Membership Vows Series - Presence
What keeps you from being present in church?
What is one way you can be more fully present this week?
As a member of HPUMC, we promise the church our: prayer, presence, gifts, service and witness.
Often we think of “presence” and “attendance” as synonyms. We assume promising the church our presence means we are promising our attendance at church, maybe even just at worship. Of course, attending worship and other ministries of the church is an important part of supporting the church with our presence. There is something about being physically present with one another that makes a difference in our relationships. But that is not all there is to it.
Presence, the state of being or existing in one particular place, is more than being physically present somewhere. When we are with our family or friends, it is not enough for us to be simply physically there; we should be connected and engaged with what is happening and going on in their lives. We should care about, listen to, laugh and cry with, celebrate, and be with them emotionally, mentally and spiritually. After all, as Christians, we believe in a God who was and is present with us and all of creation, not only physically through Jesus Christ, but continually through the Holy Spirit.
So, as members of the church, we promise not just to be physically present, but also to be fully connected to the church along with our fellow members of the congregation. Our presence is about our fully participating and engaging in the life of the church. Our presence is part of the relationship we have as a member of the body of Christ, and the relationship we have with God. When we are present at church, really and fully, then we are truly connected to the mission, power, and work of the Holy Spirit, working through the church. When we are present, our lives change, others’ lives change, and we are all part of changing the world in the name of Christ.