On a Saturday in November I experienced a day in the life of our W83 Ministry Center that exemplified the kind of community for which we have hoped and prayed. I began the day at 8:30AM by leading 35 couples through the Preparing for Marriage seminar where we looked at God’s plan and purpose for marriage as well as the transformational effect of the Gospel on our relationships.
During a break in the seminar, I was able to go upstairs and witness dozens of families assembling Thanksgiving dinners for Here’s Life Inner City’s “Boxes of Love.” Children of all ages and their parents were decorating cardboard boxes, placing food items inside and writing cards to the families who would be receiving these gifts.
Later in the afternoon I attended the first funeral in our building, where I joined the West Side community in the sanctuary as we grieved the loss of an infant in our congregation. At the end of the day, my family and I celebrated a pre-Thanksgiving dinner with the Redeemer Young Couples Network in a large classroom at W83.
What struck me about that day was the diversity of life experience and the variety of ministry that was taking place in our building within the span of 12 hours. Some were contemplating or planning for a new stage of life, some were celebrating a season of gratitude with friends, some were clinging to each other and asking God for strength in the midst of unimaginable loss, and some were serving the poor in our city.
This was the church as it should be—a community of believers and seekers serving, growing, grieving and celebrating together.