Good Friday morning Church Requel!
I hope this week's newsletter finds you all doing well. I love the way you all have been loving on and praying for each other over the course of this past week. We can all feel the closer connections that we are making with one another. Over and over I hear how much your prayers are meaning in the lives of family and friends. Keep it up!
KidsMin Everest - It's been awhile since we have featured our KidsMin ministry in this weekly journal. I'm pleased to write to you today that Everest is coming this Sunday! At Everest, kids discover what it means to hold on to God’s mighty power in everyday life.
Our children will participate in memorable Bible-learning activities, sing catchy songs, play teamwork-building games, make and dig into yummy treats, experience one-of-a-kind Bible adventures, collect Bible Memory Buddies to remind them of God’s love, and test out Sciency-Fun Gizmos they’ll take home and play with all winter long. Plus, kids will learn to look for evidence of God all around them through something called God Sightings.
Tamira Barnes has been researching and planning for this new KidsMin curriculum since the end of last year. I know she is excited about this for our children, their parents, as well as all our children's ministry team. I love the motto - "Conquering Challenges with God's Mighty Power." Seem like something that could benefit all of us! If you have a child in your life, make sure they make it to church as often as possible over the next couple of months!
Last Week To Collect Water For Flint. Speaking of mountains, did you know we are growing our own "mountain of water" at Church Requel? It seems like every day the mountain grows! This is what it looked like this morning.
In case you're wondering what this mountain of water is all about, we are collecting bottled water for the families of Flint, Michigan, whose water is contaminated with lead. This initiative is the brain child of Ed Walker and his employer, Dayton Freight Lines.
Ed tells me he is overwhelmed with your generosity. When he mentioned this to us a week ago, he honestly thought that a few people would bring a few gallons of water. Now he is revising his plans for collecting the water. Before we were going to take the collected water to the distributing hub. Now Dayton Freight will be sending an 18-wheeler to the church on Monday morning to load all the water. Don't you love it!?
You can help out this week in two ways. First, please bring more water with you Sunday morning. When you come in to church, go right up front and stack you water on the platform with all the rest. Build that mountain! Let's all be blessed through the entire worship experience with how the Spirit of God has moved and motivated His people. Second, if you have availability on Monday morning, please come help us load the water onto the truck. I'd love to see a human water chain from the church sanctuary out to the truck. What a visual! And what quick work many hands will make! We'll set a Monday morning time when we meet on Sunday at church.
How Does It Get Any Better? One of the things a pastor must struggle with is the fact that every week we prepare for a brand new worship experience. This struggle is especially real in the aftermath of a wonderful experience like last week. I'm still feeling just like our kiddos on the right, enthusiastic and thrilled with how so many of our young people were involved.
And it's not just the children that sang the music, or acted out the drama, or ran our tech, or gave our announcements - though all that was amazing. What touches my heart even more is the response of our children's hearts sitting in the pew.
At the very moment while I was writing this section to you today, I received this photo (below) from Karen Jacob. She told me that her 9-year-old grandson, Sawyer was worshiping with her last Sunday. Karen says that Sawyer doesn't have the opportunity to go to church all that often.
So Karen was especially thrilled when she saw his notes from last Sunday's sermon. With her permission I reproduce them for you here (you can click on the image to see a larger version):
Karen wrote me that she thought it is amazing for someone with so little knowledge of the Bible to have such insight. She especially loves the crosses flying up from the paralyzed man's body. How cool is that? In case you ever wonder if our children have a great benefit from worshiping with Mom and Dad or Grandma and Grandpa, remember this picture of Sawyer's sermon notes!
This week's worship plans... So back to the pastor's dilemma - how do we follow up such a great experience? We make our plans and then we rely on God's Holy Spirit to bring the experience of His Presence. For that is really what this weekly engagement is all about!
We'll continue our study of Luke, this time with the study of when Levi first became a Christ-follower (found in Luke 5:27-39.) What gets you into party mode? A birthday? An anniversary? A promotion or pay raise? Your favorite team winning the big game? How about this - you are a sinner… saved by grace! Sunday we consider three responses when the tax collector, Levi, became a Christian. Along the way we will discover if we also have good reason to celebrate.
Leading our celebration Sunday will be Brandi Walker. She reminds me that this is one of the few Sunday worships that actually fall on Valentine's Day! So she has brought a funny video from Jeff Foxworthy entitled, "Romance Tips." She will then lead us into worship with 3 songs, "You Are My King (Amazing Love)," "Spirit of the Living God," and "You Are Good." Brandi will also be closing our worship experience on Sunday with a special song. I can't wait!
Keep these dates in mind too...
Women's Bible Study - each Wednesday evening at the Pierce home from 6:30 to 8:30. They are studying about prayer, otherwise known as The War Room!
Minute To Win It Game Night - Saturday night, March 5th from 6pm to 9pm. Food! Fellowship! Fun! Watch for more details to follow.
Neighborhood Meal - Saturday night, March 12th. Help us feed our neighbors. Volunteers show up at 4pm. We start feeding folks at 5pm.
Ok folks... when my word meter goes over eleven hundred words, I know I should have stopped about 500 words ago! Ha! So much good is happening at our church. I'm so glad God has allowed me to be part of this adventure with you! Love you all much! - Pastor Mark