An Important Message from the Church Chair Laura Vincent to the Redeemer Congregation
(as published in the March 2020 church newsletter)
Jesus was known for his uncanny ability to gather people together. We think about Jesus and the 5,000, and we recall the stories of the crowds of people who followed him around. They wanted to be a part of His journey! They wanted to see where he was going and what he was doing. As I step further into my journey with Redeemer, I am reminded of Jesus’ heart for all people, the people who followed him and even the people who did not. He loved everyone and offered that love freely! I have felt that kind of love here at Redeemer. This church has been our family’s home since Ed and I were married around eight year ago. Redeemer has always been there for us, and I am excited to give that kind of love back to you all.
I wanted to tell you a little about myself so you can know more of who I am and my heart for Redeemer. I grew up in a Christian and Missionary Alliance Church in rural Amery, WI, so my philosophies of religion are very similar to the Covenant church. I attended Crown College for my undergraduate and from there I have taught K-12 music for the past 10 years. I recently received my master’s degree in Leadership and Educational Administration from Capella University, and I hope that I will be working as a principal or other school leader someday in the future.
I have worked in many different areas of our church since I became a member and have seen so much growth and change over the years. I pray that we will see much more growth and positive change as we continue this new vision of Growing and Going Together in Christ.
A true interest I have has been in intercultural ministry. When I graduated high school, I went to Crown to get a degree in Intercultural Studies. After following some other advice, I ended up in music; but it has always been a part of my story to lean into culture and hear how we can make things better. I want to continue to see growth in our intercultural work through generational, ethnic, socioeconomic and other cultural differences. There is so much to be learned from each other when we spend time LISTENING to one another and not just talking.
As I learn and grow in Christ, I see him in all the people around me and I view different aspects of who he is because of the people I encounter. I will admit that listening well isn’t easy; and as a person who loves to lead the way, it’s even more challenging to let go of my ideas to pave the way for someone else, but it’s important to have all voices heard.
The Proverbs are FULL of this kind of language of LISTENING well. And in the parables, we see many times that Jesus said to listen to others and be mindful of them. James said “… be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry …” (James 1:19). He also knew what it meant to be a doer of the word and not a hearer only. With all this listening and truly hearing others, there is less strife, less room for miscommunication, and more room for love and care. This month, my prayer is that we all listen more, hear the needs of others, hear their stories of pain or suffering, and love one another as God does.
Thank you all for your continued support for Redeemer, and I ask for your prayers for the leadership team as we lean into listening and impacting our community as we journey together.
Will you join me this month in being part of the crowd around Jesus who listened well to him?