By Pastor Jeff Fox-Kline
If you participated in worship recently, you may have noticed that I’ve been absent for two of the past three weeks.
For the first week, I had the pleasure of being on vacation.
For the second week that I was missing, I had the pleasure of guest preaching with our friends in Lodi.
Both of these things were great, and I really value the ways in which they nourished me and gave me life.
But I missed seeing folks around Covenant. I found myself on Monday of each of those weeks wondering how things went at church. Wondering how the livestream went. Wondering what new faces I may be able to meet. Wondering about who was there.
This is also a great thing.
Because I find the community here at Covenant to be a beautiful family; a wonderful group of people who care deeply about God and each other. It is a community that pushes me to learn more about myself and my faith. It is a community that challenges me to do my best to give all I can to teach, learn, pray, visit, and serve together.
We started our new sermon series on Sunday (though, as I said, I missed it). This sermon series is entitled Getting Back On Track: Together on the Journey. It follows the book The Walk by Adam Hamilton, which underlines some baseline Christian practices and encourages us to walk together on the journey of faith. And I’m excited to do this journey together.
I don’t often do pitches for activities at Covenant on my blog. We have other ways of getting the word out, and I’m guessing anyone who reads this has already heard in a hundred other ways whatever it is that I’m talking about. But I’m going to make an exception here, because I’m pretty excited about the small groups that we’re offering. Click the following link to learn more and sign up!
When I was out for a few Sundays, I missed the community. Not because I have some mystical attachment to the concept of “Church”, though that may be worth me exploring in a later blog, but because Covenant does what “Church” should do. It fosters mutual relationship of care and respect, it lifts up its vulnerable members and works to defend those who are in need. It shares in fellowship and friendship. It is a genuine family bonded by the baptismal promises we’ve made.
I’m excited for my small group because it is a way of extending, deepening, and broadening my experience of this community. It gives me dedicated time to be in an intimate setting with people and gives me a chance to go deeper in learning about my faith with those people.
I’m excited for my small group. I’m guessing those of you reading this already know about small groups. I’m guessing almost all of you have joined a small group (if you haven’t, I’d really recommend it). I’m guessing a good percentage of people reading this are leading small groups. I am fairly confident that one person reading this is my small group leader.
Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart to revere your name.
I learn best in community, so when I ask God to teach me, I know that it’s the gift of the covenant community of the Church, and the particular Covenant community in Madison that helps me to walk in God’s truth.
Pastor Jeff Fox-Kline