Pastor Mark here with our weekly "What's up at CR?" newsletter. I hope this week has been a good one for you and that you are looking forward to an awesome weekend.
I am writing you from my patio, where the temperature this morning is a cool 60 degrees. I'm surrounded by beautiful flowers maintained by my equally beautiful wife, Mary Kay. The photo on the right is one of her Gerbera Great Smokey Mountains that has bloomed so beautifully this week.
Mary Kay and Jessica are visiting Celina again for a couple days, taking care of the transfer of many of Mary's mom's most precious posessions. Yet even while she is struggling with her own griefs, she called me this morning with the news of someone else struggling with great sadness. I am amazed by her compassion. This morning, pray for Mary Kay and also for her friend suffering from unspoken tragedy this day.
First Peter Sermon Series. We will begin a new study Sunday morning from the New Testament book of First Peter. I am quite excited by this study, one in which I have been actively involved for most of this summer. For the rest of July and August, we will consider the unique and incredible claims of Christianity from Peter. He was the disciple that Jesus called "the rock," whom he would build his church upon. We have Peter's conclusions of our faith written 3 decades after the resurrection of Christ.
For most of this past year, our sermon series have been topical in nature. We've examined what the Bible has to teach us about our relationships ("You Make Me Crazy"), our purpose ("What On Earth Am I Here For?"), our finances ("Financial Fitness"), parenting our children ("Raising Amazing Kids"), and life management ("Directions For Living"). I love topical sermons series and we will return to this way of teaching in the fall.
However, for the rest of this summer, I'd like to take you deeper into the Word of God. I propose to spend the next six weeks studying 1st Peter chapter 1 on a verse by verse basis. Instead of starting with a topic and asking what the Bible has to say about it, we'll start with the Bible and see what topics come our way. Here's an outline of where I see us going over the next six weeks:
July 27 th - “Elect Exiles” 1 Peter 1:1-2
Aug. 3rd - “Imperishable Inheritance” 1 Peter 1:3-5.
Aug. 10th - “Tested By Fire” 1 Peter 1:6-9.
Aug. 17th - “Holy Conduct” 1 Peter 1:13-19
Aug. 24th - “Foundational Christ” 1 Peter 1:10-12; 20-21.
Aug. 31st (Labor Day Weekend) - “Forever Word of God” 1 Peter 1:22-25.
I encourage you to bring your Bibles with you to church. You might also wish to bring a spiral bound notebook in order to take your own notes. This could be an exciting time of spiritual growth for you and for all of us at Church Requel.
Splash Park Tomorrow (Saturday) Morning. We love to have fun together at Church Requel too! Tomorrow morning at 10am, let's all meet in the church parking lot. This is not just for families with kiddos. This event is for everyone. Bring a sack lunch with you. We'll caravan up to Ashland Spash Park together. Once we are there, the children can go and have fun with all the water splash toys. Most of us adults will hang out together in a shaded picnic pavilion we have reserved for ourselves. We plan to return to the church by 1:00pm. Come hang out with your CR friends! I'll be there along with my daughter, Jennifer, and her three children. Want to enjoy a laugh again at Brandi's expense? Here's her funny video invitation!
Sunday Morning at Church Requel. I've already written you about the new sermon series, but there's lots of other great things going on Sunday morning at CR! Many of our folks have gotten together for a live praise and worship time. I listened to them practice Wednesday evening and was amazed. They just get better and better! Many thanks to Dan Logan playing drums and guitar, Ian Jensen playing bass guitar, Tamira Barnes playing keys, Jeff and Brianna Barnes singing, and Bryan Trubachik running our new soundboard.
Tamira also has a great teaching time planned for our children Sunday morning. The elementary kids were a little jealous of the marshmallow slingshots the preschoolers made last Sunday. So they are going to be learning about David and Goliath and how to slay the giants they face in their lives. Tamira tells me the kiddos will be doing a scavenge hunt, bravery bags (I have no idea what a bravery bag is - but I think I need one!) as well as marshmallow slingshots! They also will be making a video promo for the Minute To Win It Game Night on August 15th !!! Sounds like it's going to be a really fun jam-packed Sunday in KidsMin!!!
This week has been a challenging one for me personally. Some weeks are just like that. Plans don't always work out. Disappointments come our way. Sometimes tasks are harder than we expect. Yet despite the frustrations, I am convinced that God has called me to lead you, to teach you and to care for your spiritual growth. I've never had a job I love more than this one. Please continue to pray for my strength and guidance. Your pastor, Mark