Dear Friends in Christ,
Last month's snowy weather was a reminder of how important it is to be connected with one another. When the forces of nature bear down on us as they did in our February Snowmageddon we realize how vulnerable we are to the forces of nature, particularly out here on the Olympic Peninsula. Streets were impassable for days, schools and businesses were forced to close, grocery store shelves were left bare, and some were left homebound for well over a week. Yet out of that chaos emerged an abundance of stories of people reaching out to help one another ... and later wondering why we don't do this more often.
The importance of being connected is one of the reasons I cherish life in the community of Christ, particularly as we practice our connectionalism as Presbyterians. We Presbyterians hold as central to our existence a commitment to life in covenant with one another. Theologically speaking, we believe that we cannot be faithful followers of Jesus Christ apart from one another. Practically speaking, we understand there is so much more we can do together than we could ever hope to accomplish on our own. Beyond that, our hearts tell us that life in community is good for the soul as it provides opportunities for sharing, learning, and bearing one another's burdens.
All Christians know these things, but not everyone values such connectionalism as we do. Being connectional is built into the very fabric of how we how we discern God's will (the priesthood of all believers); how we structure our communities (in representative bodies such as presbyteries, synods, and general assemblies); how we do mission and outreach (by supporting the work of the larger church through our giving); and how we respond to natural disasters and humanitarian crises around the world (through Presbyterian Disaster Assistance and advocacy bodies). These principles are as old as the church itself and Paul's writings bear witness to them in passages such as Romans 15, 1 Corinthians 16, and 2 Corinthians 9, vvhere he is constantly reminding the local church of the greater body of Christ and urging them to stay connected in prayer and through their generosity. In short: connections are an awesome gift from God!
To celebrate our connectedness, session has invited Corey Schlosser Hall, our executive presbyter, to preach at both services on Sunday, March 17. We've asked Corey to share with us what God is doing in the Presbytery of the Northwest Coast-check out northwestcoast.organd how we on the North Olympic Peninsula are partnering in God's work with other Presbyterians throughout Puget Sound, Southeast Alaska, the North Cascades, Central Washington, and to the ends of the earth. I hope you will join us on the 17th, and that by our witness we can continue to show the world how wonderful it is to be connected-and not just when it snows!