Jesus has called us to be disciples. This is not an easy task. It calls us to redefine how we live our lives and how we prioritize events that affect ourselves, our community, and the church. He calls us not to believe in God but instead to participate in God. He calls us to put God first, above all things, and to listen to the “Still Speaking” God and not to deny the Holy Spirit. Jesus calls us to love our neighbors and our enemies as He loves us.
At times we focus on issues that have nothing to do with loving each other. We work hard to save the church without realizing that as we provide service to those in need, we are saving it. Stock piling money for a “rainy day” does not help because that rainy day has reached thousands in our community, and we are called to help them. In creating a vibrant, serving church, we ensure that it will be around long into the future.
God calls us to support the mission of this church. In the spirit of stewardship, we need to give to the church to enable it to meet the call. Our giving is down. I know much of this is because of the COVID pandemic and the disconnection many are feeling with the church. There are many ways to give. If you are not worshiping with us in person at the sanctuary, you can send your donations to the church at 306 Chicopee St. Chicopee, MA 01013. Or you can download our app, which is the easy way to give, by going to either playstore or the Apple Store and search for FCC Chicopee. By downloading our app, you can give a one-time donation quickly or setup a recurring gift. I have chosen the recurring gift and I do nothing more and every week my gift to God is completed. The app will also keep you up to date on activities and you will be informed through notifications of any new messages or changes. I highly recommend the app it is safe, efficient, and a great resource. You can also visit our website at FCC-Chicopee.com and click on the donate button which will connect you with the pushpay site.
Our new vision statement, which you can view on our web site, includes a Hebrew word tzedakah. This word redefines our giving and our call to discipleship. Serving those in need is not an act of charity it is an act of justice commanded by God. Jesus further defined this command when he stated we are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Nothing stands in our way to fulfil this mandate. To love God is to serve our neighbors no matter who they are. I hope to serve with you as we love our neighbors and strengthen our community.
I hope to see you at church on Sunday’s at 10 A.M. in the sanctuary.
Grace and Peace,
Rev. Gary Grimes
First Congregational Church of Chicopee