1392 Robert Fulton Hwy Quarryville, PA 17566 Phone: (717) 786.2723

divider image

Pastor's Corner

A Peculiar People - August 2018

August is a busy month in our life together. On August 5th we'll hear about our middle school students' mission trip from June. The month also sees us welcome our new Youth & Young Adult Pastor, Jeff Keller. Jeff begins in the office on August 6th, and his first Sunday with us will be August 12th. There is a lot of excitement for Jeff's arrival and his leadership in our church. August 12th is a big day in our church family as we'll also celebrate several baptisms and hear about National Youth Conference. Baptism is a central ritual of our faith as Christians and our identity as Brethren. I know I'm looking forward to welcoming these folks as members of our church family.

We will also begin a new sermon series that will cover the entire month of August. That series is on Brethren distinctives. Throughout our history, Brethren have been known as a peculiar people. First because they subverted the government sanctioned churches of Europe in the 1700s by being rebaptized (as adults, they had previously been baptized as infants), then because in the British Colonies they refused to fight for either the colonies or the crown in the revolutionary war. By the 1800s they were known for wearing simple clothes and largely keeping to themselves. By the 1850s they had clearly taken a stand against slavery and in the 1860s they found their stand for peace again making them peculiar as they refused to fight on either side during the Civil War.

By the mid-1900s Brethren were often trying to be perceived as less peculiar and more mainstream, but they still practiced feet washing and Love Feast-—practices that were seen as odd by many other Christians. They also continued to oppose war, indeed the taking of human life for any reason, the taking of oaths, and membership in secret oath-bound societies. These things all combined to ensure that Brethren continued to be perceived as a peculiar people.

Indeed, Jesus calls us to be a peculiar people. Peculiar because we refuse war and stand against the taking of human life (even though our love for our earthly nation can sometimes make this difficult). Peculiar because we live simply, refusing to be taken in by the lies of consumerism (although this is so difficult to live out). Peculiar because we still refuse to take oaths, allowing our yes to be yes and our no, no (even when this makes us odd). Peculiar because we still practice feet washing, Love Feast, and anointing.

Sometimes it feels like we really just want to fit in, but Jesus calls us to be distinctive. To be different because we follow him, even when being different makes us peculiar.

~ Pastor Calvin Park, Senior Pastor

Mechanic Grove Church of the Brethren

1392 Robert Fulton Hwy Quarryville, PA 17566 Phone: (717) 786.2723

About Us | Calendar | Prayer Requests | Contact Us