We Are Transforming

26 05 2011

by SERGIO JUAREZ, Los Angeles, California, USA

For nearly five decades Community of Christ members were without a church in downtown Los Angeles, California.

This was partly because of the closing of a church at 39th and Grand streets. I don’t know the reason it closed, but I know a new congregation is emerging nearby.

Thanks to the generosity of contributors, La Nueva Esperanza en Cristo now ministers in a place where Community of Christ ministered before. Our brothers and sisters accepted the invitation to give to the ministries that our church carries to different places. Often we receive people whose lives are deeply wounded, their spiritual journeys ignored.

It now is our congregation’s turn to transform the vision of church leaders into reality by inviting coworkers, neighbors, relatives, and classmates to visit us. Many youth have taken this to heart. One is Saira Juarez.

About two years ago she invited a classmate to a Young Peacemakers Club meeting. Later this guest, Ana, invited her younger sister, Irene. In turn, Irene started coming and invited her friend, Sandra. Sandra invited her younger sister, Yessenia. Yessenia invited her friend, Natalie. Natalie invited Nicole.

All of this happened through invitation. With other youth in the church, these girls have formed a strong bond. Besides attending Young Peacemakers Club, they come to Bible study weekly, and some attend worship services.

All of this happened because of the contributions and tithing of others. We strongly believe in Doctrine and Covenants 163:2b.

Generously share the invitation, ministries, and sacraments through which people can meet the Living Christ who heals and reconciles through redemptive relationships in sacred community. The restoring of persons to healthy or righteous relationships with God, others, themselves, and the earth is at the heart of the purpose of your journey as a people of faith.

Many are waiting to hear the redeeming words of the gospel. Some need to be lifted from hopelessness. Others need the helping hands of servants. They would be lost without the generous response of disciples who share from their bounty that others might know the joys of the kingdom.

These are the powers of sharing and inviting.

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