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Holding Each Other Up

The church as a team.

I am the pastor of a church that has many people involved in each Sunday morning service. We have a Bible reader, a liturgist, a music leader, an elder, a deacon, and someone leading the congregational prayer each and every single Sunday.

It is quite the cacophony of voices behind the pulpit each week, and I love it. 

A couple of years ago, as we were leaving our pre-service meeting and heading into the sanctuary, I cheered: “Goooooo, team!” and raised my hands into the air, and everyone laughed.

So, of course, I’ve kept doing it. The laugh isn’t as big anymore. But my gratitude just keeps getting bigger. Because I don’t lead anything alone. I’m part of a team. 

It is a team that has buoyed me up when I’ve felt disheartened. A team that keeps reminding me what we’re doing it all for.  

And it’s easy to feel disheartened nowadays. The world feels like it keeps getting more complicated. More refugees flee from their homes. More problems arise in Canada. 

Seeking justice in all that mess feels like hard work. It feels like it is getting harder. It is so easy to throw your hands up and walk away. From church, from help, from change, from hope. 

But we aren’t alone. We are never alone. Standing up with those who need our voices. Being salt and light in this world – it is all a team activity. And what a team we have! 

One little part of this big team is the Christian Reformed Centre for Public Dialogue. A few times a year our little team of CRC people gets together to guide the work of the office: refugee welcomers, pastors, lay people, a chemistry professor, a tech guy, a business guy. Together, we help the CRC in Canada live into the call to seek justice through advocacy alongside marginalized neighbours. 

But this work is bigger than just us. There are people in churches throughout the CRC who add their voices to calls for adequately funded Indigenous education, to calls for lowering barriers to refugee resettlement. People who hang on to the successes they find and they keep reminding the world of the last, the least, and the lonely. People who keep encouraging those in the margins that there is a team fighting for them. And that inspires me. This team has our eyes on the Kingdom of God. And what we see is beautiful.  

So I’m going to keep “entrusting my faithful mustard seeds of love for neighbours to a faithful God”, as our Justice and Hope Sunday resources read, as part of this messy, cacophonous team called the church. Go team!

This article was made possible through a partnership with CRC Ministries within Canada.

  • Thyra is pastor at First CRC Toronto and clerk of the Christian Reformed Centre for Public Dialogue’s committee.

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