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Minister's Moment

The Lord God’s spirit is upon me,

because the Lord has anointed me.

He has sent me to bring good news to the poor,

to bind up the brokenhearted,

to proclaim release for captives,

and liberation for prisoners,

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor

and a day of vindication for our God,

to comfort all who mourn,

to provide for Zion’s mourners,

to give them a crown in place of ashes, oil of joy in place of mourning, a mantle of praise in place of discouragement.

They will be called Oaks of Righteousness,

planted by the Lord to glorify himself.

—Isaiah 61:1-3, Common English Bible

Well, June was quite a month in the life of our church. On June 13, we suffered a fire in the back of the church building. No one was in the building when the fire occurred, and firefighters were there as quickly as possible to make sure that the fire was out and that the church was safe. We are so blessed because so many people and organizations have contacted us with their willingness to help in whatever way they can.

Friends, we are at the very beginning of the recovery process for our church building. There are many things that we will have to do as we move forward and do everything we can to get back into the building quickly and safely. But, as I write this today, there are three things I want to tell you.

First, it is okay to grieve. Our church building has so much history – both history in the community and personal history. What has happened is scary. We have lost things that have meaning to us from fire, smoke, and water damage, some of which we aren’t even aware of yet. So, allow yourself to grieve. It is okay to cry. Hug those you love in your family and in the congregation and tell stories of memories from the building.

Second, we must have patience. As you have seen from the updates we are sending out, this is not a quick or easy process that we are going through. There are a lot of moving parts and sometimes we will move quickly and sometimes we will have to wait. But, we will recover from this fire. This is not the first fire our congregation has experienced, even if it is the first fire we have experienced in this iteration of the congregation. We have been the church at Bridgeport since 1846, and we will continue to be that presence in the community.

Third, I want you all to remember that the church is not a building – the church is made up of the body of Christ. Whether we are worshipping in our sanctuary, at The Evergreen Southern Kitchen and Gathering Place, or at home on our couches, we are still the body of Christ, and we are still Bridgeport Christian Church. Our life and ministry does not end simply because we cannot be in the building. We will continue to do ministry – just in July, we have a gathering at Juniper Hill Aquatic Center with First Christian, Lawrenceburg; Vacation Bible School at the Education Annex (formerly the youth house); and an all-church picnic at Salato Wild Life Education Center (the Game Farm). We will meet on Zoom, and at The Evergreen, and at the Education Annex. We will do whatever we need to do to continue to live out the call that God has placed on us individually and as a church.

Friends, God is with us in the midst of this trial. Once again, we are reminded in Isaiah that God brings beauty from ashes, strength from fear, gladness from mourning, and peace from despair. And these are all emotions that we will feel as we recover. But God is holding us and God is caring for us and God is lifting us up.

So, hold each other in prayer. Hold our church in prayer. Hold yourself in prayer. Let yourself feel the feelings that you need to feel. And know that God is with you and that I am with you too. Reach out, no matter what you need. I am always available by phone call or text message at 502.234.1514.

God loves you and so do I.


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