Pastor Lee's blog

Digging into One's History

“Remember the days of old, consider the years long past; ask your father, and he will inform you; your elders, and they will tell you.” (Dt 32:7).

I am just one month away from beginning my sabbatical break, and I wanted to remind you about the theme and how I hope that you can be involved.

Ministry Team Draft Day!

On Sunday, we took another step toward our restructuring by electing nine of our current deacons to become elders in the 2014 and 2015 classes for our Session. As you may know we are combining the Board of Deacons and the Session and are reducing our elected leadership from 30 to 18. Now if we were to expect 18 people to do the same work that 30 did, then our restructuring would not be very successful. However, this is where you come in!

Are You Missing Something?

In this extremely busy world, we Christians often experience Holy Week in a skewed way. We are at church on Palm Sunday when we remember the joy of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, and we get a taste of what heaven might look like. We are there the following week when Easter Sunday dawns with the brightness of the rising Son. However, fewer of us are present for Maundy Thursday or Good Friday. It could be our schedules, but I wonder if it is something more?

Youth Lead Worship

Well, if you had any questions about the effectiveness of our youth and educational ministries, Sunday’s youth service answered them. I was very impressed and moved by the worship service planned and led by the youth. Each participant did very well. The music was beautiful, the prayers were well crafted, and the messages were meaningful and well delivered. It was a privilege to see the faith of our youth growing and maturing before our eyes.

Fasting or Feasting?

The season of Lent often includes the devotional practice of “fasting” or abstaining from something as a way of drawing oneself closer to God. You will often hear about someone “giving up something for Lent.” This year I am giving up soft drinks. Every time I want a Dr. Pepper, I remind myself that I need to desire God as much as that soda!

I have a friend who doesn’t abstain from anything, but rather adds something to celebrate Lent. For example, one year she began collecting food for the local food pantry. At the end of Lent, she had 40 food items to give to the hungry.

Facing Lent

“When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.” - Lk 9:51.

Near the end of his earthly ministry, Jesus “set his face” toward Jerusalem to experience the pain of the cross on our behalf. From that point on, he did not allow anything to distract him from his mission to go to the cross.

Dancing Out of Your Comfort Zone!

It may be a cliche, but it is important to step outside of one’s comfort zone. As many of you know, on Sunday afternoon, I didn’t just step outside of my comfort zone, I ran....I danced....far away from that zone!

Restructuring #3

On Sunday, January 27th following our 11 a.m. worship service, we will hold our annual congregational meeting. At this meeting, we will vote on the Session recommendation to restructure our leadership. As I mentioned in a previous newsletter article, we will be streamlining our elected leadership by combining the Diaconate and Session into one body and reducing the numbers of elected leaders from 30 to 18. We will change the terms of service from three years to two years.

We will also be structuring our ministry around three large emphases:

Leadership Restructuring 2

About a month ago, I explained the Session recommended plan to do a major restructuring of our leadership. This time, I want to explain how we need your help to make our ministry happen.

What We Can Learn from Mary...

When Christmas time rolls around, I begin thinking about all of the people who where involved in the miraculous event in Bethlehem. Of all of them, it is Mary who most impresses me . Here was a teenage girl who accepted the most unbelievable news and stood strong in the face of cultural condemnation. She is inspirational. Now as long as we are careful not to put Mary on the same level as Jesus or on a higher level than any other faithful follower, she can be a model of Christian discipleship for us today. In fact, the early church considered her to be one. So what are some of her characteristics that make her a good model and which we would do well to imitate?

First off, she was very thoughtful. She pondered the words of the Angel; she pondered and treasured all that happened on the night Jesus was born, including the words of the shepherds; she thought about and treasured what Jesus said when he stayed behind in Jerusalem when he was twelve. Mary reflected on what God was doing in her life and in the life of her son.

We would do well to develop a life of discipleship that is characterized by deep thinking on the issues of faith and action and the presence of Christ in our lives. Too often we rush through life leaving little time for quiet contemplation on the things of faith. This fact is one reason why I believe the discipline of keeping Sabbath is helpful. It creates unhurried space in which we can ponder and treasure the things of God.

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