Announcements included the reminder that beginning next week we will begin our summer schedule with worship beginning at 9:30 a.m.
Norm mentioned that the Modest Home Makeover Project has been moving forward. The burning of the house took place yesterday with coverage on the evening news. There will be a fund raiser May 20th. Contact Norm for more information.
VBS is coming quickly and there a few things where volunteers could help. See Brooke.
Darlene's introit, a medley of classic worship songs beautifully blended, began with Open My Eyes, Lord.
The five confirmands were Tyler Grages, Kassie Haedtke, Levi Landsverk, Brooke Ness and Janzyn Westgard. Jordan Smith also participated in the service.
All the confirmands contributed to the service in one way or another. Jordan and Tyler read today's Scripture readings from Deut. 6:1-9 and I Thess. 4:13-18. Then all were asked questions related to Luther's catechism in which the young people responded with answers. Kassie and Levi each shared their testimonies, personal and powerful.
Though much of the service was a commemoration of our five confirmands, Brad gave a heartfelt message to day as well.
Brad began with the passage in Mark 1:14 where John the Baptist has been jailed. At this point, Mark says, Jesus went into Galilee and began preaching the Good News, the gospel. John the Baptist had been proclaiming "the time has come, repent and believe the Good News of the kingdom" and now the Kingdom had arrived in the person of Jesus.
Brad was concerned that becoming a Christian has been reduced to a definition that portrays faith as a minimum entry requirement to heaven. Jesus' message was much more than that. The message of the Kingdom is a life changing, earth changing message. God's power and presence are available to us today, here now, not in some ethereal by and by.
Being a Christian is not about having the right answers to the questions, though at times it can appear that way. Real faith has to do with bringing the Kingdom of God into your sphere, your realm.
Brad elaborated on how we each have a sphere of influence, and a place we have reign over, whether it is a section of the back seat of the car (as children) or your garage. This is the place we are to bring Christ's rule and reign.
He noted that in a world quite lacking in good news, with much brokenness all around, the Good News of the Gospel is especially relevant and a strong basis for hope not only in this life but in the world to come.