The First Congregational Church of Darien

United Church of Christ

A community of faith since 1737

WHAT HAPPENED AT CHURCH LAST SUNDAY?

Our hope is that so much occurs on Sundays of such a vital nature that you will feel like you missed out big time by being away from worship on a given Sunday. We hope that not because we aspire to amuse or entertain you, trivializing the church. We hope that not because we have a need to bask in the spotlight, diverting your attention away from where it should be–your relationship with God.

We hope that because your spiritual walk in your spiritual home is not one more piece in the pie of your lifestyle—alongside work, leisure, vacation, family time, community involvement, etc. We hope that because what we are doing with you at church in worship is more like the pan coherently holding that life-pie together.

We hope the equipping FCC gives you to live out your life is foundational to you becoming the best person you could be, the one God means for you to become. If all of that sounds far too ambitious, then I ask you: why would we settle for anything less? In this contemporary world, so much competes for your time, money, and attention. Distractions are the rule and not the exception. We need to show up and do our job right to give God a shot at holding you within his grasp.

Unless I am missing something, church is the only place, or at least the primary place, that puts first nurturing your relationship with the Creator who made you and the Redeemer who will someday pick you up from the dust of non-being.

So without resorting to stunts, we aim to keep things as lively, engaging, fresh and transforming as the Gospel we proclaim.  Accordingly, this Sunday, aside from the celebration of Rory James Swenson’s baptism—which our people find riveting–Gary and I will try something new. We will engage in a dialogue sermon.

All preaching is dialogical. That is most obvious in the African-American churches where the back and forth between the preacher and people is the art form itself. You would be surprised by how much both Gary and I draw energy from what we see in your faces, from the receptivity we feel in your posture, as you listen to us.

Many comment on the bond between Gary and myself despite our differences in age, experience, style, temperament, stage of life, presentation, and personality.  No few find that surprising.  One person said to me, I can’t believe you called him given how different he is from you.  Of course, oneness in Christ makes all of that possible. We illustrate Paul’s words, that there is a variety of gifts but one Spirit.

This Sunday that dynamic is on full display as we two dialogue around I Cor. 15.1-18, Paul’s declaration of Easter good news. Be there or be square. Show up then or risk having to find out secondhand what happened. So see you in church!

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