With Pastor Brad not yet returned from his conference, Chuck Vanderscheuren led our service today, welcoming us warmly.
There were a host of announcements. Here are the main ones.
1. Darlene is starting an adult choir which is open to anyone with a heart sing. Practices will be held noon to one on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month.
2. There will also be a children's choir, with practices on Wednesday evening the 1st and 3rd week of each month.
3. Adventure Club is beginning on Wednesday October 7, a weekly program for children preschool to 6th grade. Volunteers always welcome. Contact Brooke for more information.
4. There will be an Old Fashioned Hymn Sing at the Newmans next Sunday at 4:00 p.m. It will also be a potluck meal, with meat provided.
5. Paula noted the Annual Women's Luncheon on Saturday, October 10. A very powerful speak will be sharing.
6. The deacons toured Caribou Lake School this past week to determine its viability as a potential new building to grow into. This was a very preliminary review and there are many variables. Please pray for wisdom for the church leadership.
Chuck then opened the service with the traditional, "The Lord be with you." To which the congregation replied, "And also with you."
The worship team consisted of Ken, Darlene and Chuck, who opened by reading Psalm 105. Then they jumped right in to a rousing version of Your First Day In Heaven, followed by a very powerful Midnight Cry. After a set of worship choruses, Gwen read to us from I Corinthians 12:12-27, the famous passage about the interconnectedness of the body of Christ.
Prayer needs and praises were shared. Then Walt Cresman came forward to share the message.
Walt brought to church individual bags of Legos for every person in the congregation which were distributed just as he began his message. His aim was to use these Lego sets to share a number of insights pertaining to church life, family life and our purpose in life.
He first drew attention to the fact that all the pieces were different. So it is in the body of Christ and our church family, that we are all different. God forms each of us in different ways and for different purposes.
If you have ever had Legos, you will notice how the one thing they all share is the ability to connect to other Legos. These connecting points enable us to build relationships in various ways. One other thing Walt noted at this time is that the individual pieces may be a variety of colors, but color is not a variable that has any impact on our ability to connect.
He then shared this passage from Ephesians 4:1-6
1As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Walt asked, "What does God intend our church to look like?"
Walt said he purchased nearly every Lego set in town in order for us to experience this set of object lessons today. Only one had a steeple, but that is O.K. After showing us how the steeple piece prevents additional connections on the top, he suggested that the best form for a church would be flat, wide and broad. This would allow the maximum number of open connectors for bringing people in to the church family.
Walt also showed how families are an important part of the church. The broad connectivity strengthens a community of believers.
The passage from Luke 10:25 and following was referenced, the wonderful story of the Good Samaritan. Walt noted that acts of kindness make an impact on people. This is one of the ways we make connections.
Walt also asked us to consider how Legos can show a marriage relationship. What does marriage look like?
He showed one example, of two single piece Legos, in which they are connected, but one is on top of the other. A second example was a single Lego with two connectors. The side by side relationship was good, but then he showed us a three piece Lego and cited the role of the Holy Spirit in our marriages. A three-fold cord is not easily broken.
At this point Walt went a bit sideways to make an important point. He spoke about expectations, how our disappointments are in proportion to the disparity between unmet expectations and reality. It is very true that the variance between our expectation and reality can cause us hurt.
He noted then that we're all wired differently, and for this reason we all, like the Lego blocks, have varying numbers of connectors. This was a setup for a profound observation. Like the Lego blocks our pastor and his wife also have a finite capacity for deep connections. Our expectation is often that because our pastor and family is so wonderful we all want to be in a tight connection there. However, the truth is, only God has unlimited, infinite connectors. God can connect to all of us in a manner which is deep and significant.
This was a profound observation, and your faithful blog scribe was impressed by it. America's pastors have one of the toughest jobs in the world. We can play a significant role in providing encouragement and praying for him as he strives to bring us God's truths.
It was a good service, and I believe there were many good messages for all.