As another fall seasons begins, leaves on the trees turning color, you are invited to enter this community in new and deeper ways. From Sunday worship services, to weekday committee, fellowship, and educational group gatherings, you can explore your faith and find new friends quietly or through lively interaction. Payson Park Church is a place filled with opportunities to think about how the Christian story inspires us to live.
“Why church?” you might wonder. “Can’t I think about these things on my own as I enjoy this beautiful season?”
Of course you can. But here at church we touch another dimension of existence, one that is hard to replicate elsewhere. Rabbi Harold Kushner puts it this way in his book, Who Needs God?
What does religion offer that we lonely human souls need? In a word, it offers community… It is under the auspices of religion, and almost nowhere else in our lives, that we can meet people as brothers and sisters… Religion is community. It is the way people learn to relate to each other and to belong to each other in truly human ways.
That is what is unique to our gatherings here at church. We form a community. It’s here we learn how it feels to share not simply good times but also hard times. We reach out to God with faith and hope — and we reach out to each other. We may think this should be easy at church, but often we’re reminded it’s not. Whether we’re sharing a personal concern or working through a committee’s agenda, we face obstacles and challenges, feel obstinate or rebuffed. In short, we feel human.
Isn’t this precisely where the Christian message can help us? Jesus, the one we turn to for guidance, was human. No matter how one might question or assert his divinity, the stories describing his encounters with people were human experiences. He had good days and bad days, experienced tender moments and engaged in heated debate. Through it all, Jesus connected openly with others, never hiding his hope for the world: that we might come together in unity and peace, working for the good of all of God’s creation. That is what we have the chance to do together here at Payson Park Church. I hope you’ll join us in this exciting endeavor!
With love from The Reverend Lael Atkinson