Pastor’s Corner

Pastor’s Corner – Dec. 10
(A weekly word from the Pastor)

Hello Beloved of God,

I hope those who were in service Sunday Dec.6 were as blessed as I was! The Crismons look so beautiful on our tree! It was wonderful to see so many participate.

This Advent season I encourage you to live out compassion on those you see around you. Maybe it is a single mom struggling to provide for children this holiday. Maybe it is a waitress or waiter who works long hours serving others you might bless. Perhaps it is giving the gift of forgiveness to someone who has wronged you. God is always providing opportunities for us to be His Body and to show His compassion towards others.

Let’s show Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us even more than usual this Christ-mas season.

We are all little Kingdom Outposts!

Shine on, Church!

In Christ’s service and love,

Pastor Cindi

 Pastor’s Corner – Dec. 3
(A weekly word from the Pastor)

Wednesday night (last night) we had a delightful time decorating the church and making ornaments! We ended the evening with a lovely informal worship service explaining the reason for the cedar, the fir, the wreaths and the holly. The church looks BEAUTIFUL!
As you enter the front Narthex you will notice the large bulletin board has a saying on it, “Let’s DO Compassion!” It is the theme for the next few months. God “so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.” (John 3:16) God did not pity the world. He had compassion on the world. In his compassion He sent Jesus, His only Son with whom He had known perfect communion and oneness. He sent Him into the world He created and loved. ..this same world had fallen away from Him. His heart for His creation, especially for us, was and is immense! Throughout Advent and Christmas we will be looking at the great compassion of God in sending Jesus, in choosing Bethlehem, in selecting Mary and in using the Shepherds and Angels to broadcast the message. After Christmas we will look at how God’s great compassion was seen in expanding His people to include gentile and seen especially in the compassionate acts of Jesus while on earth.
Compassion is not pity. The meaning of compassion is to recognize the suffering of others, then take action to help.  The Bible defines the meaning of compassion in several ways. We are to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves … defend the rights of the poor and needy” (Proverbs 31:8-9, NIV). Author Fredrick Buechner describes the meaning of compassion in these words: “Compassion is sometimes the fatal capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else’s skin. It is the knowledge there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too.” The Bible defines the meaning of compassion in several ways. We are to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves … defend the rights of the poor and needy” (Proverbs 31:8-9, NIV). We do this by taking action instead of just talking about helping others: “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth” (1 John 3:18, NIV). Jesus was the epitome of perfect compassion.

This Advent and Christmas Season let us DO compassion. Let us find ways where we can make a positive significant difference in the lives of others, especially those less fortunate than ourselves.  As you experience compassion, giving compassion please share with me some of your stories this season. God is still in the compassion business – through us, His people!

  Pastor’s Corner – Nov. 19

(A weekly word from the Pastor)

 “This calendar keeps time to remember God’s Salvation Story. The stories of God breaking into our darkness. Stories of God’s work in our lives.”

Keeping Time…

Time. Time to get up and to go to bed. Time for a sporting event. Time for an exam. Time to begin the school year. Time to say good bye to an old year, and hello to the new.
We all keep time. But not all in the same way. Muslims have a particular calendar based on the lunar month; Jews another – a lunisolar calendar with a month added every one or two years so the months continue to align with the changing location of the sun.

We Christians, too, have a calendar – the Liturgical calendar – a sacred and holy calendar of seven seasons: Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost. This calendar keeps time to remember God’s Salvation Story. The stories of God breaking into our darkness…Stories of God’s work in our lives… Our turning away from God and God’s sacrifice in Jesus returns us to wholeness… Stories which prompt us to share the Good News of Christ with the world.

Seasonal Colors

Each season has its own colors, which we often mark visibly with church decorations – the frontals of the altar table; the chasuble of the one who celebrates Eucharist; the stoles the clergy wear draped around their necks; the banners with which we process into church.

  • The blue (or purple) for Advent reminds us we are waiting for royalty – Christ our King. It also reminds us Advent is a time to prepare to receive our King by looking at ways in which our lives are filled with darkness and considering ways to return to God’s loving presence.
  • Yellow, gold or white for Christmas marks the light which has entered the world.
  • Green during Epiphany reminds us as we meet Jesus in the gospels we are growing in Christ and hearing the call to spread God’s Word throughout the world.
  • Purple for Lent, as in Advent, is the color of repenting when we take stock of our lives and seek ways to return to God.
  • White for Easter is a color of celebration, when we know Christ has risen. The 50 days of Easter is a time of great joy.
  • Red for the Day of Pentecost reminds us God has given us the Holy Spirit. We are on fire ready to go out into the world to tell what we have seen.
  • The green for the Sundays after Pentecost is the longest season. Green reminds us it’s time to grow in Christ – to do the hard work of following Jesus.
  • White for Christ the King Sunday, which ends the Christian year (always the Sunday before the first Sunday of Advent) reminds us Jesus Christ is Lord, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

The Christian year is beginning again soon, on the First Sunday of Advent… December 3, 2017. Next Sunday!

