You know the Spirit, because he abides with you, and he will be in you. I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. John 14:17-18
One of the worst feelings in the life of faith is the feeling of abandonment, the feeling that trusting in God doesn’t make a difference. It’s only human to feel this way from time to time. We feel this especially when prayers seem to go unanswered and faithfulness seems to go unrewarded. Other times, doubt seems to emerge out of nowhere amidst the more ordinary times of life. Whenever these feelings of disillusionment emerge, they leave us feeling abandoned, forgotten, or even orphaned. And yet often, in the midst these feelings of abandonment, God suddenly appears and reminds us that Christ will not leave us orphaned, and we remember that there is a deep purpose to the life of faith after all.
I recently visited a girls orphanage that two of our members, Benjamin and Veronica, have been volunteering at since last summer. I wandered this home for girls aged 3-18 with my very gracious host Ben, and interacted with these children as they studied, ate, and played. They were a bit shy of me, as they had never seen a pastor who looked anything like I do, but you could see the love that was present in this big family.
This experience of seeing children becoming embraced in a home served as another reminder to me of what the life of faith is really about: giving and receiving God’s love in Christ. We can describe faith in as complex way as we want, but ultimately that’s it.
Christianity and faith has its critics, and certainly deservedly so at times, because we Christians sometimes behave in ways that are not very Christ-like. But when people and communities earnestly follow in Christ’s model of self-giving love, beautiful, life-changing things happen, and faith begins to make a positive difference in the world!
We can pray that we would recognize God’s Spirit abiding in our neighbor, as we seek to build a community that reminds people that they are never alone as beloved children of God.
Intern Pastor Paul Schick
Church Falucca Ride this Friday, the 24th, 5-7pm
All are invited for a falucca ride together on the Nile, this Friday, May 27th. It will be from 5-7 and we will set sail from TGIF in Maadi. People are encouraged to bring food or drink to share for this time of relaxation and fellowship.
Friday Bible Study continues this week at 11:45
Join us for Bible study after fellowship in the conference room. We will once again be studying the passage from today’s worship.
St. Andrew’s Evening Prayer, this Sunday at 7 pm
Join us Sunday evenings at 7pm for St. Andrew’s Evening Prayer, a contemplative worship service. The final gathering for this service will be Sunday, June 12th.
StARS Education Programs are Looking for Teachers
Give the gift of education by volunteering at St. Andrews Refugee Services as an English tutor or teacher for the summer 2011 term! StARS’ Adult Education Program is currently looking for dedicated, motivated and creative people to volunteers as:
English tutors: 2-6 hours/week.
English teachers: 1.5 hours/day for 2 days/week, to teach conversational English.
Dual English & Arabic teacher: Teach a combined English/Arabic class for 18-24 yr olds.
If you have enthusiasm, motivation and a desire to share your skills with others, and are able to commit from May 23rd till the end of July, please email your CV, together with an indication of the volunteer position that you are interested in to Erin Odgers, Volunteer Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org
Camboni Community’s Festival of Peoples and Nations
Members are cordially invited to join the Cordi Jesu Community (one block southeast) on Saturday, May 28 at 10:00 am-6:00 pm, as they host a festival whose aim is to encourage acceptance of differences and cherishing of commonalities. The festival will include a juried photo exhibit capturing diversity in Egypt, varieties of foods, and crafts/workshops for children and adults.