Ministry Updates for Tuesday, May 19th, 2020

Return to Worship Survey

We want to know your thoughts on returning to in-person worship. The following link will give you some basic information about returning, and three short questions to answer. Your input is valued!

Scripture for Reflection – Matthew 16:15-16

Jesus said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

Reflection – Our Faith Identity (Part II)

Yesterday we addressed Jesus question, ‘Who do you say I am?’ Using Peter’s answer as a starting point, we were reminded of the Christmas miracle (the Son of the living God), and the Passion story (The Messiah or Savior) and Easter. Today we will focus on our faith identity.

While in seminary, I genuinely enjoyed and found very powerful the lively discussions and debates about the nature of God, the church, sacraments, Christian mission and so forth. Once in awhile the debates would get heated, and we would begin to lose our kindness. One of my professors would say, ‘It is important when we talk about God who God is, we remember who we are.’ His point was always well taken. God matters, but so do God’s people. We are to treat everyone with kindness, and our Christian brothers and sisters are no exception.

Who we believe in says something about who we are. We cannot extract our own identity from what we believe (or do not believe) about God. So as people of faith, the first thing we might say about our identity would be to speak of who we believe in, who we follow, who carries our hope.

Saying that I have faith in Christ gives me a warm feeling. It makes me feel more connected to God and the world around me. It makes me feel stronger and more capable. It gives me even more assurance that God loves me. It makes me want to act on my convictions, feeling certain that God is in those convictions, and will help me do his work.

I am a husband, a son, a brother, a father, a grandfather, a friend, a U.S. citizen, an Ohioan, a graduate of High School, College and Seminary, and a pastor. These all add dimensions to my identity. But when I am at my best, it is my faith in Christ that centers my identity and gives me the self-worth, purpose and meaning I need to both fully enjoy and to carry out the responsibilities of all other identities with which God has blessed me.

Which of your identities carry the most significance for you? I know that God wants to help you grow in your enjoyment and fulfillment of those identities.


God of this wonderful and diverse creation, we give you thanks for the identities and roles we play in our society and how these bring us into the fullness of being. Help us center our identity in you, so we may be filled with the joy and the power to fulfill who you have made us to be. Amen.