Getting Back to Basics

"1 Corinthians 12:4–7 (ESV): 4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good."

They are physicians and nurses, dentists and dental technicians, veterinarians and veterinary technicians, funeral directors and death investigators, x-ray technicians and forensic anthropologists, behavioral health specialists and chaplains, and many many more. Their gifts and talents vary, they live all over the country. However, they share one thing in common. They are all, together, the women and men of the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS).  

As we gathered in Indianapolis for the 2022 Training Summit, we shared the identity of one team, one mission.  Our training turned us from the COVID response of the last 2.5 years and called us back to basics.  All 1,450 of us in Indianapolis were reminded that each of us have gifts and talents that are called together for the common good of our nation. 

NDMS responds with the varieties of gifts and service in times of disaster.  When bad things happen to/in our nation, NDMS brings the varieties of gifts and service to bear for the healing and hope of others. 

The identity of One Team, One Mission embraced by NDMS bears much in common with the identity of Christ’s church.  St. Paul continues in 1 Corinthians 12: 

12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are  one body, so it is with Christ. 

As God’s people, baptized and free, named and claimed, redeemed and reconciled, sent and empowered the church is the body of Christ.  Together we are sent for the healing and hope of the nations.  Together we are sent to carry God’s grace, hope, and love to the world, so that all may encounter Jesus.  In thought, word, and deed the church is sent with our varieties of gifts, in the same Spirit, for the common good. 

Like the rest of the church, St. Peter’s has been marked and scarred, strengthened and shaped, by COVID-19 for the last 2.5 years.  We have suffered the trauma of isolation, masking, illness, and death.  We have adapted and flexed, adjusted and modified, in response to the challenges we face.  And while the threat of COVID is not yet behind us, we are living into a new normal as the body of Christ. 

As one team, one mission St. Peter’s now emerges to our call to: Grow Grace. Live Hope. Serve Love. The work of disciples making disciples, living as those being transformed into the image of Jesus, empowers us. Our core values call us to a return to basics, with Jesus as Lord and Savior, to build a community of welcome, care, hope, and support for all people. 

These past 2.5 years have been hard, difficult, traumatizing.  Yet, the Holy Spirit equips and sends us for the work of today, even as we give thanks for the work of the past.  

St. Peter’s is made up of many people, from many places, with many gifts.  Yet, in our diversity we are one people, one body, one congregation, with one mission. We are equipped, empowered, and sent to work for the common good in the name of Jesus, for the sake of the world. 

I am excited that our Council is working to discover, discern, and deploy the many gifts of St. Peter’s to be a force of life and hope for the common good.  I give thanks for a congregation seeking ways to move forward in faith, even in unsettled times.  I have hope in our identity as God’s people, knowing that Jesus is with us as we grow into our call as God’s people. 

We are one team, one mission. We are one body, serving one Lord. We are gifted and sent, for the building up of the common good. 

God’s Peace,