What God Has Joined Together …

February 2, 2018 – Happy Groundhog’s Day, Candlemas, and Imbolc!!!!!

Well … after almost three years of working together toward this goal, the Genesee Valley Presbytery voted unanimously on Tuesday night (1/30/2018) to allow New Life Presbyterian Church to dissolve as a corporate entity and to join their five Acts of Faith to South and our Acts of Faith Community. The dissolution occurred as of January 31st and those members of New Life who wish to join South will be welcomed into membership this Sunday, February 4th.

“What God has Joined Together, let No One put Asunder”

So where do we go from here?

Well, at the risk of sounding trite or cute — wherever God wants us to!

These two churches trace their origins to the 1820’s (NL) and 1840’s (S), respectively. Both have survived great turmoil in this nation’s history; both have sent their sons (and later their daughters) to fight wars on both domestic and foreign soil; both have met the needs of the growing urban center that is Rochester; both have proud traditions of championing human rights and civil rights for all; and through the Acts of Faith model, both find ways to meet the needs of those in the community around them.

The five Acts of Faith on Upper Monroe lift up the congregation’s long commitment to that neighborhood. They are:

  • New Life on Monroe – Sunday morning worship, 9 AM at Cobbs Hill Manor … worship that is multi-generational, interactive, discussion-based, and casual
  • New Life Food Cupboard – 2nd, 4th, and 5th Thursday mornings from 9:30-Noon, housed at Brotherhood of the Cross and Star (243 Rosedale Street)
  • Monroe Milers – youth running and fitness program held at School #35 in the Swillburg Neighborhood for eight weeks in the spring and fall
  • LOL (Love Our Lord) Youth Group – held at Noon at ROC SALT (68 Ashland Street) every Sunday that the Milers are not in Session
  • Life Skills Class – for recently graduated high school seniors, held weekly in July and August

When added to South’s pre-existing AoF’s, it brings to twenty the number of ministries that our “merry little band of believers” are using to touch the lives and meet the needs of those in our community. Spread over eight neighborhoods in Rochester and Brighton, we are committed to our Mission / Vision / Calling which is: “to live out the command of Jesus: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in [my] way of life (Mt. 28:18, The Message). We embody our commitment to being a missional church through the practice of our Acts of Faith Model of Ministry and fostering grass-roots programs that spread the love of the Risen Christ through worship, education, and the arts. We hold that all believers are the hands and heart, the embrace and healing presence of Christ’s love, acceptance, justice, and joy in the world.”  (Adopted: February 5, 2016)

At our Annual Meeting (which is an all-AoF Potluck celebration of the year past and a look at the year ahead), I will share my State-of-the-Church observations and vision. But until then, know that the staff, the Session, Deacons, and all of our volunteers are listening carefully for God’s direction to figure out what’s next for our “wee kirk” that just grew a little bit bigger.

To God be the Glory!

Pastor Deb

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