give thanks to him and call upon his Name. "
As I have been preparing my sermon for Sunday, I became moved by emotion. I am
truly grateful for all of you. As Adam Hamilton puts it, pastor of the Church of the
Resurrection in Kansas City, Kansas, "I'm thankful for the willing and the unwilling." I
have learned so much from everyone one of you.
We have grown together as a community and a neighborhood; however, we're just
beginning. God, using that famous Isaiah passage, "I am doing a new thing". God has
done a new thing on this corner of Sycamore and Garland in and through us, and, in
fact, even moving us in our unwillingness and fear, including me.
As I have said several times and will continue to say, like a broken record: "We are to
be a people, a "church" that would be missed if we vanished from this corner of
Sycamore and Garland."
The beautiful thing is we are not an island. We are living out the gospel and not
membership. Yes, we are thankful for our community that we stood in front of 60, 50,
40, 30, 20, 10, 5, 1 year(s) and even weeks for some of us, committing to prayers,
presence, financial gifts, service, and witness. The thing is we committed to living it out
beyond these walls. As John Wesley has taught us, "we are to watch over each other in
love." As a community we are to encourage one another to live up to all those
One of the most meaningful phrases I have heard about the role of the"church" is we
are to "widen the circle of God's love." I am so, so proud of all of you that have been
doing this work. We are now more than "members" taking care of "members" , we are
widening the circle of God's love to our neighbors and partners in ministry. Our
community is not just the " membership"; it's the countless people that come through
our community and helping us strengthen our presence on this corner.
There were so many from our worshipping community and wider community that
came out, clearing "our" lot; we could not have done it without them. Two of so many,
Joe and John, have spent hours and hours working on the property to truly make it
better. Today, our lay leader, David Walton, and Larry Cleavland, along with his service
dog, Hersey, did even more work on this soon to be park/parking lot. They uprooted
tree stumps and packed layers and layers of dirt on the drain so that we can drive over
it! We will be able to save over $900 on taxes because all the lots are connected and
being used by us and so many. We could have up to thirty more parking places
because this lot has been cleared and joined with our current parking lot. I give thanks
I give thanks for all that God has been up to in and through us! There are so many
more I wish I could name, but there are too many for this On the Corner. The point is
that we are not alone and we don't live out our faith alone. I thank God for our worshipping community and our wider community that gather around gardens and
tables and just showing up just as we are.
Thanks be to God for you!!!