Did you know that most people would come to church if invited by a friend? Yet most people never invite any friends to church. We can change that and here is how.
Look around where you live. Tell your friends about the July 15 Chicken Barbecue and invite them to come. Then invite them to church on Sunday, July 16.
Pray for those you want to invite ahead of time. People may not respond immediately but the seeds will be sown. So, let us put our faith into action and invite a friend to church on July 16th.
On the menu this week:
Children under 10: $4.00
This is our breakfast before we make our annual donation to the church, so please join us and make it a huge success.
We had a wonderful VBS Week, learning on the first day that God made us, the second day that God will always love us, and the third day, that God made us for a reason. For the past three days, we had 45 children and 40 volunteers helping all the children to learn about God.
We want to take this opportunity to thank Lynn Lansdowne and all the volunteers, and all those who prayed and donated, to make this a successful event. Plans are already underway to make it bigger and better next year.
This Sunday (June 25, 2017) at the 9:30 service the children will participate in the service as they sing some of the wonderful songs they learned during the week. Parents and grandparents are encouraged to bring their children to participate in the service.
Spring is in the air! We hear birds chirping, the air is fresh and crisp, and the flowers are blooming. Spring is in the air, inviting us to the new life that God offers. For those of us who stayed indoors throughout the winter, we are being beckoned to step out into the new season.
For us Christians, new life is very noticeable during Easter. We celebrate the Risen Christ, who burst forth with new life 2,000 years ago. The season of Easter is God’s invitation to trust in the new life God offers. This is what the Bible calls “eternal life.” It begins here and now but it is also a future where we live in the presence of God forever. Spring is God’s transforming power allowing new life to burst forth from the ground when daffodils bloom and all the other flowers like the lilies, tulips and hyacinths blossom. It is the new life God offers through Jesus Christ. It is the belief that all things can be made new in the springtime.
By the time you read this, Lent will be almost over, and Palm Sunday, Holy Week, and Easter will be on the horizon.
For every Christian, the Resurrection is the most important miracle in our faith. Paul says without the Resurrection, Christians have no hope and they are to be pitied.
So, what difference does the Resurrection make? Well, the Resurrection gives us the hope for a future with God. The Resurrection is the one assurance that our sins are forgiven and that Jesus paid the price for our sins on the cross, and He was raised up from the dead. The Resurrection assures us that God will be with us in this life and the one to come. This is the promise of Easter.
However, we cannot go to Easter without Holy Week. The victory of Easter starts from Holy Week when Jesus went through the agony of pain and suffering and death to bring us this hope.
The Season of Lent is upon us again. Lent is the season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday. It is a time during which we remember when Jesus fasted for forty days and forty nights in the wilderness. Lent is a time of repentance, fasting, and preparation for Easter.
It is also a time of self-reflection and spiritual examination. During the Season of Lent Christians are called upon to give up something for Lent. It is a way for all of us to learn to live without some of the comforts of life as we draw closer to God. So, many Christians fast during Lent. Fasting is a spiritual practice of giving up food or any other basic necessities like money to support good causes.
Here in our church we use our Lenten Folders, which allow us to save up some funds during Lent to help the church continue its ministry to the poor and needy in our society. It helps us to see how blessed we are and allow God to bless other people through our kind and generous acts.
Nowadays we not only give up something for Lent but we take something up for Lent. This is a reminder for us to go back and engage in the spiritual disciplines that have fallen by the wayside. We are encouraged to take up spiritual disciplines such as daily prayer and devotion, Bible reading and a genuine activity such as volunteering in the church or community. It is also a time for those who are not active in the church to return to weekly worship and fellowship.
We Need Love - 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
One of the famous scripture passages in the Bible is 1 Corinthians 13. It is what we call “The Love Passage.” When I get the opportunity to do weddings even those who are not believers often have an idea about this passage, and they request it for their reading. Since it is very popular I made sure I have a sermon crafted just in case I have to give one. Here is how the scripture passage goes:
“Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, and it does not boast, it is not proud, it is not self- seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrong. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves, love never fails.” It ends by saying, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
Some pastors have recommended an exercise for all of us to do. Instead of “love,” put in your name. For example, “Kofi is patient, he does not boast, he is not proud. He is not rude, he is not selfseeking, he is not easily angered, and he keeps no record of wrongs. Kofi does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. He always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always and preserves. Kofi never fails.” Most of us cannot get past the first statement. When I did the exercise I realized I have to work hard to live up to the life of love as the scripture suggests.
The Bible says God is love and Jesus Christ is the epitome of Love. He demonstrated his love in every turn and event in his life.