Welcome in the name of Christ Jesus, our Lord!
Some of my favorite stories in the Bible have to do with people living with tremendous amounts of tension. Whether it be Noah building an ark knowing that a great flood was about to come, Abraham debating with God about the future of a city and his own family, Moses denying God’s job as a prophet and liberator of the captive people, Hanna’s longing for the closeness of God in her own life, David and his wandering lust-filled eyes, Jeremiah’s feeling of naivete and inexperience, Mary’s fear of being exiled from her future husband and community of friends, or the disciples’ sense of abandonment at the end of a long journey–the Bible is filled with stories of people living in tension.
This is true in the times we live as well. Some believe the end of the world is near; others live in constant fear of persecution. Violence and distress seems to be on the rise. We are struggling in religiously, politically, and socially turbulent times.
Thank God that God never abandoned those characters in the Bible, even in their worst moments–and God never abandons us either!
We are a small, homey congregation who knows that we are made up of characters from the Bible, both promoting a deeper sense of faith and also realizing we are far from perfect. As Lutherans, we believe that we are both saintly (loved by a God who looks past our shortfalls and calls us to make a big impact on the world) and that we also sin. It is by grace alone that God still calls us together to work past differences to find commonality, even and especially in this church.
We are a church filled with sinners, from the pastor to the whole congregation. And yet, it isn’t our sin that is the focus, but rather our unending love for all people. Indeed, we are an inclusive church, calling people of all ages, walks of life, races, sexual orientations, abilities, or any other dividing block to come together to live in harmony by the power of the Holy Spirit and with the teachings of Jesus Christ. What is true for Lutherans is true for us: we do not judge but welcome God’s diversity to move and change us as a whole.
Guests who visit our church often talk about how warm, friendly, and open an experience it is. Our mission is to promote God’s unconditional love to all people. If you are looking for a place that isn’t perfect but in which loves nonetheless, I welcome you.
It might just be that whatever character in the Bible you align yourself with (whether you know it now or not) might just be God’s next step for our church.
Pastor Kevin originally comes from the suburbs of Philadelphia. Working his way in both urban and suburban ministry, he was called to this church in May 2013. He has a degree in Elementary Education and a masters degree in Divinity. He is an advocate for people around the world and spent a year working at the United Nations. His mission is to deepen faith so that everyone knows the deep power of God’s unconditional love. He lives in Patchogue Village with two cats and two turtles.