The Congregation and Beyond

By Fred Clark of Independence, Missouri, USA

Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom. …But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.  James 3:13, 17–18

My faith journey began more than 50 years ago when I met a young woman who attended Community of Christ. We married and soon were engaged in many activities in our congregation. We became involved in the lives of many children, youth, and adults in the congregation and beyond.

One day I received a call from church leaders, asking if I would be a representative to a not-for-profit corporation operated by another congregation. Before I knew it, I became president of a ministry running 12 buses.

We wanted to start a Sunday school bus service to pick up children. We started with one bus. Shortly it was two, and so on. I think we were picking up as many adults as children.

I will never forget the children. They looked to me as a friend and even invited me to their birthday parties. As they grew up, I performed their weddings and blessed their babies. My ministry has been greatly enriched as I have tried to bring ministry to all of God’s children. May we seek God daily as we seek to build Christ’s peace in the world.

Prayer for Peace:

God of gentle works and peaceful harvests, we would work with humility and wisdom to share the peace of Christ. Let us plant seeds of ministry that will bloom into crops of mercy, full of good fruits. Bless the work we do in your name.

Spiritual Practice for the Week: Examining God’s Call to Me and to All

Reflect on God’s call for you. Recall particular moments when you have experienced God’s presence and invitation. Write in your journal or quietly reflect on images and insights that come. When has God seemed most real in your life? How and when has God called you to use your energy and gifts? When have you felt most deeply connected and responsive to God?

Peace Covenant:

Today, God, I will plant seeds of hope as I share the peace of Christ.

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