The following is a reflection submitted by Julie Diercks based on her time in ministry at First Covenant. As of June, Julie's position will have come to an end but we rejoice that we get to keep her around in the coming year as she continues to live and work in Anchorage and is a part of our church community. Thank you Julie for all you've given in Christ's name to serve our church and our youth.
Three years ago I was invited into something. I was invited into a group of people who wanted me to be a part of their family. Their community. Their Church.
And in these last three years, I have been reminded time and time again, that I am a part of something. Something old. Something new. Something...together.
First Covenant Church has shown me generosity, hospitality, love, and grace. They have shared their kids with me and entrusted them to me, as I entrust them to God. They have shared their resources with me. They have built me rooms in their basements and literally “welcomed me into their family.” They have given me a couch. They have invited me to be their neighbors. They have allowed me to preach and paint the Jr. High youth room orange. They have prayed for me. They have encouraged me in so many ways that I cannot even list them all.
An image that depicts how a church should work is a group of gears in a clock or other mechanical device. When one moves, it empowers the other to move, which empowers the other to move and in that forward motion, are all moving. All the parts move together to make sure that the clock or mechanical device is functioning the way it was intended to function. And we are not solitary moving gears. A gear can move by itself, but what would benefit from that? We move, not just to move, but to move others.
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Hebrews10:24
At First Covenant, I have seen many “gears” move together. Some gears keep the building running smoothly, repairing appliances and mechanical problems. Other gears build things for the church. Other gears use their resources and gift the church with things for the church to use. Other gears share their time with the Whole and spend a Sunday morning in the nursery, Sunday School or Kids Time. Other gears use their creativity and make beautiful banners that draw us into worship. Other gears use their musical talent to lead the worship team on Sunday mornings. Other gears show their love for relationships and teaching by leading a small group. Other gears share their home and practice hospitality on a regular basis. It is the reason why I love potlucks so much. It represents the different elements and gifts people bring to benefit the Whole.
These gears move to move others.
In the past 3 years, I have been moved by these gears. I have been moved in generosity, hospitality, love and grace. And I hope that my forward motion will “spur” others on, move others on, towards these things as well. And that together, we will represent the Church, and all that it was intended to be.
We hope we'll have many contributors from our congregation. I imagine we will have regular and occasional contributors. If you'd like to contribute a poem, a photo, a devotion or anything that you believe enhances our life together, please contact Pastor Criss to learn about posting.