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From the Pastor: Finding Faithfulness Everywhere I Turn

Mary Ellen Ermis September 2, 2022 Devotionals, cityrise, houston, Roger Patterson,

You know, I love being a part of this church because my life is so enriched by so many different relationships. On Sunday, August 28, I got to meet students from ten different nations who had just arrived to the United States for studies at Rice University, students from Rwanda, South Africa, Turkey, Pakistan, and a number of other countries; I got to see people I have known for twenty-five years; and I had the opportunity to meet people for the very first time.

Also that night, at our Vision For Life Men’s Night, “An Evening with Cecil Shorts,” we got to connect with men from all over our congregation. I had the opportunity to meet their guests who came to hear Cecil share his story. With over 250 men present, our lives were enriched by sharing a meal together and in listening to Cecil authentically share his story of God’s faithfulness through his NFL career and beyond. See below for a video from that evening’s interview!

One of the things that you will see across the life of this church is faithfulness. I see it when our Bible study teachers show up to share from the Scriptures and facilitate conversations that lead to transformation. I see faithfulness when our audiovisual volunteers show up to run sound, lights, our broadcast, and slides. I hear the sounds of faithfulness from our bands, orchestra, choir, and worship teams. I see faithfulness in the pews, as joy-filled followers of Jesus sit up and take notes during the sermon, put their hands together after a beautiful song, or put a monetary gift into the offering plate. Faithfulness is exhibited as our volunteers show up to brew coffee, pass out bulletins, minister to those who are homebound, or gather for prayer as part of our teams that pray for our worship services. I see faithfulness exhibited when our single moms consistently bring their children to church to be ministered to when it would be easier to stay home.

I just love witnessing faithfulness. Faithfulness isn’t flashy. It doesn’t call out to be recognized. It isn’t celebrated near enough. But I want to make sure you hear me celebrate it today. To you husbands and wives who have stuck together through the thick and thin of this life: thank you for being faithful to one another and for modeling faithfulness to us. To you moms and dads who get up every day to help get the family out the door on your way to work: thank you. Your tireless efforts are noticed and appreciated. To you business owners who employ others to help them put food on the table and have a roof over their heads: you are doing a good thing and your faithfulness to do business well is to be celebrated. To you doctors, nurses, and others in the medical field who are serving as administrators or practitioners: we appreciate you and thank you for your faithfulness through this trying season these past few years. To you senior adults who have served this church for many years in a variety of ways: thank you.

Scripture tells us in Proverbs 3:3-4,

Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you;

    bind them around your neck;

    write them on the tablet of your heart.

 So you will find favor and good success

    in the sight of God and man.

When we stand before Jesus, I want to be standing with you because I want to hear Him say to us all, “Well done, good and faithful servants!”


Roger Patterson is the Senior Pastor of the CityRise Network, leading multiple congregations in lifting our city and the world by generously giving the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Roger lives in Houston with his wife, Julee, and three children.