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All are welcome to worship at Sharon Lutheran Church.  Worship gathers us as one body, invites us to hear God's Word, leads us to experience God's grace in baptism and communion, and then sends us out to engage and serve the world.

Sharon Lutheran Church
1720 S. 20th St. 
Grand Forks, ND 58201

Office: 701-772-3122
Email: office@sharonlutheran.org

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Taking Our Faith Outdoors - July 2017

Taking our Faith Outdoors

Celebrating the 4th of July often brings up a mix of things: inspiring stories about the people who work to keep the United States independent and safe, hard-to-hear stories about our country’s past and present that we are not proud of, and an excuse to spend some much-needed time with family and friends.

Ironically, we do not celebrate Independence Day independently. Instead, cities host street fairs where people gather to share their skills; families come up with patriotic deserts to share with one another; we visit friends in other parts of the country; we parade through neighborhoods; and we fill stadiums to watch fireworks. We come together in community. Despite the mix of stories that we acknowledge on the 4th – ones we are proud and ones we are not – there is a sense that we are all in this together.

Part of the reason our sense of community is strong on the 4th of July is because we not only come together, but we do it outdoors for all to see. Whether you’re participating or not, you can’t help but notice community that day as you walk past parades, drive past fairs, and hear the sound of fireworks. This July, as we celebrate our freedom outdoors for all to see, let us also celebrate our freedom in Christ by taking our faith “outdoors” for all to see – literally and figuratively.

Faith can seem very personal, and sharing it can feel awkward. Maybe that’s because we picture sharing our faith to mean going door to door and asking people whether or not they believe in Jesus. Paul assures us in his letter to the Corinthians, though, that one way we can take our faith “outdoors” for all to see is by sharing the gifts God has given us – spiritual gifts, skills, and/or resources.

There are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit … To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. – 1 Cor. 12: 4-7

Together, we all make up the Body of Christ here on Earth. When we take our faith outdoors and share our gifts, we show the world that we are all in this together.

Do you have the gift of compassion and your heart hurts every time you walk past a homeless person? Maybe that gift could go from inside your heart to outdoors for all to see by talking to that homeless person or donating to a local shelter. Do you have the gift of faith and your heart hurts for those whose doubt has caused them to lose hope? Maybe your faith could go from inside your heart to outdoors by inviting someone to church or even just to coffee. Do you have the gift of prophesy and you can see which of our actions as a society cause harm to people or the environment? Maybe your gift could go from inside your heart to outdoors by advocating for change to our local or national politicians.

God has given each of us gifts and calls us to use them for the common good. We are all in this life together. What is one way that you can take your faith outdoors this summer?

Pastor Dominique Buchholz

Last Published: July 1, 2017 2:35 PM