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Summer 2021 Newsletter

The Bell Tower

I just love springtime. Everything starts to look alive after a long season of darkness and coldness. The grass is greener, flowers are in bloom and the trees have come back to life. This year more than any other year, I appreciate the signs of new life because it has, indeed, been a long season of darkness. The pandemic has tak- en a toll on all of us, even if we weren’t directly affected by the actual virus. Jobs were affected, as some were laid off or let go, some had to work increased hours, many had to set up office in their homes. Schools were closed, so parents had a more hands-on approach to their kids’ learning, while teachers struggled to find crea- tive ways to engage their students remotely. Churches were closed so pastors became televangelists. I think it’s safe to say it’s been a rough year for everyone!

But, just as we are seeing signs of new life in nature, we are now seeing signs of life all around as we are no longer stuck at home. The best news we had lately was that we don’t have to wear masks if we’ve been vaccinated. In church on Sunday it was so nice to see everyone’s face; their whole face! As worship has re- sumed, restaurants have opened and life is returning to normal, I fear that our normal is not exactly what it was pre-pandemic, at least not for the church. Prior to the initial lock-down, we were on a roll! We had established our discipleship teams who invited their group to the church on a Saturday to share a meal, get to know each other, and discover their spiritual gifts. People were growing in their walk with Christ as more people were get- ting involved in the ministry of the church. Many people were tithing and witnessing God’s blessings as a re- sult. We were making a difference in our community through our outreach. PPC was fulfilling their mission to Grow in Faith and Go in Service.

I fear, however, that we have lost our momentum. Unfortunately, our old normal is not our new normal as some folks have started attending church elsewhere, some haven’t worshiped anywhere since the pandemic started and others have gotten comfortable worshiping from home (if not at 8:45 or 11:00, then at another time that is convenient), and many have just gotten out of the habit of attending worship on Sunday. We’ve all made choices. Friends, I want to remind you that everyone within the sound of my voice (OK, everyone reading this newsletter) is, in some way, shape or form, an important part of this church; each of you has a role to play in this Body of Christ, whether you have the gift of hospitality, teaching, mercy, praying…or any other gift – you are the church. We are the church. It is going to take every one of us to put our spiritual gifts in to action in order to be all that God wants us to be as we live in to His calling to be the church of Jesus Christ.

Please take some time to think and pray about how God wants you to be involved. First Corinthians 12:27 reminds us, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” Paris Church can’t be all that God wants it to be without you. For those who have already returned…welcome back! For those who aren’t quite ready…hope to see you soon! May God bless you and keep you safe.

Blessings, Rev. Tina

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