Sundays Meet: Wholehearted Faith

As we get ready to head into a new sermon series, I invite you to read the companion book that creates the thread we are following.

Wholehearted Faith, by Rachel Held Evans and Jeff Chu, is available through many different resources, both in print or as an ebook, or even an audiobook, if you'd like to listen. There is certainly no obligation to get it, but it is definitely a good, thought-provoking read and shares beautiful descriptions of moments and thoughts from a faith life for which Evans fought and persisted. A faith life where doubt was honored and scripture and tradition investigated, and truth pursued... This book may be especially important for you if you are, 1) questioning faith, whether or not you are from a conservative evangelical background, or if, 2) you see others you love questioning.  Some of her other books may provide even better understanding of that path.

To be perfectly clear, this is the first book of hers I have read, but I have been hearing about her for a long time from people I respect.

We all come to faith through different ways, and on different timelines... and depending on what generation, or household, or church/faith tradition, or pastorate you come from (just in case you hadn't noticed, different pastors from the same church or denomination may have very different beliefs), and depending on who YOU are as a person, those things and how they have landed and settled into you (or not) may vary widely.

For some, it hasn't been good, to say the least.

For some, abuse has happened, of many different types. It is impossible for me to blame people for giving up on "the church," when "the church" has sometimes done such a poor job of reflecting the Jesus we are shown in scripture.

Other times, I think people give up on the church just because it's easier than rearranging their schedules to fight for and shape a decent, loving, healthy faith community in the name of Jesus Christ. It can definitely be challenging work, though holy.

As a pastor in the Methodist tradition, I believe the Holy Spirit is calling each of us into relationship through prevenient grace—the grace that goes before—before we even know that we are being called.

I look at the incredibly loving and compassionate people who have been entering and serving in ministry these past years with me, and equally loving and compassionate people who have been my mentors, and are retired... and those members of my congregation who show up consistently. I look at us all and I wonder if what we are doing is similar to a post-hurricane cleanup job...It feels pretty huge.

Yet we who sense a call from God... what else do we really need? As Paul writes in Romans 8:31, "If God is for us, who can be against us?"

God is a God of transformation. Jesus is God With Us. The most important thing we can do is roll up our sleeves and get to work. Show love. Be love.

If you want to be part of that with "Wholehearted Faith" I invite you to read the book (see link above), join us for worship on Sunday mornings (in-person or watch the livestream at 10 a.m., watch it later under the Media tab at, or find the shortened podcast version there on Tuesday), or join us on Wednesday nights to discuss the book in a video chat from 5:30-6:30 pm MT. Let me know if you'd like access to that, and I'll do my best to make it work. It's new territory we are investigating there. :-)

Keep pursuing God. God is running toward us, too.

It is an honor to work together to develop Wholehearted Faith with you all.

~ Pastor Michele

Photo of ants from a recent prayer walk. We too, are building something new out of something that has been coming apart in this world.

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