Welcome Back!!

Let the Real Church year begin!!

As a Pastor, I have always seen September as the beginning of the church year.  I know it is part of the general society when school begins, vacations end, summer is over that we all want to get back to the normal routine.  Church needs to be a regular part of your normal routine.  Going to church is not just about the church, it is about entering a time when we think about what is really important. 

With the kids in school, it doesn’t mean that life gets less hectic.  Don’t let that hectic push out what is important.  Sunday School is starting.  A series of Bible sermons that revolve around the family of God.  And your connections to God and others are needing to be fortified or the edges get more and more frayed. 
Make a concerted effort to be at church this Sunday and make it a regular part of your weekly routine. 

  • The Children’s Sunday School resumes
  • Spot the Dragon returns for his antics
  • Special Coffee Hour for fellowship following the Service
  • Pub Theology meets September 11 at Mavis Winkles
  • Genesis 2 on the Creation of the Family

And be kind to one another, tenderhearted,forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

Ephesians 4:32
Patience and compassion are the foundation of accepting one another within the church.  But so often we get caught up in the hyper-judgmentalism and caustic impatience of the society around us, and then we do not enact the tenderheartedness, forgiveness and kindness that must mark our relationships.  Really, without these qualities we have no relationship.
As a Welcoming Church, we begin with these most needed of Christian virtues.  We cannot dig up the dirt to accuse someone of an error in the past and not forgive them, or even treat them as human.  These basic virtues are for our daily living and interacting with all that is around us, and they must become stronger as the relationship is closer to us. 
What is your default mode in responding to others that do not conform to your expectations?  As a church that wants to boldly state the welcoming God gives to all God’s children, the welcome we extend depends on our default responses.  As they say, you only have one chance to make a first impression.  And unless our constant response to others is kindness, tenderness, and forgiving, we will fail in our mission.  Because any other response is a judgment that is often judgmental.  Isn’t judgmentalism the spirit that we want to overcome in our culture.
Pastor Greg

Foundation to a Welcoming Ministry

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. (1 John 4:7)

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. (1 John 4:11)

The Apostle John in the verses quoted above is laying for us a foundation for being a Welcoming Church. A love for one another that reflexively acts in a reflection of the love God has for each of us. This is not only the basis, but also the highest aspiration of a community of believers.
We live in a world that loves postering, postering that we have the “virtues” that puts us above those around us. Whether it is the 38 ribbons we are to display on our lapels that show our concern for the “cause du jour,” or the symbols on our social media accounts that announce our devotion to the herd. All this is called virtue signaling, and it is one of the most prevalent forms of hypocrisy trending in our culture.
The spiritual quest for us is how do we show genuine concern and love for others. John gives us the path; we respond to others the way God responded to us. It is God’s love that is the power and source of our love for others. God’s love is not a sentimental love. God’s love is an active love, a love that works whenever it is demonstrated.
“One Another” passages in the Epistles of the New Testament are a fascinating study. Each one is based on the love of God given to us in Christ but looks at relationships within the church and our lives from a variety of angles. Search through them and let me know which ones you find addressing something in your life.

Pastor Greg

Spirit of God Dwells in You

Romans 8:1-11

The existence outside of God is described as the law of sin and death.  This principle (as in the law of gravity) keeps us condemned in our actions and desires.  We cannot do the righteousness of the law of God because we are bound by the law of sin.  But Romans 8 now brings us to the place of “no condemnation” when we are in Christ Jesus.

In our text this Sunday, the Apostle rejoices in being in Christ, then he takes it further by telling us the Spirit of God is in us.  The Holy Spirit of God is giving us assurance that we are a child of God.  The Holy Spirit also delivers us from the power of the law of sin and death into the glorious liberty that is ours as a child of God. 

Romans 8:1 is the high point of the book of Romans and the rest of the book is telling us what it means to be in Christ and Christ in you.

Pastor Greg