We invite you to worship with our faith community. We are a close-knit group of families, neighbors, and friends who strive to discover God’s direction for our lives. We encourage searching minds and spirits as we celebrate together our faith in God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, through the guidance of the Holy Scriptures. Emphasizing individual choice and conviction, members follow the Word of God according to the dictates of their own consciences. Our church is called “Congregational”, reflecting our heritage in the New England Pilgrim experience in which local congregations retain control of their own decisions and direction. We are also a member church of the United Church of Christ denomination, which is dedicated to realizing God’s just and loving purpose in the world.
Stillspeaking Devotional by Rachel Hackenberg
Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God.
Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us;
our competence is from God.
– 2 Corinthians 3:4-5 (NRSV)
Competent. Is that a high bar or a low one?
For all the competence that comes from God, I still fail with high-but-not-surprising frequency. My capacity for competence is limited. Some days, it’s a task I fail to accomplish. Some days, it’s a relationship I disappoint. Some days, getting out of bed and facing the day is beyond my capacity. Some days, trusting love and extending grace in a world consumed by ego is too high a bar.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” wrote Paul in a different letter to the good people of Philippi.
But what if I can’t?
“Can’t” is a difficult, painful spiral of the spirit, a desolate place where the failures of life and the failures of faith are ghosts whispering constantly, “It’s not possible.” Redemption isn’t possible. Grace isn’t possible. Fulfillment isn’t possible. Like death and taxes, the only thing those haunting voices are certain of is failure.
It’s lovely that Paul can do all things through Christ, but many of us can’t do all things or even most things. Especially when a sense of failure weighs us down.
And yet, even when Paul’s confidence irritates and exacerbates those haunting choruses of “I can’t,” Paul knows something that our worst ghosts don’t: the world’s valuation of failure and God’s valuation of competence exist on two completely different scales. The bootstrap by which I judge myself as a failure is not the love by which God knows me to be capable.
Prayer: Even when I fail, still I will rejoice.