Evangelism II



Shortly after I joined Pilgrim, Pastor Carol called me.  She invited me to become a member of the evangelism committee.  “You’d be perfect for it,” she said.  Evangelism, she said, was about welcoming people into Pilgrim.  I mulled this over, relieved.  Evangelism did not require me to sweet talk people into converting to my form of Christianity.  I decided to try out evangelism. 


One of our activities was organizing dinners for new members.  We had several my first year on the evangelism committee.  One was held at my house.  We had a great turnout, thirty people on a Monday evening.  Before we began to eat, Pastor Wayne led us in a prayer.  I had been away from church for so long, I had forgotten about this ritual.  Maybe this was good; maybe it allowed me to experience community prayer with a new heart.  That evening, I was amazed that a group of people, many of whom I did not know, were doing that most intimate act – prayer – together in my home.  Surely, some of the goodness of this community would linger in this room after they left. 


We had a great meal.  I met new members, and got to know old members; after all, I was still new myself. 


But not so new that I didn’t already have an uncomfortable history with one of the guests. 


At the end of the evening, after most people had left, I walked into my living room and saw a member with whom I’d had a spat.  It had been a small incident weeks earlier that had ended a meeting and remained unresolved.  I looked at this fellow pilgrim sitting on my couch, petting my cat and realized my heart was open, calm, loving.  I was surprised; I was relieved; I was amazed.  This was so much better than being my usual self.  Something had happened that evening in that community of pilgrims that had lifted me out of my fears and defensiveness. 


First lesson for someone newly returned to the chuch:  prayer in community works. 

Reva Rasmussen, Deacon of Evangelism






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