We’ve been working with Mac Vance on producing a “fancy” video greeting for our website. By now it shouldn’t amaze us as to the significant impact the internet plays in our lives but since COVID-19 and virtual worship, we’ve made it a priority.  Thankfully, the tech team makes it look easier than it is.  We’re not exactly sure how “church” will be altered after we re-engage in live worship but we’re convinced that virtual worship is here to stay.  Mac gave us some homework. We were to create a script for the video. Interestingly, as we pondered what to say and how to say it, the core values of Pine Shores kept popping up in our thoughts.  Core values communicate who we are. It states our theology, ministry priorities and makes clear what we believe God desires and expects of us as a beloved community. Core values are what makes us known to others and makes it possible for us to be faithful and fruitful in ministry.  We lift up four core values. The first core value is “Living in Grace.”

Grace is defined as favor, blessing, or goodwill offered by one who does not need to do so. It is unearned and undeserved favor. “Living in” grace is the realization at the deepest part of our being that we are loved by God and that nothing, not anything, not the family disputes, not debt nor schemes, not COVID-19, not dementia or cancer, not the bad choices, not the fear, nothing in all of life can separate us from God.

“Living in” grace means that we choose to be for each other even when the differences among us vary greatly. Even when we disagree or dislike or clash and become conflicted, we choose to live in grace. Living in grace means we highly value each another. It means we live committed to building up one another in faithfulness. It means we choose to be life-giving toward friend and foe. It means we respond with gratitude for all the blessings we have received and for the amazing gift of grace.

Scripture Reading:  Ephesians 4:7 
But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

Reflection Questions:
What are your core values?
What does living in grace mean to you?
Who are the people you most highly value?
How can you be a life-giving presence in the lives of others?

Prayer: Holy God, you offer grace as a gift and invite me to gather it into my being.  Help me to offer a presence that is life-giving to others and let me be amazed in your grace. Amen.

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