Easter is a wonderful season for all Christians and Easter Sunday is the foundation of the Christian Faith. Easter is simply the day that God proved Jesus is the Son of God. It is also a time to rejoice because God’s power destroyed sin and death. Some people are not moved by the life and works of miracles in scripture so this final act called the Resurrection of Jesus Christ cemented Jesus’ claim that He is truly the Son of God.
Just as the Scriptures had prophesied, Jesus was put to death on the cross by crucifixion, He was buried in a tomb but He rose from the dead three days later. Now He is alive and lives forevermore. His death destroyed death for us. His life offers us life eternal. That is the Easter story in a nutshell. But Easter is not the end of the story, because it sets into motion a series of events. It is the beginning of New Life, New Hope, New Mercies and Abundant Grace to live each day for those who believe in Jesus Christ.
Making Lent a Time of Spiritual Renewal
Our Lenten journey begins next week with Ash Wednesday worship at 10:30 a.m. with the KDO children and families, and 7 p.m. in the Sanctuary. Through the singing of hymns, prayer, the studying of the Scriptures and fellowship, we hope to observe a Spirit-filled Lent.
We invite all to our Ash Wednesday services on March 5th, as we offer the imposition of ashes on ourselves as a sign of our humanity and mortality, and our need for repentance and God’s forgiveness.
During the forty days of Lent, we are reminded of the forty days of testing and trial that Christ went through as He fasted forty days and forty nights. We may not be able to fast like Jesus did but we can all give up something. We are giving everyone an opportunity to set aside a dollar each day to give to God during this time. This season of Lent is full of opportunities to draw nearer to God who is always closer than we can imagine.
Love Came Down at Christmas
It is that time of the year again. What are your plans for Christmas this year? As we draw closer to Christmas, shopping for family and friends becomes an anxious time for some of us. There are some of us who are very organized and get our shopping done ahead of time to avoid the rush. And we have others who wait till the last minute to get our shopping done.
I am terrible shopping around Christmas. I often go to the wrong stores and miss the sales and go round and round. My wife on the other hand knows where to go, gets her shopping done, and sleeps when I have to wake up early! Oh well, I think some people have a knack for doing some things very well.
This year our theme for stewardship is “Living a Generous Life.” To prepare ourselves for this year’s stewardship we are studying the book “Committed to Christ: Six steps to A Generous Life.” We have two Book Study groups who meet on Thursday evenings and Sunday evenings at 7pm. Some of the group discussions and experiences on these subjects have been very enlightening for me. I have learned a lot from participants about their journey of faith, prayer life, Bible study and life’s experiences in general. So, what does it mean to be committed to Christ?
As you all know, in many congregations, the month of October is very busy. We celebrate the laity, highlight the ministries of the church, and it is also a time when we are all called to stewardship. During this time of year, farmers are busy in their fields reaping the abundance of their harvest. We all know that God is the one that provides the rain, the sunshine, the soil, and allows all the efforts of the farmers to be rewarded by a bumper harvest so that all creation can be fed.
Jesus, in the gospel of Matthew, said that we do not have to worry or put undue pressure on ourselves, because if God is the one who clothes the lilies of the fields and feeds the birds of the air who neither sow nor reap, then God will take care of our needs as well. Jesus tries to reassure us that God has already provided all of our needs.
Living a Generous Life
Our attitudes about money, wealth and finances can be a little curious. Most times we often avoid the subject because we are conscious of how much or how little we make. But the most important thing is Faith in our God that is what gives us peace of mind. This is because if we come to think of it God is the one who showers his divine grace on us everywhere.
Week by week we all engage in great ministries here at Mt. Pocono by educating the children and youth through Sunday school and Vacation Bible Schools, by developing our faith, transforming lives, helping the poor through our food pantry, family promise and free Basketball programs.
A year ago by this time, I was writing my first article in the Newsletter, reflecting on the seasons and transitions in life. I am very grateful for Pastor Stan Menking’s help in preparing me to make the transition to Mt. Pocono. I also want to thank the members of the congregation who accepted us and helped us to get comfortable through the “Meet the new Pastor” meetings. Sarah and I had a wonderful time and started to form friendships and relationships which have remained strong till now. We were able to glean from many the history and trials the church had gone through over the years.
As I look back at my first year, I am still establishing relationships with the Mt. Pocono Church. Every new pastor faces simple challenges in getting to remember the names of the members, and this happened to me several times. I would call Linda Olsen “Lisa” and she would calmly smile at me and others would laugh at my expense without correcting me, till I figured out there was something wrong.
Take a look at photos from this year's mission: DESKS FOR GHANA 2013