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God calls Ridgeway to be a welcoming shelter – a safe place where people grow in faith and service to God.
The Ridgeway Community Church of the Brethren, a congregation within the Church of the Brethren, strives to be a welcoming location for members of the community to grow in faith and service to God.
Whether during Sunday worship, Sunday School, a fellowship gathering, during a small group meeting, or at a youth or children’s event, there’s an activity for all to fellowship, learn and grow.
In addition to the church sponsored activities, the church is used by numerous community groups for meetings and gatherings. Visit the calendar page to see what’s happening at the church this week!
It’s summer, but I’ve been thinking of Thanksgiving. As strange as that may seem, it is because “We Gather Together” has been stuck in my head the last few days, and it is one of the hymns we almost always sing around Thanksgiving. And why is “We Gather Together” in my mind? Maybe it is a subconscious prayer as Brethren prepare to gather for Annual Conference. Our annual gathering has the potential to bring together Brethren from all over the country and most likely, from Nigeria and other places in the world with a Brethren presence for worship, fellowship, and discerning the mind of Christ. It is an invitation for those who come to experience the breadth and best we have to offer as a group of believers. Sometimes, however, we get stuck in places where we don’t see eye to eye on issues.
This year, there are five items of new business, and each of them has the potential to be divisive. Two queries are related to On Earth Peace and some recent statements and materials that advocate for full inclusion of all people. One query asks what should happen with pastors and congregations involved in same sex weddings. Another query asks how we can remain together in the midst of differences. A final query raises questions about how we might address climate change, a query somewhat similar to one that was studied several years ago, but was not ultimately approved by the delegate body.
I don’t know what this year’s Conference will bring. We are meeting in Greensboro, North Carolina, state with the controversial bathroom laws and city that is the home of the International Civil Rights Center and Museum. It is likely to be an Annual Conference full of contrasts.
In our nation, we are still struggling to come to terms with the recent shootings in Orlando. We recently heard of the near tragedy of a child who fell into the gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo and difficult decision to kill one of the gorillas to rescue the boy. Just a few weeks later, we heard the tragic story of another toddler who was snatched by an alligator and drowned. These are heartbreaking realities for any parent, and yet responses on social media have sometimes been vicious and cruel toward frightened and grieving parents. It makes me long for us to find ways to express our strong feelings with compassion and awareness of the struggles others are facing.
In the Church, when we gather, what does it mean to ask “the Lord’s blessing” as a body? Can we find ways to remain together with full awareness of our differences and with respect and forbearance for those who see things from a different perspective? Can we show Christian love as we strive to “Carry the Light” of Christ wherever we are? I ask for prayers for deep listening and clarity in how to live as a Church and then for us as a congregation to figure out together what to do with decisions that are made or set in motion in Greensboro. If you are interested in tuning in to worship services and at least some of the business sessions, you can go to the following website to follow webcasts: http://www.brethren.org/ac/2016/webcasts.html
As for the nation and the world, similar prayers are needed. Let us move beyond our entrenched positions to care for people who are hurting and struggling through natural disasters and disasters that result from human actions.
In Christ, we find our life and light,