Greetings, Hyde Park family, from your brothers and sisters at Over-the-Rhine Community Church! It feels very good to be able to say that we are family. It is a blessing being a part of such a vibrant, vital, loving church as we live out the idea of being a church in two locations! This week will mark the completion of my first full quarter with you, and it has been an amazing first three months in ministry with you!
As we rush headlong toward the holidays, the idea of family is heavy on my mind. For some of us, we are excited about the opportunity to get together with our loved ones. For others, planning for these get-togethers is more like preparing ourselves for battle. Many of us fall somewhere in the middle. The truth is, family can be hard. It can also bring us much joy. Both of these are true because family is people and, as we learn in life, people are complicated. Relationships are complicated. I say all of that to say this: these dynamics are true in the church as well. That’s why loving each other well is primary in scripture and also why we have so much work yet to do! But while I have your attention, family, let me update you on what is going on at OTRCC.
At Over-the-Rhine Community Church, we are heading into the holidays with a renewed since of passion and purpose for our calling. We have been busy being the hands and feet of Jesus to our wonderfully diverse community. We continue to feed dozens of our friends in need each Sunday morning with a hearty, healthy breakfast while providing a loving, safe atmosphere and a sincere invitation to join us for deeper community in worship and beyond. We recently sent a dozen of our leaders, both new and long-time, to a conference to soak up some knowledge about how to be a church that lives into its context well and makes a true difference for Jesus in the community. We continue to see new faces each and every week and are seeing new folks begin to plug-in and lead in exciting ways. This week, we started our second round of intentional leadership development that we call Huddles. All of this is possible because you at Hyde Park and we at Over-the-Rhine believe that we are family and we try to live into that reality together. Great things are happening!
This Sunday, I’m excited to get to see the faces again of all of those worshipping at Hyde Park and meet some new ones. We will be in the third part of our sermon series on Four Things Jesus Did Not Say, and this week’s topic is “Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin”. I know, easy right? Not so much. As people who worship a God who is said to BE love, is hate even a weapon we have in our arsenal? Can we hate something about others and not step over the line of hating them? These are the kinds of things we will wrestle with together. I can’t wait to see you there on Sunday. It’ll be like seeing family.
Pastor Zak McIntyre
Over-the-Rhine Community Church