It seems the world these days teeters between those who seek to protect “their own” and those who dare to declare that all are worthy of compassion and care. Years ago, Matthew West wrote a song called “My Own Little World.” It resonates perhaps even more today than when he wrote it as an anthem of encouragement to get out of ourselves and our “own little world.”

Beginning this Sunday (October 27), and continuing through all the Sundays in November, our worship focus draws us into a close examination of what it means to be the Body of Christ in our world. In this series, we will remember why we are a Body together—being the hands and feet of Christ in a frightened and hurting world. We will focus not just on maintaining “the church,” but why it is that the church exists at all. We will reaffirm our personal purpose in this world and who we are together.

This is our Stewardship emphasis for the year, but stewardship is so much more than money in the offering plate. It’s that, but so much more. Who are we as a church in our own little corner of Manitou Springs? How can we impact those “Outside My Own Little World”?

This Sunday begins with “Population Two”—a line from Matthew West’s song—we will sing a portion of this song during worship every Sunday during this series. Here’s the lyrics:

In my own little world it hardly ever rains
I’ve never gone hungry, always felt safe
I got some money in my pocket, shoes on my feet
In my own little world, Population: me

I try to stay awake during Sunday morning church
I throw a twenty in the plate, but I never give ’til it hurts
I turn off the news when I don’t like what I see
Yeah, it’s easy to do when it’s Population: me

Refrain: What if there’s a bigger picture?
What if I’m missing out?
What it there’s a greater purpose
I could be living right now
Outside my own little world, oooh

Well, I stopped at a red light, looked out my window
I saw a cardboard sign, said “Help this homeless widow”
Above that sign was the face of a human
And I thought to myself, “God, what have I been doing?”
So I rolled down the window and I looked her in the eye
I thought, how many times have I just passed her by?
So I gave her some “love” when I drove on through
And my own little world reached Population: two

Father, break my heart for what breaks Yours
Give me open hands and open doors
And put Your Light in my eyes and let me see
That my own little world is not about me
What if there’s a bigger picture?
What if I’m missing out?
What if there’s a greater purpose
That I could be living right now
Well, I don’t wanna miss what matters
I wanna be reaching out
Showing the greater purpose
So I could be living right now
Outside my own little world, oooh…

I hope that everyone will join us in worship these Sundays as we shine a magnifying glass on our own little world. Going from “Population Me to Population Two” (and more) is about expanding our resources to support a better world for all people, locally and globally. What does it mean to be a generous people? Can we move to believing in abundance, believing there is enough for more than “just me” and that our pooled resources (time, energy, talent, enthusiasm, and money) can do amazing things?

See you in church on Sunday,

Pastor Gaye

Rev. Gaye Bosley-Mitchell

P.S. As part of this Stewardship effort, we will also provide an opportunity for folks to choose to belong to this community of faith we call “Community Congregational Church of Manitou Springs” which is connected to the wider church as a United Church of Christ congregation. If you are interested in knowing more about “belonging” join us for an exploration conversation on Sunday, November 3 (after worship) or on Thursday, November 14 at 6 pm (either date is fine). We will be receiving new members on Sunday, November 24 during our Thanksgiving Sunday worship!