“How does it feel to be back?”

“How does it feel to be back?” I was asked that several times in a variety of ways last Sunday. There are many layers to my emotions of my return – I felt nervous, excited, and welcomed. The church was kind and loving. I felt gratitude, love, and peace.
One of the key factors in my thankfulness upon returning is that you didn’t stop being the church in my absence. Issues and opportunities arose, and you responded. Visitors wanted to join, and you welcomed them. Ministry was needed; using brains, heart, and courage, you stood tall. My heart leaps with joy that we are a twelve month, seven days a week, twenty-four-hour church. Take any one of us out of the formula and the mission continues: sharing God’s unconditional love, justice, and extravagant welcome.
So, thank you for being the palms of Jesus – The Church of the Palms – yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Shalom, Paul