This year we are taking time each season to engage one of our ECC Touchstones of Welcome, Transformation, and Presence. In the fall, our focus was on Welcome. During the winter, as I write this, we are finishing up a series on the second Touchstone of Transformation. Beginning April 11 (one week after Easter) we will enter a 9-week teaching series on the third Touchstone of Presence. In addition, as we have done previously, we recommend a book study as well—whether you want to read it on your own or as a part of an online small group.
The teaching series is entitled, The Hope of Glory, which comes from the words of The Apostle Paul in Colossians 1.27. There, Paul writes of the great mystery of God that has been disclosed to and through his chosen people: that in and through them and their Messiah, “God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."
Our mission statement is To know God, follow Jesus, and pursue God’s purposes in the world. We, the people of God in Christ Jesus, have Christ in us, the hope of glory for all the world. God has Welcomed us (we have come “To know God…”), he has taken us on the journey of Transformation (we are learning to “follow Jesus”), and he sends us out as agents of change and redemption into the world as his Presence among our neighbors (so that we may “pursue God’s purposes in the world.”). By the grace of God, Christ in you (plural), is the hope of glory for the world in which we live.
The book we invite you to read along with us is James Bryan Smith’s The Good and Beautiful Community: Following the Spirit, Extending Grace, Demonstrating Love. While I believe it will be very beneficial for anyone who takes the time to read and engage the book thoughtfully, it is not necessary to read the book in order to take part in the teaching series. If you’re interested in learning more about what it might look like to take part in a small group (online or in-person) during this next season (whether for the book study or to find a place of connection and community), please go to ecclife.net/gbc.
Whatever level of engagement is best for you at this time, I pray you join us as we discover the incredible mystery of Christ in us, the hope of glory.
Pastor Stacey Littlefield