Journey with John
What a rich blessing it was to welcome the Purduettes as our guests last Sunday. Their music was simply beautiful – such lovely harmonies and stunning melodies. Each note carefully crafted and shared – so very beautiful. It was like I didn’t just HEAR music, it seemed like I was PART of the music. Memorable, meaningful, and moving, their music united us, offering such a valuable lesson in how to be the Church. There were many voices, all gifted, but they CHOSE to sing as one to make the music live. They came together as one team – a choir – with one mission, to bring life to the song. They did that by combining their talent and giving their full attention to their director. I admire so many coming together to make the music beautiful.
I admire so many coming together to make beautiful music as FEDERATED CHURCH. Seventy years ago, the American Baptist Churches in the U.S. and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) were in conversations about merging the two denominations. Devoted believers in West Lafayette took these dialogues seriously and members of the West Lafayette Baptist Church united with the West Lafayette members of First Christian Church and the rest is history of an extraordinary sort. The two denominations did not merge, but our two congregations blended their lives together in covenant to live and serve as one body in Christ. They understood we were all on the same team – united by one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and father of all…. For seventy years, Federated Church has been a team with one purpose – sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. It has been a powerful prescription for continued unity.
Henri Poincara said, “It is the harmony of the diverse parts, their symmetry, their happy balance; in a word it is all that introduces order, all that gives unity, that permits us to see clearly and to comprehend at once both the ensemble and the details.” Henri Nouwen phrased it this way: “One of the main tasks of theology is to find words that do not divide but unite, that do not create conflict but unity, that do not hurt but heal.” These notes have brought us together for seventy years to make holy music. We have many hands, but we are one team with one mission. Federated Church has learned the value of walking together. Praise God! What glorious things await in the next seventy years! What lovely walks we will take together, united in one Lord, one faith, one baptism….