Together Toward Hope

I’m really looking forward to Homecoming this Sunday. In today’s mobile and increasingly impersonal world, it’s rare for a pastor and a congregation to stick together for twenty-five years.

I feel that I have received the lion’s share of blessings from this relationship and I’m grateful for this opportunity to say thanks and celebrate with you.

Twenty-five years is a significant milestone and, believe me, reflecting on them has given me quite a few lump-in-the-throat moments. I keep asking myself, Where did the time go?

I’ve also been thinking about the importance of relationships — about how greatly they influence how we feel about our lives. Relationships are the testing ground of the soul. Their joys and challenges can cause us either to regress or to evolve spiritually.

Long term relationships are especially powerful. When we go through a lot together and stick it out through thick and thin, we experience God’s love through other people. What a gift this is!

The miracle of our Christian faith is its promise of transformed relationships. God has been revealed in the mystery of the Trinity — a threefold relationship of oneness. In Jesus Christ, we are in the process of being reconciled to God, to others, and to ourselves. Every successful relationship bears witness to this process and to the joy that awaits us in God’s glorious new creation.

May this joy will be abundantly present among us on Homecoming Sunday!

With love and blessings,

Evan Howard,