I am writing this as someone affected by the partial federal government shutdown brought on by an inability to work together as Americans. One only needs to read social media or turn on the news to learn of yet another outrage where we decide not to be Christians or Americans or even humans, but draw walls around “us” and “them”. While those of us on Council have strong opinions and come with very different approaches, we share a love for this church and how it engages and uplifts the wider community.
North Church supports a variety of ministries to help the less fortunate in the Farmington area and beyond. Locally, we support the food pantry sponsored by CARES and participate in the CROP Walk. We continue to partner with our neighbors at the Muslim Community Mosque to help at Crossroads and to build relationships between the women of both faith communities. Many members are involved in a variety of organizations that promote the health, welfare, and educational opportunities for all.
We continue to partner with other SE Michigan Congregational churches to help those Louisiana rebuild from Hurricane Katrina and other weather disasters that disproportionately affect the poor. We support Church World Services.
Most of all, our Congregational Way means we seek to understand others who have other viewpoints. We value consensus in our decisions which I have seen lead to fair resolutions to difficult problems and also unearthed novel approaches.
These skills, along with prayer, are going to be needed even more in 2019. Mr. Rogers has a smart mother whose advice I have adopted. When life feels scary, be a helper. If I cannot be a helper, find a way to help the helpers, (which is pretty much the moderator job description).
Working together to make the world a better place is the beauty of a faith community like ours.