Pastor Cal's
Weekly Epistle

Every week Pastor Cal
writes a weekly column
for the Spirit Page of
the Norwich Bulletin.

He also sends it out to
members and friends of
the church via e-mail.

E-mail him at
calstigers@gmail.com if
you want to be added to
the weekly list.
Central Baptist Church of Westerly
16 Elm Street, Westerly, RI   02891
Phone: (401) 596-4929   

Check out our blog at Central Baptist Life
On a Mission From God                      December 17, 2014

Dear friends,

On a cold winter's day last week we were dishing out hot bowls of chowder. Our
mission team was hosting the event as a fundraiser for our trip to Mexicali,
Mexico next March. This will be the third time our church has sent a team south of
the border.

This will be my seventh trip. I can tell you that being part of a short term mission
team is an amazing experience. It moves you outside of your comfort zone. It
opens your eyes to what God is doing all around you. It reminds you that you are
never alone.

Looking for our connecting flight in O'Hare Airport one year, we came across the
life size replicas of The Blues Brothers. One team member saw it as a sign. For
the rest of the trip she kept quoting a line from the Blues Brothers movie, and
telling us that "We are on a mission from God."

Many of us returned from that and subsequent trips with our eyes opened to the
fact that the brokenness, injustice and pain we saw there was also all around us
back home. It sparked a desire for us to do more to meet the needs of those in our
own backyard.

I thought about that this week in light of the Christmas story. When the angel
made the pronouncement that a savior had been born, it heralded the beginning of
a new day. The Good News was in the name that the Christ child was given:
Emmanuel, which means, "God with us."

Most of us think of a missionary as someone sent to a distant land. The truth is
that we are all on a mission from God. Like the shepherds we meet in the
Christmas story, God sends us out to proclaim the Good News too.

I hope that your faith will be renewed as you come to the manger this year. As you
reflect on the love that was there in Bethlehem, I pray that you will be on a mission
to bring peace, hope and the love of God to your neighborhood.

Merry Christmas! See you in church.  Cal