Beloved Church-in-the-Garden Family & Friends,
June has showed us how much the church is needed in this day and age. In the words of the bard of gospel music, Thomas A. Dorsey, “If we ever needed the Lord before, we sure do need him now!” Indeed, trying times seem to abound in this country. It seems that every day, week, or month, there is something going on that has astounded our sense of self and community, and highlights the divisiveness in this country.
The sin of separating parents from children trying to enter this country, albeit unlawfully, is something that we should all agree is wrong, evil, and reprehensible. Even as the administration has reversed course, there still has been serious pain and the trauma of separation inflicted on these children. As a country, we are talking less and less about how we will reunite these children with their parents, and even less about our moral and ethical responsibility on how we will handle the mess that we have created going forward. This is not a political issue. This is a human rights and dignity issue. How we treat the most vulnerable will show our true colors as a country and will be a barometer of our humanity.
We as Christians must remain vigilant, just as Jesus admonished, to protecting and caring for the least of society. We must stay true to speaking truth to power and then following up with direct action to that truth talk. We must exhibit our humanity by upholding our Christ-centered love ethic. Look ever to Jesus in these coming times!
The prophetic witness of the church is needed now more than ever! This month we will be continuing our look at some of the prophets and the prophetic witness of the church. We are called to be the voice of the voiceless, the trumpeters of truth, and the witness of the Jesus Christ here on Earth, daily working to bring love to the fore in our lives. The official stance of the Church-in-the-Garden is that we will work with any group or individual who believes in love for the human family and the world we inhabit and the shared belief of justice, peace, and freedom from oppression, especially those who are at the margins and the least of society. We believe in helping the poor: poor of heart, head, spirit or purse. We believe that everyone is in need of some type of help.
Let me thank Minister S. Raschaad Hoggard for bringing a prophetic word on the first Sunday of this month. He stepped in on short notice and we were truly blessed. Minister Hoggard is a gifted and skilled proclaimer of sacred rhetoric and his talents are in high demand. Any church of God that is in need of a pastor would be well served to have him as its leader. Thank you my brother!
Jeff Bolding, our Minister of Music for Worship has chosen a new name for our church singers. I was happy to announce this to our congregation this past Sunday and they gave an enthusiastic approval of this name. So, I present to all: The Church-in-the-Garden Voices of Praise (CITG Voices of Praise)! I invite all to come and worship with us. Come see, listen, hear, and feel the pirit in our service.
Lastly, I am pleased to announce that our Bible Study will commence Wednesday, August 15, 2018 beginning at 7:30pm and will be held every Wednesday thereafter. Please join us for a 45-minute informal yet informative learning opportunity to study the Bible together. If you have any questions or topics you would like to discuss, please contact me directly at email@example.com.
This July and August we look forward to seeing you at Church-in-the-Garden. Come be part of our worship and study as we work to be better Christ followers. And as always, the Garden is open to you!
Rev. Earl Y. Thorpe Jr.