Mary Kay and I are so happy to be back with you all - our church family. Our first day back, Wednesday, was spent with most of you during Jordan's funeral. Our hearts continue to go out to Don and Stephanie and their entire family. What a tragedy. So sad. And yet, what a remarkable church you proved yourselves to be! Thank you all so much for showing such tremendous love. We were so impressed with the way you all came out and provided hugs, shoulders to cry upon, and so much food - enough for every funeral guest.
I couldn't help but think of my brother Todd's message to you the Sunday before - demonstrating love to one another and to the community around us. What a timely sermon! But also what proof that you are the real deal! So many people that day told me how thankful they all were for your love in action. So from my heart to yours - Thanks! Keep it up!
So Many Opportunities! I just left a record-setting staff meeting. I met for three hours this morning with Brandi and Tamira. There are so many opportunities coming up for our church. Our staff is so excited - we left this morning so encouraged! Let me share a few of the things we are looking forward to enjoying together.
This Sunday Morning: Headlights For My Life. We continue our Luke teaching series this week, focusing on just four verses, Luke 11:33-36. How powerful are these words from Christ! Just like a car needs headlights to see - and to be seen! - at night, so too do we have a responsibility to turn on the light of Jesus while living in this dark world. I pray you will be encouraged by this teaching.
Cindy, Jan, Ron and Bessica will lead our worship. Nancy will share announcements. Jan will lead our communion. Ron will lead our prayer time.
Children Continue Their Preparations. For 3 weeks now we've been reminding parents to bring their children as often as they can - every Sunday morning. They are preparing for our Christmas program on December 11th. Also our KidsMin kiddos (K - 4th grade) are preparing to lead worship on November 6th. Both of these Sunday morning events were the reason your staff spent so much time in preparation in this morning's meeting. Parents - thank you so much for your support. We think you'll love watching your children in worship on both days. We have been hearing reports of how some of our youngest children are learning to pray and actually practicing what they've learned when they get home. That's the goal!
Chili Cookoff and Movie Night, Friday, Nov. 4th at 6pm. We are offering a new event on Friday, November 4th - a chili cookout and movie night 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.
Here are the movies. The adults upstairs will watch Luther, starring Joseph Fiennes in the lead role. This 2003 movie has had a profound impact upon my life ministry and I'm really excited to share it with you. Since we worship in a church that was founded originally as a Lutheran church, doesn't it make sense we should know some history about what "Lutheran" means?
Meanwhile, the children downstairs will watch Zootopia, another great flick with a ton of positive influences for our youngsters. We'll also make some popcorn for the big kids and small kids alike. Should be a lot of fun!
Neighborhood Meal - Saturday, November 12th. Our turn to provide a free, heal meal to our neighbors is coming up on November 12th. Thank you Sheri for leading our ministry team so well. Volunteers should show up by 4pm. We begin serving meals at 5pm. We usually have everything cleaned up and are going home by 6:30. Bring desserts to share if you can.
Children's Christmas Program and Potluck - December 11th. I know I already mentioned this earlier in the letter, but so many great things will be happening on this day. Almost all of our children will be involved in one way or another. Lots of singing. Lots of special lines. I also understand they will be making a special movie for that day. We even have children using their art skills to help tell the story of Jesus' birth in a creative way. You definitely want to be at church on the second Sunday in December.
We will also celebrate with a special holiday meal downstairs after the children's program. One thing I know about Church Requel - you surely do love your potluck meals! What a great day this promises to be!
Finally I want to say "thank-you" to my brother Todd for preaching for me while I was gone. I watched as best as I could from our condo. Admittedly the first Sunday was kind of touch, with a hurricane going by and not having any power... but eventually I was able to watch. Both Sundays it looked to me like the church did well in our absence. My guess is that you could watch Todd's talks several times before you were able to catch all the good things he shared with us. I'm working hard to get those sermons up on the website for you.
Love you all much! Pastor Mark