A word from Ray – June

A word from Ray – June

On what is seemingly a regular occurrence, and increasingly so when we think of the pressures of the immediate days upon us, I find myself fielding some variation of the question, “What is The Fellowship Community?” I almost immediately reframe the question to, “Who is The Fellowship Community?” The answer to either of these questions is profoundly different depending on the originator of it, and yet there is a simplicity in response that is refreshing.

I am currently preaching a sermon series entitled “Why it Matters.” This week, we will take a fresh look at holding onto our faith during difficult times. Surely there are countless examples of this in scripture. We see the people of God in exile, we see Jesus himself on trial, we can point to the disciples in hiding or even the call of the early church to persevere. Jesus’ instruction to the disciples was to take heart because He has already overcome the pressures of this world.  I find those words encouraging to us in this season. In just a few weeks, our denomination will prayerfully respond to the complexity of being a “wide tent.” The awaited response to the Olympia overture will cause a cascade of ripples which may grow to be devastating waves. In response, we must answer the question, “Who is The Fellowship Community?”

I dare say, as a small staff team, The Fellowship Community is more than a network. We are a haven. We provide theological alignment and 360 support for pastors and churches that find themselves choosing to continue to navigate within the denominational circle of the PCUSA. While recognizing that top-down decisions in our denomination may cause some of our fellow elders and pastors to step away from our collegium, The Fellowship Community remains (albeit with changing personnel within our community and possibly our leadership) a central place for historically evangelical PCUSA churches and leaders to find refuge. How can we best serve you during this time? How can we further equip you to lead your church through these thievish days in which we are witnessing a greater move from center and creating a more seismic divide within the “Big Tent.”

We will continue to bear witness that The Fellowship Community, locally, regionally, and nationally, is a thriving community that will remain committed to the historically evangelical applications of Scripture. We are engaging with presbyteries and seminaries to think strategically about how we can best reach young, developing pastors and leaders. We are praying about how to invest together in the Great Commission, namely exploring the possibilities around planting churches. Together we are meeting for prayer and building strong bonds of community. We are The Fellowship Community and regardless of the shakeout of the next few weeks, we will remain a strong foundational support for you and your church.

Pastor Ray Garcia

Ray Garcia is pastor of Roxborough Church in Philadelphia, PA and serves as The Fellowship Community’s Coordinator for Connections and Recruitment.