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Hello, Friends.

The hits just keep on coming, don't they?

Natural disasters, racial tension and injustices, global unrest, profane ignorance and divisiveness flowing from the places where national leadership should reside, social media feeds deteriorating into multi-week shouting matches; our society has lost its center, its mooring, while thoughtful, reasoned dialogue has been been beaten into obscurity in the weaponized meme-barrage flying between socio-political poles. It's enough to drive a person to weariness and despair, daily.

That being said... What are you up to this Saturday morning? Care to help some friends with a little house and yard work for and hour or two? 

Bear with me: It's not unrelated. 

Marshall McLuhan once famously declared that "The medium IS the message". And, one of the most inherent and dangerous messages that digital and 'social' media convey is the idea that human relationships can be disembodied and abstracted: reduced to a digital convergence of one-way avenues of self-expression, where we are invited to express simple agreement or displeasure in one another's projections; instantly, thoughtlessly, and from the safety of personal distance. 

Amidst the din of all the shouting, posturing and projecting, it's easy to lose sight of the fact that very few people in history have ever experienced meaningful heart change as a result of being shouted down; in person or digitally. Rather, genuine repentance and lasting, transformative personal growth are nearly always forged along the long road of shared experience, healthy conflict lived out in an ecosystem of earned and mutual trust, where grace enough has been established to bear the burden of the truth. 

In short: If as followers of Jesus we have any interest in our convictions carrying credibility in the world - or with each other, for that matter - it will require a shared commitment to put down the mobile devices and silence the social media long enough to actually live out the way of Jesus in the sweat, dirt, tears and joys of life, together. It may seem an overly simple thing, considering the complex brokenness and social issues surrounding us every day, but here we have an opportunity for our church family to express this commitment to re-embodying our humanity and faith in the medium of shared, daily life.

This upcoming Saturday, September 30th, Peter and Elaine Smith could use some extra hands to assist with outside work at their place in Lee.  

Peter and Elaine have been dear, generous partners with our family of faith for some years now. They are aspiring to sell their home, pursuing the prospect of using the opportunity and resources made available by such a sale to further invest in the work of the Kingdom here in Rochester. Elaine has been struggling with significant, chronic health challenges for some weeks now. Peter has recently been relocated during the working week to a position hours away, in upstate New York.

This weekend, some paint scraping, grounds cleaning, priming, and weeding are needed, beginning at 10:00am. 

Would you consider taking this opportunity to embody the grace of Jesus in our community in this way? In these so often ungracious days, it is in the daily, tangible commitment to the way of Love, in Christ, that we will find both our humanity and witness restored.

By the Spirit and Grace,
Pastor Chris

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