I am profoundly grateful for the call to serve as part time Pastor of St. John’s, UCC. I embrace this sacred call as a wonderful opportunity and invitation to journey with and alongside of this beloved congregation. Together we will be the two disciples that walked to Emmaus, and on the road we will meet and be led by Jesus (Luke 24). You will be one disciple and I will be the other, and Jesus will go with us opening up the scriptures as well as our eyes so that we might behold the promise of our present moment and our future. There is a Nigerian saying that goes like this, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Together we go! Together we’ll go far!
One of the deep truths of the church of Jesus Christ is that we are all ministers. I am an ordained minister because this is my call and vocation. But we are all ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ and co-equals in the faith. If we share one baptism and communion, we indeed share one ministry. The scriptures already teach us that each of us has been given gifts for this ministry (1 Corinthians 12). Each of us! My role as an ordained minister is to encourage and support each member of the church in his/her embrace and practice of these gifts for the collective good of the congregation and the larger community. Women and men are equally gifted. Children, youth and adults are equally gifted. This means that St. John’s has the tools and all that it takes to build up the church for service and mission. Together we affirm that we are all ministers! Together we celebrate each other’s gifts!
I am finding that there is a lot of life in St. John’s. Life is not in the numbers; life is in the spirit of a congregation. One thing is to have life; another is to be alive. St. John’s is full of life and is very much alive. There is a spirit of profound caring for one another at St. John’s that is moving to witness. There is a spirit of eagerness to move forward. Fullness of life is in reaching forward to claim our voice. Look in and look deeply and you will see the fullness. In other words, neither perfection nor an ideal in our heads is what we are seeking. What we seek is fullness of life in Jesus Christ. Together we’ll name this fullness! Together we’ll claim this fullness! Together we share this fullness with one and all!
Thank you, my dear brothers and sisters, to walk with and alongside you!
Rev. Felix Carrion