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  • Eric Marshburn

Eric's Ethereal Cereal - September 2021

In his book “Life Together”, Dietrich Bonhoeffer reminds us of the gift of being called together into Life in Christ. “The prisoner, the sick person, the Christian in exile sees in the companionship of a fellow Christian a physical sign of the gracious presence of the triune God. Visitor and visited in loneliness recognize in each other the Christ who is present in the body; they receive and meet each other as one meets the Lord, in reverence, humility, and joy. They receive each other’s benedictions as the benediction of the Lord Jesus Christ… how inexhaustible are the riches that open up for those who by God’s will are privileged to live in the daily fellowship of life with other Christians.” ~Life Together, p. 20

In a similar way, the late Bishop Reuben P. Job reminds us, “Jesus lived his life in community. From his childhood with Mary and Joseph to his calling and traveling with the disciples to his declaration that he and the Father were one, Jesus lived in community.A community of faith nurtured him, supported him, and informed him. It is unthinkable that we would try to live a faithful life without the gifts offered in a faithful community of Jesus.”

In the spirit of faith, service, and community, this summer Spindale UMC was blessed to host Youthworks a youth initiative sponsored by the United Methodist Church to assist those in need and in promoting discipleship through service.

This year 500-plus young people, together with their counsellors, were housed at Spindale UMC. Among their efforts, the youth worked on homes with Habitat for Humanities and Rutherford Housing Coalition; assisted our elderly and homebound neighbors with projects around their specific homes; and, participated in fund raising events to support various charities in the area.

The Youthworks team also enjoyed some of Rutherford County’s local culture attending a concert at “The POPS” in Forest City and a tour of Lake Lure, among other things. Hopefully, these excursions and total immersion in our community gave them an appreciation for the beauty and welcoming attitude of Rutherford County.

In sum, Youthworks put into practice the biblical definition of community (Koinonia). Meaning that, through their efforts, many lives in Rutherford County were exposed to the love of Christ (agape love) that manifests through selfless acts, devotion, and unity espoused by people of faith. Well done good and faithful servants! The church hopes to repeat this effort in the coming year. Selah!

“For the needy shall not be forgotten, the expectation of the poor shall not perish forever.” Psalm 9:18.

Blessings & Peace!

Pastor Eric Marshburn

“Youthworks” remarks provided in part by Walter H. Dalton

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