Psalm 133:1 says, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.” 

It was more than good and pleasant to be community with one another last Sunday-whether around the communion table or the picnic table, in the church sanctuary or on the softball diamond, it was a blessing to be a part of our faith community. 

As last Sunday’s worship service had a few special celebrations, so will this Sunday. We will celebrate the dedication of Kate Jeffries to God and ourselves to nurture her in Christian faith that she may be a blessing to God and a service to humanity.  We will welcome new members into our covenant community that is on mission to transform lives through Christ by building positive connections in our diverse community.  We will celebrate with them by extending the right hand of fellowship and partnership.  Lastly, we will give thanks for Joshua Braman’s ministry among us these past three years and pray God continues to bless Josh and others through him as he begins his chaplain residency this fall. 

Last Sunday’s meditation focused on the question, “Why do we need one another?”  We shared that we need one another to help each other to not conform to the patterns of this world, but to be formed in ways so that we can flourish and experience the life that is really life. This Sunday we will turn our direction outward and ask why does our community need us.  Have you ever thought about the question, “Why does West Chester Borough need the Baptist Church of West Chester?”  I understand if most of you reading this haven’t.  You probably have more pressing concerns, but ponder for a moment with me. If we as the Baptist Church of West Chester ceased our ministry tomorrow, would Chester County notice?  Would they miss us?  What would they miss?  I am thankful we can honestly say we would be missed. Not every faith community can say that.

The question about why our community needs us can also be asked from a more universal perspective.  Why does the world need the church, what the Apostle Paul calls, “the one body in Christ?” (Romans 12:5).  Andy Crouch suggests the world needs the church so it can discover the end of power.  What is the end of power?  I believe it’s found in the words of the Apostle Paul.  We are called to use our power, “to not be overcome by evil, but to overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21).