergy and community friends who gathered for the occasion. There is an annual gathering of our two churches. It is a long standing tradition that I almost did not attend in order to take a much needed vacation. However, I wanted to experience their worship as a guest in the pews! I am glad I did! With doors and greetings wide open, we from the Falls Village Congregational Church were extravagantly welcomed into the sanctuary of the North Canaan Congregational Church. Side-by-side, we worshiped and praised God together. I felt honored to be able to witness and experience worship from another perspective. I felt blessed to participate in the joys and concerns within this community. Our Scripture says that “Each of us must please our neighbor for the good purpose of building up the neighbor (Romans 15:2).” To be extravagantly welcomed into a community is a blessing that I hold dear.
As we strive to live a balanced life to honor God fully, let us pray that we are able to lead full worship lives. To glorify God by leading productive lives through completing cycles of traditions and becoming involved in new missions and relationships is important. “May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify God (Romans 15:5-6).” We glorify as we worship together within our own or another’s sanctuary. Let us allow all our doors and hearts to remain open as we continue our journey in The Way and throughout all of God’s beautiful creation.
It is written that “just as Christ has welcomed us so too are we to welcome each other (Romans 15:7).” I am overjoyed that in practice, we are living and breathing the words written by welcoming each other “for the good purpose of building (our) neighbor” and glorifying God (Romans 15:2)!
May the peace of Christ be with you,
Rev. Michelle Wiltshire-Clement