Faith has always been missions focused, donating to send us and many others to the "ends of the earth." As someone said during the weekend, “Missionary” is more than our middle name." In recent years the local community has changed to include many new immigrants. Now those who have donated for work overseas and among college students are also teaching English to Turks, Afghans, and Hispanics. Way to go, Faith!
John Crocker, dear friend and pastor during our stay in Indy in the mid-1980s, preached Sunday morning of the celebration weekend. He still has a twinge of accent from South Africa, the land of his birth that he left as a teen. He reminded us of the Queen Mary, the luxury ocean liner turned troop ship that is now a museum, hotel, and convention center. The staff is still called the crew. They use maritime language like starboard and port, fore and aft, but the ship sits at anchor in Long Beach, California, resting on its former laurels and going nowhere. John warned us not to do that as a church. We shouldn’t rest our the reputation of our former achievements, talking the language without continuing to serve in a vital way.
Here is the recommitment we spoke together during the service:
A Commissioning Prayer for Renewal and Commitment
Almighty God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
we thank you for having renewed your church
at various times and in various ways
by rekindling the fire of love for you.
As we look back over fifty years,
rekindle your love in our hearts and renew us
in the years ahead to fulfill the great commission
that Jesus committed to us;
so that, individually and collectively,
as Faith Missionary Church
we may help many to know Jesus Christ
as their Lord and Savior.
Empower us by your Spirit to share
with our neighbors and friends,
here and around the world,
our human stories in the context of your divine story,
through Jesus Christ, our Lord.