Cornelius Corps is 18 years old today! Since July 1, 2001 we have followed God’s call to invite people on the journey of spiritual formation and racial justice/reconciliation. This has taken many forms over the years and connected to people in many places including not only our home base in Washington, DC, but also North Carolina, Maine, and all the way to South Korea to name just a few. I want to thank all those who have joined us on this journey through participating in Cornelius Corps ministries as well as through your prayers and financial support. As I reflect on the last 18 years, I want to share two quotes that have helped me in following God’s call. The first comes from a book called Listening Hearts:
“Discernment can be like driving an automobile at night: the headlights cast only enough light for us to see the next small bit of road immediately in front of us…What is important is that we act on what we have discerned. In obedience to discernment, more discernment will come.”
When God calls, we are asked to take a step in faith without knowing how it will turn out. The good news is that God’s way is greater than any way we can predict or accomplish on our own. Yet that way only emerges one step at a time as we trust the love of God that created us and calls us.
The second quote is by Gordon Cosby who was a wonderful spiritual mentor to me as I discerned and followed God’s call to form Cornelius Corps. Gordon and his wife Mary founded The Church of the Saviour in Washington, DC. Cornelius Corps is based at New Community Church which is one of the faith communities related to The Church of the Saviour. In the book By Grace Transformed Gordon said:
“There is no need to possess anything, to cling, to control. Anything needed will be given in the next moment. It will appear as surprise; there is no need to clutch…This journey into the deeps is extremely costly. But it is the one journey which is worth reflecting on every waking moment and dreaming about whenever we sleep.”
As I look back over the last 18 years, I realize the truth of Gordon’s words. We never had a detailed five or ten year plan. In fact there were times when we did not know if the ministry would survive the next five or ten weeks. But God always provided what was necessary to continue following the call. That’s a hard and essential lesson for me and any of us conditioned to desire certainty and control. I still don’t know how it worked out over the years or what to expect in the days and years ahead. What I do know is that God is faithful amid all the ups and downs of the journey of life and following God’s call. So 18 years later the journey continues. Thanks be to God and to the many wonderful people who have joined us along the way and those we will meet as we take the next steps - one at a time.