The Church, is for us to hear The Mystery of The Gospel, of the Word of God, so that we can be close to God which is what He wants.
All He wants is for us to believe that his son, Jesus, died for our sins and was resurrected so that we might receive the Holy Spirit and everlasting life with Him in heaven. Our responsibility is to pass on the The Word to others so they can also be saved. We should be in a position to do that, in hopes that those who haven’t understood that they need to believe, confess that they are sinners, and repent. Then, they will be open to receive the Holy Spirit. Our mission statement which Judy said she and others worked very hard at, is still a source of obfuscation.
It makes it sound like our good works are our saving grace. They are but filthy rags in the eyes of God.
Christianity is not a religion; it is based on fact and history. At Jesus death, the curtain of the temple was rent from top to bottom. It was to effect the change that we were to have a direct relationship with our Heavenly Father. Our sins would be expunged and forgotten without having an annual blood sacrifice.
Using the UCC agenda is fine for the Bible reading and foundation for the sermon but I think the reading is simply a start, to expand upon it, as we did in Bible class.
That is why we need a pastor who is well versed in the Good Book and can be the teacher up there at the pulpit. It is a fascinating book full of subtleties of language that needs to be translated for us. From The Eden, it is the story of the Evil one who is cursed by God(for enticing Eve to taste from the tree of knowledge), to have his head crushed, and becomes bent on killing the first born, to save his own life, all the way through to Jesus. I know, this is very simplistic. But the message is relevant, today. It is about the failure of kings. About the hope from the prophets. About Jew and gentile joining in marriage (Ruth and Boaz). About a kingdom rising from lowly birth.
We are living now in the midst of opinions and tension. Opinions that good works will get you into heaven, that it is okay to kill the unborn,(God cannot understand that, He loves children), that there are more than 2 sexes, that marrying same sex couples is okay in the eyes of God. The ‘Ten Commandments’ is not a menu. One cannot choose what sins to not feel guilty about. We don’t need a pastor for advice on raising funds, how to manage, or even visit the sick. We can do that.
People are looking now for a church that is Bible based. I feel sure if we consider changing our name to something like Quabbin Community Bible Church, or simpler, Quabbin Bible Church, we would be saying, announcing, advertising, what we are… what people are craving.
We had two pastors from The Heritage Bible Church in Princeton (name may not be exact) come Thursday evening Oct 16 to speak to The Committee and others, about how we can survive and grow. The majority were interested in having one of their pastors come November First and do a Communion Service. If you are reading this you are welcome to come.
Ten AM, Hardwick Universalist Church Upper Common.
Susan Kallander my opinion