Our first Community Preaching Sunday was a rousing success. We had record turnout—the Tabernacle was packed with community members eager to hear the wisdom of their neighbors. Sharon Carpenter preached a heartfelt meditation on saying yes to God, trusting God’s work in our lives, and reflecting the light of God’s grace to the people in our lives. In a reflection on Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, Roger Hansen challenged us to address the racial divisions and disparities in our society. We read a letter from Annie Underwood, who exhorted us “to promote beauty and love through every one of our interactions.” As I listened to each of the sermons, I marveled at how lucky we are to have such talent and insight in our community.
We planned Community Preaching Sunday as an experiment. Two members of the community suggested the idea last summer. Kate and I experienced a lay preaching group at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Newtonville and were impressed with how it drew out the gifts of community members. It occurred to us that a similar practice might work well in Craigville. Now, we’re enthusiastic about the prospect of carrying it forward as a tradition. I invite you to consider whether God might be calling you to preach. You don’t need a seminary degree or special training to give a good sermon. Consider the possibility that you have experiences and perspectives that our community might find helpful in deepening its relationship with God.
Even if you do not feel called to preach, I encourage you to think about whether you have other gifts or talents to share. Throughout his letters, the Apostle Paul affirms that every person has a unique contribution to make to the Kingdom of God. If you are interested in preaching or getting more involved with the Tabernacle in other ways, let me know. I would love to sit down to talk about how you can help enrich our community’s awareness of God’s work among us.