Voices of Commitment

Last Sunday was a day when the congregation thought about what it really means to be a member and renewed our commitments to be followers of Jesus in this place.  Some Calvary voices shared their own thoughts on membership and have graciously allowed us to share them here:

 Laura Canfield

Good morning.  My name is Laura Canfield, and I have been a member of the Calvary community for about 10 years.  I’ve made the commitment of membership in this time and this community because I believe I am a better Christian when I can worship God with others who are striving to be welcoming, responsive, trusting and prayerful in everything they do.  To me, a membership commitment means coming to Sunday services regularly, serving another year on the Diaconate, always being on the look-out for those who might want to become ushers, and giving generously of my personal income.  This year, I have seen and experienced God in this community through singing a song in Spanish and connecting with the Latino community; reading the hymn numbers printed in the bulletin to Paul Rice so he can follow along in his Braille hymnal; listening in this sanctuary to some ladies from Haiti talk about how Beyond Borders has helped them find their humanity; playing a game of Bingo with some patients from St. Elizabeth’s during a gathering of the Downtown Social Club; hearing a familiar passage of Scripture in Pastor Amy’s sermon and understanding it in a new way; and seeing slides from the Calvary group who went to El Salvador with Pastor Edgar and knowing deep in my soul how important it is to truly love my neighbor.  This morning, I am recommitting myself to radical discipleship and committed engagement in God’s work within and through our precious community of faith.  Calvary, will you join me in renewing your own commitment to church membership for the year ahead?

Andrew Lorenzen-Strait

Good morning. My name is Andrew Lorenzen-Strait and I have been a member of the Calvary community since May of 2009.  I’ve made the commitment of membership in this time and this community because in my search for God: 

  • I have visited many houses of worship,
  • I have practiced numerous faiths,
  • But none have rung true.
  • Yet here I found truth
  • Here, I found meaning
  • Here, I understand the teachings of Jesus
  • And here, should Jesus return to be with us today, and walk through our doors, sit in our pews, he would feel at home, as if in the presence of his father.

To me, a membership commitment means:

  • answering the calls to participate in our faith family’s activities zealously,
  • ever mindful that it is through these activities, that God’s work on earth is realized.  

I see and experience God in this community through:

  • the smiles on my faith families’ faces, like those on Zach Miller, Lizzie, Ruby, and Julie;
  • through, the echoes of laughter filling these rooms;
  • though, the power and resonance of Pastor Amy and Pastor Leah’s sermons;
  • through, the beautiful melodies performed by my husband and our youth in the church choir;
  • and through, our acceptance and advocacy of each others strengths and differences.

This morning, I am recommitting myself to radical discipleship and committed engagement in God’s work within and through our precious community of faith.  Calvary, will you join me in renewing your own commitment to church membership for the year ahead?

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About Amy

Senior Pastor, The Riverside Church, New York
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