Saturday, November 1, 2008

Community of Believers

Recently several members of Faith Lutheran attended a service at St. John's in Oxnard. It was the celebration of the 25th anniversary of Centro Cristiano Hispano, Oxnard. This church started as a mission church sharing the facility with St. John's Lutheran and is now flourishing. It was a moving service that I with more from Faith could have experienced. St. John's has a large sanctuary which was filled with people of several cultures speaking at least 3 languages - English, Spanish, and Mixteco (the languages of the Oaxacan people of southern Mexico). The scene reminded me of the second chapter of the Book of Acts following at Pentecost.

During the service, a young Hispanic girl of high school age spoke of what it meant to her to have Centro Cristiano Oxnard available to her. How it had enabled her to avoid the temptation of the streets - drugs, drinking, and gangs. She cheerfully witnessed to her teenage friends telling them of her loving God who protects her and provides for her. She tells her friends that she does not need alcohol or drugs to feel accepted. But rather she is loved and accepted by her Lord. And because of that she joyfully sings praises to God. I tried to put myself in the place of the non-English speaking people there. How would I feel if I could not worship God in my own language? Lonely and isolated! After all, church is a community of believers.

We have been given an opportunity to provide a place for non-English speaking children of God to worship in their own language. We have been blessed with a facility and with riches that we can now share with our Moorpark neighbors so that they, too, may become a community of believers, a church. We are not trying to merge two separate cultures into one. Rather we are attempting with God's help to provide for both groups to worship God in their own language. As two separate congregations, we will have times when we will fellowship together and learn more about each other.

In Christ,
Dave and Joyce Bovey

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Faith Lutheran Church • 123 Park Lane • Moorpark, CA 93021 • (805) 532 1049 • Send Email