Sunday, April 2, 2017

Take A Deep Breath

The sun has come forward to greet us as the congregation filters into the sanctuary. Chuck welcomed us today and invited Paula to come forward to remind us of events surrounding Easter breakfast. There will be an Easter Egg Hunt as well.

Tuesday there will be a number of our members going to Chris Jensen to sing to residents there, 2 p.m.
June 12-15 will be VBS this year, 9:30 to noon. Volunteers welcome.

Chuck read from the Psalms to lead us into worship. "Create in me a new heart," David wrote. "Restore to me the joy of my salvation."

Chuck and Darlene then sang "Create in me a clean heart... Cast me not away from Thy Presence, O Lord... and renew a right spirit in me." Our congregational song selection came from the blue humnals this morning. Paula then called the ushers forward to take the offering before our time of sharing pur prayer needs and praises.

Take A Deep Breath

Pastor Terry White took the podium and greeted us warmly.

Our message today will be based on II Timothy 3.

Terry began by noting our embedded beliefs, which are beliefs that are so embedded we are not even aware of them. There are many things in life where we have been taught things a certain way and they seem to be "the right way" as if other ways of doing things are "wrong." He shared, to illustrate, the process of having people help him do drywall work at his home yesterday.

Embedded beliefs are sometimes useful, but sometimes toxic. Changing wrong beliefs or lifestyle patterns is not easy.

Verses 10-17 became his springboard:
10 You, however, know all about my teaching,y my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 11 persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconiuma and Lystra, the persecutions I endured.c Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. 12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse,g deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Sometimes the greatest lessons we learn are not learned in the classroom. They come to us during the course of life. This is especially true when it comes to matters of faith.

"Everyone who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted."

One of the enbedded mistaken ideas in the world today is that popularity is the measure of success. Bigger is not necessarily better. Small churches are not failed churches. Mega-church does not mean better or good.

Similarly, when things are hard does that mean something is wrong? Sometimes the correct path is the harder path. In fact, Jesus spoke clearly about the narrow way that few find. Here Paul states straight up that being a follower of Christ will result in persecution.

Paul encourages Timothy to remember the lessons he has received from the Scriptures which he has studied from his youth. All Scripture is God-breathed, and necessary to help us better correct our incorrect embedded beliefs.

What are the embedded beliefs that you hold that God would have you let go of? As you read the Scriptures this week look for those messages that may dislodge or correct our incorrect and imperfect understanding of God's message for us.

In closing Terry asked us to pray for God to illumine us in a new area of our understanding this week.

At this, we celebrated the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Take A Deep Breath

On a morning damp and grey we have gathered again to worship Christ at New Life Covenant, a body of believers where hope springs forth. Pastor Terry White welcomed us, then gave a heads up regarding upcoming events,

Announcements
Wednesday April 12 after supper, youth and adults will stuff Easter eggs.
Palm Sunday is April 9 this year with children waving palm branches.
There will be a special Good Friday service on April 14.
Easter morning will include a breakfast and egg hunt in addition to our celebration.
A church rummage sale will take place May 12-13.
VBS will be June.12-15..

Today's service would revolve around Summer Camp so during our worship we were encouraged to go through summer camp actions during the singing.

The ushers were invited to take an offering as the worship team sang My Lighthouse. "You are the peace in my troubled sea."

Before entering into a time of prayer Cheryl Borndal had everyone who has been to camp stand and then we had a commercial for Covenant Park. Costs have gone up this year but our church has always generously helped those for whom camp is a hardship cost-wise. We were encouraged to give again.

A number of prayer needs were shared and we spent a time in prayer.

Take A Deep Breath

Terry began with a camp report. After a video overview about the camp, Cayla, who has been hired to be Camp Director, shared what is happening there now. Covenant Park has been undergoing a re-evaluation as it lays foundations for the future.

"We're super excited for campers to experience relationships that can be life changing."

Each summer the camp also hires 15 college-aged students to fill in at various roles to keep camp going.

The reason costs have gone up is because the price used to be inadequate to cover its costs.  Also we want to be good stewards of that which we have been given.

The aim of camp is to help people meet Jesus.

One way to partner with camp is to sponsor a child or several to attend camp this summer. Another was is to pray with us and for us. You can also volunteer in other ways.

And thank you for your support. Campers are growing spiritually in a lot of different ways. You play a part in that. Thank you.

* * *
There are also other special events including a women's retreat with more than 100 women last year.

Many churches share this camp and it's an opportunity to meet others in the bigger body of believers.

* * *

Today we received a number of new members into the church family. They were:
Gus & Courtney Brewer
Paula Tuominen
Dan & Melissa Ringger
John & Mary Gerszewski
Emily White
Jan Frederick
Pastor Terry & Leah White

After reading the reception litany Pastor Terry shared several Scripture passages including the following:

John 13: "I give you a new command, that you love one another..."

Romans 15:5, 6
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The together we recited the Apostles Creed.
Amen.