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To make Christ known in the community through acts of loving service.
Planning for the future begins with examining our past. Our founding documents focused upon membership and identity. Now we are ready to look to the future by identifying our mission and purpose. This means a hard look at where we are so we can identify the things God is waiting for us to do. The Church of Christ of St. Joseph exists to fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) and the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:37-39). These priorities are expressed in our Vision Statement: “To make Christ known in the community through acts of loving service.” This extended service lays the groundwork for understanding the need for change and for challenge.
The apostles are confronted with a logistical problem (Hellenistic Jewish widows were overlooked in the daily distribution) that was creating a murmuring among the Hellenistic Jews and the Hebraic Jews. This minor oversight may have begun a crescendo of complaining that threatened the unity of the early church. The apostles could have ignored the problem, fixed the problem themselves or offered the congregation an opportunity to exercise the gifts that God had given to them. They chose the third option whereupon they encouraged the congregation, solved the problem and preserved their role as ministers of the word.
October 25, 2015 – (Acts 5:17-42) – The Sadducees believed in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, rigorous application of The Torah (i.e., The Law or Genesis through Deuteronomy) and the centrality of the Temple in Jerusalem to the Jewish identity. It was their other beliefs that put them in direct opposition to Jesus Christ and His followers. Their accumulation of wealth and political power coupled with the rejection of the Messianic hope, denial of the spiritual realm of angels and demons, refusal to believe in an afterlife and resurrection sharply contrasted with the message of the apostles. Praying for boldness in the face of ‘political correctness’ is still a challenge for the Christian today.