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Letter to Faith Church – March 2014

Letter to Faith Church – March 2014

It was disappointing that we had to cancel services this past Sunday. Hopefully, everyone stayed safe and warm. The message that I prepared for Sunday worship is available here, and we plan to have DVD copies available on Sunday.

Since we didn’t gather this past Sunday, I wanted to especially remind you of some important events that are taking place this upcoming Sunday:

 

Spring Forward

This Saturday evening is the annual day that we move our clocks ahead one hour.

I want to encourage you to plan to set your clock forward Saturday night and get plenty of rest for our Bible Study & Worship on Sunday.

 

Men’s & Women’s Bible Studies

This Sunday, a 6 week Bible Study will kick-off for men and women. The women’s group will be led by Linda Alvis through the book Lies Women Believe. I will take the Men through Fight, Winning the Battles that Matter Most. We will have both books available for only $5 each, but you do not need to purchase the book to participate in the study. The women will meet in what is usually the Adult Sunday School Class’ room and the Men will meet in the room that is commonly used by the Young Adult Class. I’m excited about these classes, and I pray that they’ll be helpful.

 

Church Business Meeting

We have received insurance money to make repairs to the basement following the drainage backup incident in early January. The board has recommended that as we work to make repairs, we also make some changes to the layout that will better benefit our current ministries and classes.

Additionally, the board recommends that the church consider replacing the sanctuary pews with chairs similar to those used in our classrooms. This recommendation is based on the belief that the chairs: could provide more seating in the sanctuary, could be moved if services need to be held in the gymnasium during a time of renovation and/or expansion, could be added to for special services such as Easter, & could be moved into a new sanctuary years from now.

 

Looking forward to worshipping with you this Sunday!

 

Pastor Daniel

 

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What I learned while volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House

Yesterday, I volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House of Evansville for just under 3 hours with Mike (Mike stayed all day). We cleaned up leaves in the landscaping of the front lawn and the courtyard. Here are some lessons I learned or was reminded of as I volunteered yesterday.

  • I volunteered because I was invited to by a friend.

Mike called me on Friday to tell me that he was going to volunteer at the house on Monday and was looking for people to join him. I said yes. While I was picking up leaves on Monday I thought about the fact that if I had simply received an email or phone call from the executive director of the house, I would have been less likely to say yes. It made a difference that I was invited by a friend to join him in the project.

Application- We will be more effective at recruiting people for our mission when we personally invite them to join us.

  • I volunteered because I personally know someone who benefited from the organization.

About a year ago, my friend Daniel and his wife Kimberly took Aaron, their son, to the Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia. For six weeks the Ronald McDonald House was their home. I knew that my friend had benefited from the services of the RMH and that he was grateful for them. Because of this, I was also grateful and I was interested in helping. Knowing of personal, tangible good that the organization has done makes a difference in whether or not you want to get involved. When Mike called, he could have told me what the mission of the Ronald McDonald House is, but he didn’t have to. I know what their mission is and have seen it accomplished in the life of a friend.

Application- We will be more effective at recruiting people for our mission when they have already seen it at work in the lives of people they know.

  • Using a backpack blower is fun.

We picked up leaves. My job was running the backpack blower. Mike and his co-worker we raking the leaves into bags. I am speaker by vocation, that is my talent. Mike and his friend are IT guys, it is what they are good at. Though our talents might have been better suited for speaking or working on computers, it was fun to do something different. Since “leaf removal” is a simple and non-critical job, we could do it with little training or experience beyond working in our own yards. Now obviously it would have been a bad idea for me to install the sprinkler system no matter how much of a change of pace that would be.

Application- While we should find opportunities for volunteers to use their talents in accomplishing our mission, sometimes it’s nice to get out of the office and run a piece of equipment or get your hands dirty on a simple project.

  • It’s fun to do something that matters. What matters to me doesn’t matter to everyone.

If you haven’t picked up on it yet, we were removing leaves. We were making the facility look nice, and this is obviously important to the organization. After walking through the house, it is clear to me that they do not just want to provide shelter, they want to provide an attractive place to stay (anyone who has stayed in a junk hotel and a nice hotel knows the differnce it makes in your experience). I picked up on this and knew that my few hours were going to matter in making the facility look good. I also realized that this would not have been a worthwhile project to everyone. I know some people would have thought “what does it matter if there are leaves in the flower bed, these people will just be happy to have a place to stay. Why do they even need a courtyard?”

