Guest Blogger: the Rev. Gary Olin

And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation.” NRSV

“In Christ there is no east or west, in him no south or north; but one great fellowship of love throughout the whole wide earth.”

This hymn by John Oxenham is affirmed time and again at Lakeside Chautauqua though the wonderful opportunities to connect with people of faith who have a global vision and experience.

While at the Farmer’s Market earlier this season, Sally and I were wearing our T-shirts from the United Methodist mission in Liberia, Africa, when were we stopped by a couple on the street.

They saw our shirts and wanted to talk with us about their experience in Africa as Lutheran missionaries in Ghana. We in turn shared our story of being part of a Volunteer In Mission Team to Camphor Mission in Liberia.

So there, on Walnut Avenue, Lakeside, Ohio we four witnessed to our experiences with African Christians and we were blessed again to remember the joyous, exuberant faith of our African brothers and sisters.

I thank God that here at Lakeside we can be enriched by the dynamic witness of Christians from all over the world. This week, Lakeside’s chaplain, Bishop Peter Storey, is from South Africa.

Later this summer we will welcome the Rev. Dr. M. Thomas Thangaraj from India and next year, the Rev. Dr. Sergei Nikolaev from Russia, will preach.

Beyond these formal presentations our community abounds with opportunities every day to share with persons who know that Jesus’ commandment to “go into all the world…” continues.

The Christian faith is alive with vitality across the world. I pray that those who enjoy Lakeside Chautauqua this summer will be enriched by the presence of that globe witness here and know that “The World Next Door” is not only a wonderful store on Second Street but also a reality to be experience throughout the community.