Pastor Lee's blog

Be Still & Know

Psalm 46:10a

As I continue to mature as a Christian, the more I am convinced that the pursuit of the spiritual / devotional life will only be successful if quiet and stillness is part of it. The beginning of this week hit me full on with many wonderful and important interactions and unplanned happenings. This is one part of being a pastor I really love - the unpredictability of it. Yet, at the same time it is so easy for me to let the pace and volume of life overwhelm the quieter life of the Spirit. This happened to me this week. Does it ever happen to you?

Lay Pastoral Ministry Update

One year ago, we began our Lay Pastoral Ministry with the commissioning of six lay pastors. Since then, our lay pastors have been ministering to a number of homebound and chronically ill members of our church. The purpose of Lay Pastoral Ministry is to reach out to members and families of the congregation and to offer friendship, caring, prayer and spiritual comfort.

As we seek to expand our lay ministry and serve more people, we are looking for those in our congregation who may have gifts for caring ministry who would like to use those gifts to glorify God and edify the church.

Updates on Staff Changes

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ!

As you may know, in the spring, we had three people leave our staff for various reasons. Over the last few months, we have been working hard to fill these positions. I wanted to let you know where we are in the process.

Your Life Story

What will be your life’s story?

This is a question that was raised for me after reading Donald Miller’ s A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life. In this book, two film makers come to Miller wanting to make a movie based on his previous autobiographical books. As Miller reflects on his life, he realizes that he is living a forgettable story and decides to change his life into something that will be memorable.

Turning Off Technology

I have to admin I really love computers. I was an early adopter. I remember being very excited when my mom - the computer teacher - brought home a Commodore PET computer with 8 K of ram. We really were something the day we upgraded to 32 K!

When my college roommate arrived in the fall of my sophomore year of college with a IBM computer that ran on the fast 286 processor, I was overjoyed. After I graduated college, I began taking parts from different non-working computers and putting them together in one that worked.

Dominican Republic Mission Trip 2011

Now is the time of year that we begin making plans for the adult trip to the Dominican Republic. Our trip this year will be: October 22-29, 2011. This will be our 6th adult trip and our 8th overall since we began our relationship with Mission Emanuel. Over 25 adults and more than 40 youth have participated in these trips. Anyone who has gone will tell you that this is a life-changing and life-affirming trip.

Thanks to Those Who Have Served as Leaders in our Church

On Sunday, June 26, 2011, we participated in the ordination and installation of our new set of officers. I am always humbled and inspired to have a hand in helping set apart people into ordained ministry. It is so meaningful to see God at work in our church and in the lives of the people who hear and respond to God’s call.

Changes in the PCUSA

Two weeks ago there was some big news coming out of the PCUSA concerning changes in ordination standards for our church. This newsletter is the first chance for me to explain what the change is and how it will affect the local church.

Player - Coach

“And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Mt 28:20).

At the end of Matthew, Jesus is about to ascend into heaven and has just given a very significant instruction to the disciples: “Go make disciples of all nations.” Quite an undertaking, if you ask me. However, Jesus did not expect them to do it alone. He promised to be with them and with all who would follow him in the future.

I don’t know how many times over the years that I have read these words of Jesus: “I am with you always.” I have always accepted this promise in my head, and I truly believe that any thing I am asked to do for the kingdom is from Jesus who is with me. Yet, while I believe any ministry task I have undertaken has been given to me by the Lord, I have often approached the task as if I am the player on the field and Jesus is the coach on the sidelines. Jesus has called the play in, but I am the one who has to run it.

Recently, as I have reflected on this specific promise from Jesus, I have begun to realize that Jesus is not just the coach sending in the plays; he is also on the field running the plays with me. When I approach the difficult tasks that life and ministry bring my way, I have started reminding myself that Jesus is with me in it. He is not on the sideline shouting encouragement, he is with me in the thick of the action giving me the strength and courage I need. I am never alone in anything, for Jesus is with me the end of the age.

Next time you face something that seems difficult or overwhelming, remind yourself that Jesus is with you in it. He is not on the sidelines cheering for you; he is standing right beside you giving you courage, encouragement, and strength. Such knowledge will help sustain you and keep you moving forward.

Grace and peace to you.
Your friend and pastor,
Pastor Lee

God is For Us and With Us

“What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?” - Romans 8:31

Indeed, if God is for us, who can be against us? This is a wonderful promise of scripture that reminds us that no matter what circumstance we find ourselves in, we can be assured that it is no match for the power of God. God is for us, and God is with us.

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