From The Workshop


This past Tuesday our CWF hosted the area gathering of Disciple Women, 40 including us from at least a dozen churches. The speaker, Lizzy Bozarth, is the executive director of Bridges of Moore, a foundation dedicated to supporting homeless high school students. If this project sounds familiar, it’s because the church voted to gift $50,000 in support of a $4 million project to build housing and provide the guidance to keep qualified students in school through graduation. 
Our own Jenna Seeley also spoke about her own experience of homelessness in high school. She also shared first-hand how this congregation discovered and connected a homeless student to the Bridges community already in place in the Norman community. We hear about need from veterans, from addictions, from financial losses (including job loss), from disease and sickness, from neglect, and from war. Then something comes along we can actually do something about. We are making a difference and we can make a difference in young people, through no fault of their own, winding up on the streets. In the months and years to come Bridges will be one of our signature outreach projects. Jesus would call it part of the coming kingdom, where wrongs are righted, where the helpless get pulled up into life. 
This Sunday, as we begin the gospel of Mark for this church year, we will see that this work actually comes to us. Four ordinary men were plying their trade fishing in Lake Galilee when a stranger came by and said, “Follow me.” Their following was “immediate.” And that’s the way that Mark begins his gospel. John comes baptizing. Jesus comes and joins in the line to receive baptism. When he comes up out of the water, the heavens are torn apart, and the Holy Spirit descends upon him. Immediately the Spirit drives him into the desert. There is no training. There is no thinking about it. Life changes immediately. 
I have returned from a beautiful and sacred wedding experience. While I was away our church family lost two beloved members, Phoebe Barrick and Dave Goodman. Although both of these losses were anticipated, the families will tell you that things changed so quickly. While the suffering was over, the losses are deep. Time is now different. The new reality is immediate. 
One door closes; immediately another door opens to a different life. These are holy experiences. 
Our new board officers, deacons, deaconesses, elders are on the edge of a new life. Some of us will be unprepared for the role, sort of like Simon and Andrew, James and John. One minute they were cleaning nets, collecting fish. The next they were walking on the shore following a man they did not know. This is how it starts. Before we’re ready, we’re in it. 
See you Sunday, 
Pastor Tom