Pastor’s Weekly Thoughts

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April 11, 2023

How was your Easter? Are you able to settle back into a routine after the holiday? Should you settle back into a routine? God presents us with opportunities to change daily; however, like me, many people usually miss those small openings. But if we break our patterns and start to build in time to pay attention to God, we may not miss as much. I am trying to implement time each day to just get away and enjoy something. Some have seen me leave the church in the middle of the day to go down to the park to fish. This is an excellent opportunity to listen to my heart and what is happening around me.

The Easter season goes on for another six weeks ending with Pentecost. This was when the disciples went through a drastic metamorphosis because of the intervention of the Holy Spirit. It worked because they were prepared and waiting for it. Are we prepared for the Holy Spirit to act in our lives? Most of us want to say yes, of course, but in reality, we are not, and this is why we miss God in small ways daily.

This week we start the Discipleship Program with a meeting on Thursday. This program will help people gain tools to go deeper in faith. We will work on tools and ideas to shift the church to a disciple-creating community. Some of the things we will discuss during this meeting and subsequent ones are as follows: prayer, small faith groups, leadership, bible studies, faith education (adult and children), hospitality, worship (styles and needs), service, missional engagement, community outreach, social justice, and other issues that impact our faith.

April 4, 2023

Easter is here. It seems like we just finished with the Christmas Season. Now we look at Easter and spring as a season of new birth. What can we do to reinvent ourselves or improve aspects of our lives? This is when we should think about building new habits into our spiritual lives and maybe letting go of practices that are not serving God or us.

Our initial discipleship program meeting will be in the spirit of new creation next  Thursday. It will be a time for those attending to look at their lives and the life of the church and ask what we can do better. What things are getting in the way of serving God? We also ask the question of how that all plays into being a disciple of Christ.

As disciples, we are called to create opportunities for Christ to work in other people’s lives. How do we do that in a society that all too often does not want to hear about faith or religion? Sometimes it requires a bold move well outside our comfort zone and others’ comfort zones. Remember during this Easter season that God loves all of us and calls us by name to serve. Because God loves all, we should also extend the same love to all people.

March 29, 2023

Holy Week is one of the most interesting in our church calendar, ending with Easter, the most important day of the Christian Church. We start out on Palm Sunday as a celebration. Jesus entered Jerusalem triumphantly, being praised as the king. We often forget this point because most churches have started reading the passion of Christ, which is very sad. As we move to Holy Thursday, Jesus is excited and happy to have one last meal with his disciples; however, tension has been building politically. Then by Friday afternoon, Jesus has been crucified and died. In the span of a week, we go from celebration to mourning.

Then Easter comes, and we celebrate the resurrection. How often do our lives mirror Holy week? One minute, things are great, and then tragedy can hit us in the blink of an eye. We endure that heartbreak as Christians by leaning on our faith community and Jesus Christ. As God and the people in our lives walk with us, we see the light and happiness at the end of the tunnel. This happens repeatably in our fragile human existence.

When people ask why the church is so important, this is one of the answers. The church is not a building or specific time to meet and worship, but it is people. Along with Jesus Christ, those people in the community, sharing their faith, can be our support during dark times if we let them. We look at Holy Week and say Jesus came out on the other side and redeemed all humanity. With God and community at my side, I can get through the darkness and come out on the other side deeper in faith, embraced in the love and light of Christ.

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