“Epistle to the Church at 22nd and Guadalupe” by Anna Strickland

Paul, Lisa, Jody, Richard, and Anna, to the church at 22nd and Guadalupe. Grace to you and peace from God the Creator and the Lord Jesus Christ.

We never cease to remember you in prayer, thanking God for you because of your witness to the resurrection in Christ Jesus as a beacon for the saints and the scholars, passionately teaching and living the Gospel which you have received.

We have seen your deep affection for one another, encouraging and supporting the members of the body of Christ and living as one family, from the eldest among you to the youngest, and excluding none who would come to the Lord’s table, according to His commandment to love one another.

We know of your steadfastness through trials of the Spirit, never ceasing to listen for the Word of God with an open heart and mind, committing yourselves to the community of Christ at every turn with conviction for the path ahead of you.

Brothers and sisters, do not fear the task that is before you, though the way is long and uncertain, for God the Creator is at work within you through the power of Christ Jesus and will accomplish far more than we can hope or imagine.

For this purpose, God has gifted you abundantly, granting some the gift of preaching, to others the gift of hospitality, still to others the gifts of music, teaching, healing, service, wisdom, patience, prophecy, leadership, and compassion.

Do not, therefore, be slow to name the gifts of your sisters and brothers in Christ, but exhort one another in His name to use the gifts which have been given you in service of the church to the glory of God our Creator.

We appeal to you to be a community of believers, each participating in the new creation that is the church as heirs of the Gospel which is your heritage. And pray for us, that we may receive gifts of wisdom, imagination, and listening, so that we may discern the Spirit’s movement in the church.

So then, let us encourage one another, being quick to speak and quicker still to listen, that we may know and follow together the path to which Christ calls us.

Grace and peace to you all. Amen.

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