Pastor’s Corner – Nov. 12
(A weekly word from the Pastor)

As we look at our prayer list, we see more and more needs arising in our community. Life this side of heaven is rough at times. There is a reason we are told God is with us – even in the “valley of the shadow of death” (Psalm 23). God is with us! God is with us in ALL times! However, sometimes it is difficult to find where God is. We get overwhelmed. We hurt and cannot see or feel Him. And God knew this about us! So He gave us the Body of Christ!!

This is where the “one another” scriptures come into play. We are inter-dependent (not co-dependent and not independent), linked together.

Remember in Acts 6 when the apostles addressed the church about them selecting 7 people to take care of the needs of the widows? The church was young. The apostles had been doing everything needed in the early church UNTIL they couldn’t anymore. The church had grown and it became impossible for them to care for the widows AND preach the word (Acts 6:1-4).

A similar division of duties took place in the time of Moses (Exodus 18:13-26). Jethro, Moses’ father in law, noticed Moses was doing all the judging of disputes for all the people “from morning to evening.” Moses said he had to because “the people come to me to seek God’s will.” Jethro warned this would wear Moses out and “the work was too heavy” to be handled alone. Moses “chose capable men from all of Israel and made them leaders of the people.”

   Then, there is Jesus who said we are to “love one another” (John 13:34-35), “wash one another’s feet” (John 13:14), and to “be at peace with one another” (Mark 9:50). Paul, the church planter, spoke a lot about the “one anothers”… caring for one another in all of his letters to the churches.
In other words, caring for one another is a large part of being the “Body of Christ,” the church. Our CARE MINISTRY is an amazing ministry. The men and women who serve in this ministry visit the hospitals, the sick, and the elderly. They write cards and make phone calls and deliver meals to those who need them while recovering from surgery, sickness, new babies or grief. We are always in need of more loving, caring people to serve in this ministry. Motu Johnson and Lee Petersen have led this team for the past 3 1/2 years. However, it is with a heavy heart they announced their seasons of life have changed and they need to step back from leading the team. If you are passionate about CARE MINISTRY, please let Pastor Cindi or Sue Kerbyson know. This team needs strong leadership to coordinate where the Care Ministers are needed most.

This winter we will be offering a formal training for those who do serve or want to serve in the CARE MINISTRY. Be looking for dates and times!

Pastor’s Corner – Nov. 5
(A weekly word from the Pastor)

WOW! What a week we have had! The Pasty sales were something else! All the people working together! All the coordination! Way to go Pasty team!!
Team work is so critically important to being the Body of Christ. We have seen a great example of that this past week.
John 17:21, “…that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so the world may believe you have sent me.” Jesus said in his high holy prayer before his arrest, beating, crucifixion, resurrection. This was JESUS’ PRAYER for us! WOW! When we do church as a team, we are answering Jesus’ prayer with a resounding, “YES!”
I love God has called us to be the Body of Christ on earth. I believe God knew if he didn’t make us interdependent we would default to being independent. There are some core biblical core values I believe we see lived out when we do life together biblically.
  1. We see every person is valuable to God and to his Kingdom. (Matthew 18:14; 25:45; 2 Peter 3:9)
  2. We see doing “church” as a team is God’s design for effective ministry. (Psalm 133:1; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; Ephesians 4:11-16; I Peter 2:4-9)
  3. We show how Jesus Christ impacts and transforms lives. (Acts 17:22-24; I Corinthians 9:22-23) By doing life together as a team who loves one another and respects one another, we show how powerful and simple, beautiful and harmonious life in Christ is.
  4. We live our lives submitted to one another in honest, sincere love and mutual accountability. (Proverbs 27:17; Mark 12:31; Acts 2: 42-47; I Timothy 4:7,8; I Peter 2:2)
  5. We see every member is a lay minister who has been given spiritual gifts-natural talents to be discovered, developed and deployed. (Mark 10:45; Romans 12:I Corinthians 12:14-20; Ephesians 2: 10)
  6.  We live out our belief God is worthy of our very best and strive for excellence in all our activities (not perfection, but excellence). (Psalm 78:72; Ecclesiastes 10:10; Daniel 5:12; Colossians 3:17)
  7. We show genuine love and caring relationships are the key to life in Christ. (Romans 16:17; I Corinthians 13:8; Ephesians 4:3; James 1:2-3; I Peter 5:8-9)
  8. We are living proof the most effective outreach is people inviting people (relational in nature – people care about what we know when they know how much we care about one another and them!). (Proverbs 11:30; John 1:43-45; 4:28-30)
  9. Together, we identify up and coming servant leaders and coordinators who are fully committed to Christ, and who are passionate about reaching others with the love of Jesus and inviting them into the body of Christ. (Psalm 78:6-7; I Timothy 3:1-2; 2 Timothy 3:1-2; Titus 1:5-9)

Together, we are the Body of Christ! We do life together and keep inviting others into the fellowship. “There is nothing like the local church when the local church is working right!” AMEN!