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
See You in Church                                           July 10, 2013

Dear friends,

"See you in church." That's how I wrap up my weekly columns.  A while back I had
a letter from a reader asking me why I close with that particular phrase.  He was a
Roman Catholic.  He liked what I had to say but he was quite happy with his
congregation.

He went on to ask the obvious. "Is it a plug for people to come to your church?"  It
is a great question and one that others have asked too.  I thought I would talk
about that today.  The answer is no and the answer is yes.  If you are talking about
the church where God lets me live out my calling, the answer is no.  I hope you will
go to worship wherever God is calling you.

Let me give you a little history behind the column and how that tag line developed.
I began writing back in 1999. Once a month or so I sent out an epistle to my friends
and the people at church. Shortly after September 11, 2001 I began writing more
regularly. By then my email list included well over 400 people.

In light of the events on that tragic day, I wanted to remind people that they could
find God on a Tuesday or a Friday as well as on a Sunday morning.  I wanted my
friends to understand that church happens every time the body of believers comes
together.  Church happens every time we have an encounter with God.

Jesus said, "For where two or three gather in my name, there I am with them."  It
means that when we bow to say our blessing with a meal we are in church.  It means
when we are building a home for Habitat we are in church.  In means when we are
teaching arithmetic to a group of elementary school teachers, we are in church.  If
God is involved, whatever we do is an act of worship.

So yes, in this way, I am inviting people to enter my church.  Yet, it isn't really my
church.  I am inviting them to stop and look around so that they can realize that
God is right beside them.  You don't have to go to a place to find God because God
is out looking for you.  I think that general appeal is what sparked the Bulletin to
pick up my article in 2003 and they have been publishing it ever since.

So wherever you are today, I hope you will stop, look around and notice that God is
with you.  He's good that way.  May you be blessed as we worship him together in
the Kingdom of God.

God bless. See you in church. Cal