Pastor's Corner
Reverend Patrick Evans, Senior Pastor

A Word From the Pastor
Patrick Evans
Senior Pastor,
Reverend, Patrick Evans
For the past 7 years I have been restoring a 1971 Mustang. I've decided that cars are nothing more than a collection of parts bolted and welded together, but they transform into something useful when all the parts work in harmony. They provide both transportation and comfort. Consider this: the sum of the parts is greater because they are connected. Take, for instance, the brakes: when they wear out you purchase new parts, but the new parts only work once bolted to the car correctly. They must be connected in order to serve their purpose.

Within a car there are thousands of connections, however some of these connections are not direct. For example, the front and back bumpers are not connected directly to each other. Each bumper has its own connection to the car. So, while they are both part of the car they are not directly connected. The car, however, would not be complete without them.

In many ways, the church is the same. The connection - being part of the larger - makes it possible to accomplish greater things. In 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 Paul makes a similar comparison. He uses the human body. "There is one body, but it has many parts. But all its many parts make up one body. It is the same with Christ. We were all baptized by one Holy Spirit. And so we are formed into one body. It didn't matter whether we were Jews or Gentiles, slaves or free people. We were all given the same Spirit to drink. So the body is not made up of just one part. It has many parts. Suppose the foot says, "I am not a hand. So I don't belong to the body." By saying this, it cannot stop being part of the body. And suppose the ear says, "I am not an eye. So I don't belong to the body." By saying this, it cannot stop being part of the body."

I encourage you to read the entire chapter as it offers a vital depiction of the church. Paul encourages us to identify our connection, that we are part of one another. It is in this connection that we nourish each other, care for one another, and are the body of Christ to the world. The church functions as a group of connected parts to feed the poor, to spread the word, to shine light into the darkness of the world. We are better together, and our connection is part of our witness.

When I consider my own function as a member of the body, I affirm that I am also a member of the church in other parts of the world. I am connected to Christians in Africa, Asia, South America, and Europe. We are all part of the body and we accomplish so much more as a connection than we can do alone.

Being mortal, we are prone to wander, and one of the first places that Christians get into trouble is when they become isolated. We can disconnect quickly. But Paul offers us encouragement as he continues in 1 Corinthians 12:21 "The eye can't say to the hand, "I don't need you!" The head can't say to the feet, "I don't need you!" In fact, it is just the opposite." We really do need each other.

I have noticed over the past several years that people are losing an authentic connection with one another. Studies have revealed that the use of social media and technology, while intended to make people more accessible to one another, have inadvertently led to further disconnection. So, in attempt to connect more through the use of technology, those longing to connect are actually disconnecting further than before. People long for deep significant connections. It is a basic human need.

As the Church, we are called to have deep connections. We are called to celebrate together, suffer together, mourn together, serve together, and carry one another. The challenge is to make time for each other - to be there for each other, and serve together.

At this time in the world, at this time in America, people are more and more fractionated. There is division along ideological lines. But, in the midst of division, the church can offer what people really long for: "deep connection." May each of us consider what it is to be bolted and welded to one another, so that in connection through Christ we may accomplish far more than we could alone.

Grace & Peace,
Rev. Patrick Evans