I am still riding high from our Wednesday night simulcast with The Gathering. What a wonderful, prayerful experience. This is a new giant step for our church, I believe. Watch for big things to start happening! I don't mean any new programs or man-made ideas. With all my heart I believe God answers the prayers of His people when they pray according to His will and purpose. We did that for two hours Wednesday night, along with thousands of other churches.
We all found out together what a 2-hour prayer meeting looks and feels like! I loved watching you. Many of you stuck around and talked for another 30 to 40 minutes simply because you knew you were experiencing something really special and you didn't want to leave.
I had the privilege of joining other pastors and leaders for 3 hours on Wednesday afternoon. I took a few notes, which I put up simultaneously on my Twitter and Facebook feeds. Here are a few gems to remember:
- Do we spend more time in our church services on announcements about our agenda than we do in praying for God's agenda to be accomplished?
- This election we should all remember - God will not skip the Church House to fix the White House. (Let's make sure our own house is in order!)
- I can choose my actions or I can choose my consequences, but I can't choose both.
- While we are waiting for Jesus to show up, Jesus is waiting for His church to stand up!
KidsMin "Brave" Series. I love what Tamira is doing with this new "Brave" series - and it looks like our kiddos are loving it too. These pictures are from Tamira as she watched her students really get into the learning process! (Click on the photo to see a much larger version!)
Last Sunday the children learned about Peter and his bravery. As Tamira taught it - and all of us can benefit from her lesson - sometimes Jesus asks us to do things that are hard for us to do because He wants us to learn to trust Him. Wouldn't that be a great lesson to learn while you're young?
Many thanks go out to our KidsMin team this week of Tamira, Karen, Cindy, Rachel, Loni, Sara and Jen. We are so fortunate to have so many dedicated children's servants.
Children's Christmas Program and Potluck December 11th. Now I know what you're thinking - why even think about the Christmas program now? Isn't it too early? In a word, no. Here's why: (1) Getting the word out early helps everyone to schedule. And in fact, when we first sent out this notice 2 weeks ago, we heard back from several families that some children were not going to be available on Dec. 4th, when we originally scheduled this. (So please ignore my email from 2 weeks ago!) (2) Because we don't have all of our children on every Sunday, we need to make the most of our practice times when we do have the children here. So getting the scripts and songs to the children as early as possible is a great idea!
Prayer Buddies Started This Week. Tamira had a great idea to support each one of our students in prayer from as many of you as would volunteer to pray. This past week we sent out the contact information to each of you prayer buddies so that you can begin praying and supporting your kiddos. Let's be faithful and creative in our support for the next generation. Faithful - don't forget to pray for your prayer-Godchild often. Creative - let your prayer buddy know you are thinking and praying for them by sending cards and notes. Let's work hard to create a positive church experience for each of our youngsters.
This Sunday Morning. We continue our study through the Gospel of Luke, this week focusing our attention on Luke 11:14-28. We will learn that we each have a choice. We can choose to be on the side of Jesus. Or we can choose against him. There is no neutral, middle ground. This truth was given by Jesus himself in our passage. We will learn the implications of this choice for our lives and the spiritual battle we face every day no matter which choice we make. You can get a head start by opening your Bible app and clicking on "Events" or by clicking this link.
Brandi, Bessica, Stephenie and Makayla will lead our praise team. Nancy will keep us posted on the latest and greatest announcements. Roger and Judie will setup our communion and prepare our sanctuary this week. Trish is bringing the snacks. Brian will greet you at the door. Chris and Tamara will be running our tech booth. Thanks all for your help!
New Members Join October 2nd. We completed our membership class and I'm excited to report to you that most of those attending have committed to join our church family. Yay! That's so exciting and affirming. We will set aside a special time during our worship next Sunday. Plan to be there to congratulate all the new members!
Cookout and Bonfire - Friday, October 7th at 6pm. This has now become a favorite annual event at Jack and Sheri's home. They have a super nice place, complete with lots of land and a fishing lake. There will be a bonfire with wood piled high and flames shooting up even higher!
The photo above and left still cracks me up. This picture is from 2 years ago. Don Angel built a serious bonfire. You can see that we couldn't get real close to it right away. Ha!
You'll want to bring a roasting fork to roast hot dogs and marshmallows. (Can you say s'mores?) You'll also want to bring your own lawn chair. Email me if you need directions.
Chili Cookoff and Movie Night, Friday, Nov. 4th at 6pm. We are offering a new event on Friday, November 4th - a chili cookoff at the church. Put together your finest chili recipe and bring it. Everybody who comes can also judge their favorite chili. We'll also offer a few fun games for the entire family. Then we'll enjoy a double movie night with 2 different movies - one for the kiddos downstairs and another for the adults upstairs. Should be a lot of fun!
Financially Challenged September. We are so grateful for your financial support of our church. You will recall that we all celebrated 3 weeks ago when we finally had a positive cash flow month in August... of $3.54! God provides just what we need when we need it. I met with our church treasurer, Nancy, on Thursday. She let me know that the first 3 weeks of September, we have seen much lower giving than normal. We are praying for your generosity and for God's continued faithfulness as we enter our 4th and final Sunday in September and the last of the 3rd quarter. If you'd like to make a donation online, you can do so here. Thank you!
We do have a good time together - even in the tough moments. Let's keep praying for and encouraging all of our brothers and sisters. We especially want to remember Jen Repp, Jack Nichols, Mari Jensen and Wyatt Stanfield - all going through one health challenge or another. Hope to see each of you Sunday morning at 11am! Love you! Pastor Mark