Mount Calvary Family & Friends,
Saint Peter strongly encouraged hospitality among the brethren. He wrote to the people of God scattered throughout Asia Minor, “Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.” (1 Peter 4:9) The author of the book of Hebrews also wrote, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” (Hebrews 13:2) In Genesis 18 we read how Abraham entertained 3 men, one of whom turned out to be the Lord Himself and the other 2 angels. Jesus tells us in Matthew 25, “Whatever you do for one of the least of these My brothers, you have done it for Me.”
I remember young seminarians talking about church fellowship activities as unnecessary diversions from the ministry to which we were called. It wasn’t many, for most of us at least enjoyed being fed. It was essential to us to eat whether those meals were essential to the ministry or not. However, I believe we see a reflection in God’s Word of something I have learned through my years of ministry. Table fellowship is very important to those who, work and serve together. Those cooks in the kitchen, the decorations committees, the people who move the chairs and tables to create the right set-up; all are important roles to ministry.
I pause now to reflect on the importance of meal times together as we are in the midst of a very busy and heavy schedule of meals at Mount Calvary for our Camp Restore efforts. I want to share a word of thanks for everyone involved. We hear repeatedly from our visitors to Camp Restore that they are amazed by the efforts to which our members and partners go to see that they are well-fed while here, especially the large home-cooked dinners when people from our congregation and community gather with them for meals.
It was the community meal hosted by Hope Warren last summer that first led Philonese Walker and Sanquise Powell to visit with us. At our most recent community barbecue, hosted by Trinity Clinton Township, I was introduced to a young mother enquiring about baptism for her preteen children. As we make contact with our community and campers through food and fellowship, I cannot help but believe God is using that time powerfully to build ministry connections that will help move Mount Calvary forward into its 2nd century of ministry! Thank you to all who are a part of that experience as we work and serve together.
Of course, it is not just eating together that matters. The involvement of Mount Calvary members in every aspect of our ministry is tremendously important if we are going to connect with our community in new ways and continue as “stake-holders” in the redevelopment of our neighborhood. From blight removal – to home repair – to visitation in homes and nursing homes – to children’s activities on and off campus – to water run-off resolution - to community gardens and the beautification of our own property, we are finding ways to “entertain” our neighbors as we invite them to our property and events to celebrate and work with us, and as we step out to join our neighbors in rebuilding our community. In so many ways, God is laying the foundation for our 2nd century ministry through your work and efforts! Thank you one and all!!!
I know you have heard it before. I am becoming quite repetitive I am sure. Still, I am constantly amazed by all that I am seeing happening at Mount Calvary. I truly cannot keep up with it all myself and am tremendously appreciative of all that everyone is doing in ways great and small to support our Camp Restore Detroit ministry at Mount Calvary and all that is happening here on so many levels. I can’t help but believe that this is the sort of thing Jesus had in mind when HE said, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the world!” (Acts 1:8) It hasn’t been that long since our community seemed like “the ends of the world” right here “in our own backyard” . . . all that is changing as we step out in faith into our “Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria” to serve God in new and exciting ways as we see our community rebuilding all around us!
May God continue to give us the faith, wisdom, and strength to move forward and out in this ministry we share.
Pastor John Carrier
About The Author
Since 2015, Pastor John Carrier has been Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church's pastor in Detroit, Michigan. He is also the Director for Camp Restore Detroit. Mt. Calvary has a bi-monthly newsletter, which opens with words from Pastor Carrier, called "From The Pastor's Desk..."