Redeemer, New Paltz is prayerfully working on our plans to enact online and in person ministry as we continue to “Share Christ’s Welcome,” organized through Worship, Service, and Learning. Please take the time to read through these updates and join us for a brief Community Meeting on Sunday, Nov. 15th for further discussion. And please join us in prayerful support of moving forward with online and in-person ministry for the sake of the Gospel!

 The Council at Redeemer is recommending that we move forward with a hybrid model of online and in person ministry beginning in Advent (the last Sunday in November and the start of the new Church year)! More on what this means for Online/In-person Worship.

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At our Community Meeting this past Sunday, we were invited to re-frame the ongoing building re-entry discussion within the larger context of Church Forward Visioning. This will help us to think about organizing Worship, Learning, and Service, as well as the encouragement of Community Partnerships not in terms of “when we can get back to the way things were” but “how is God in Christ calling us to become the Church of today and tomorrow.”

It is becoming clear that becoming the Church of today and tomorrow needs to include both online as well as in person ministry. Some ministry, such as picnics, Sunday School for Youth and Kids, and some pastoral visits have already begun in a physically-distanced manner outside, while worship, Bible Study, Justice and Equality organizing, Homelessness/Hunger organizing, meetings, the posting of inspirational messages, and other pastoral visits continue online via social media, zoom, and the old-fashioned telephone.

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Let’s face it. Jesus can be really inconvenient.

I mean, sure, it looks all nice and lovely the way Jesus is described in the Bible to be healing and teaching and preaching and dying on the cross and being raised again so that we and the whole world might have new life. But then, when we really start listening closely and watching closely to what Jesus is saying and what Jesus is doing, we hear things like his answer to the disciples about how often we should forgive someone. Not just once or twice, but seventy times seven, which is basically Jesus saying forgive times infinity and forever (Matthew 18:21-25).

Jesus can be really inconvenient.

But what if I don’t want to forgive?

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As we prepare for our Community Meeting after worship this Sunday, August 9th, we submit the following resources for you to consider, if possible, before Sunday’s meeting, or perhaps during this coming week. I also want to share with you the following ruminations.

The mission of Redeemer, New Paltz, that of “Sharing Christ’s Welcome,” might be described broadly as being carried out in three ways:

  1. gathering to praise God in worship,
  2. being built up in our discipleship lives, and
  3. letting God carry us forth into the world to share the Gospel good news of Jesus’ saving love and mercy with others.

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We must stay on course. Racism is real. White privilege is real. Rising up as people of faith to be part of Christ’s resurrection work to enact long term change is a holy calling that many of us may only just be waking up to.

We will probably need to keep repeating these phrases. We will probably need to keep reminding ourselves and each other that this is present day work building for a long haul, long term effort. Especially as we move out of week 5 and then with God’s help month 5 and then with God’s help year 5. Especially as surface layers of racial equity get addressed and other major national and global issues present themselves and we get tempted to get distracted or lulled back into complacency.

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