Application- The degree that people understand your mission and how their effort contributes to that mission determines the fulfillment and enjoyment they experience in their effort.

I think every pastor or volunteer coordinator should occasionally volunteer for a different organization to be reminded of what it is like to volunteer.

 

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Opportunity to Help Others #2 – Chandler Elementary School Mentoring Program

The hub of our community is Chandler Elementary School. No other place in town is connected to more families.

I am thankful that our church has opportunity to minister there through our GNC (Good News Club, an after school Bible Club). Through our contact with the school, we learned of their mentoring program.

The teachers and administration of the school identify students who could use another caring and exemplary adult in their lives. After receiving parental permission, the school office assigns the student a “mentor” who will meet with him or her at least once every 3 weeks. These meetings take place on school grounds during the school day. The school believes in the worth of these opportunities so much, that they allow students to miss class for the meeting. Obviously, they ask the mentor to use judgment in selecting Read the rest of this entry »

 

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You Should Help Others – Reason 2

2. When you help others, you glorify God.

Writing from prison, Paul told the people of the church in Philippi that he hoped to use his body to glorify God whether in living or dying.

Philippians 1:20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.

Paul had glorified or magnified God through the use of his energy and substance in the planting and building of churches in numerous cities. He glorified God by serving Him and the people of those cities. When Paul walked into a new town and shared the gospel with people who longed for a truth that would set them free, he was lifting high the name and character of God. When the early church helped the poor and hungry, they were worshipping and glorifying God. Like Paul, you can glorify God in your life. You can serve the people of your city. You can build up the church. You can share a truth that sets people free. You can allow the love that has been poured into your life to overflow onto those around you.

Plus, when you serve others in Christ’s love, you aid others in glorifying God.

1 Peter 2:12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

Peter was writing to people that were being persecuted and prosecuted for their belief. He was challenging them to serve and be kind to their oppressors, so that by this kindness and Christ honoring lifestyle they could influence their enemies toward being in awe of God. Imagine the same people who condemned these believers becoming convinced of God’s love by the actions of the believers.

Jesus gave a similar charge:

Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

In both of these passages we find that the result, the product of good works is that God is glorified.
Because of the good deeds of His people, God is seen, He is recognized, and He is glorified.

Many people attend church on a weekly basis to worship God. In the service we sing about God’s mercy and we sing of His might. We read Scripture, we pray, and we meditate on how wonderful God is. This is glorifying God; lifting Him up. Just as you worship and glorify God in church or private times of devotion and prayer, you can lift His name high by serving Him and serving others in His name.

 
 

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Opportunity to Help Others #1 – Love Chandler Day

Several days ago I started a 20 day blog series. Unfortunately, I had to suspend it after the first post. Hopefully, we are back on track with this first of the opportunities to go hand in hand with the 10 reasons.

Love Chandler Day is on October 24, and it is the effort of 6 churches here in the community. Volunteers from the churches are going to work together to do acts of service for the community to show God’s love.

The day is inspired by an organization from Canada that started after churches in Abbotsford, British Columbia joined to serve their community. Since then, there have been similar events in cities around the US and Canada.

Love Chandler will kick-off at 9:30 with a meeting for instruction, introductions, prayer, and preparation. Teams will do acts and projects of kindness from 10:30 – 12:30. As of right now there will be a team washing and vacuuming cars for free, a team handing out free baked goods, a team handing out bottled water at the main intersection of town, and the last team will clean up litter along I-62.

If you have any questions about Love Chandler, give me a shout.

 

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You Should Help Others – Reason 1

Read the introduction post.

1. When you serve others, you obey God.

Galatians 5:13-14

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Paul reminded the people in the churches of Galatia that the freedom they have as followers of Christ is not an opportunity to merely satisfy their desires. Our freedom was intended for an opportunity to serve others. He also reminded them that one of the greatest commandments: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

This command to “love your neighbor” is originally found in the law that Moses wrote, so it was not a new concept. God has always expected His followers to serve those around them, especially those in need.

Another Old Testament passage makes His expectation clear:

Proverbs 21.13

Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.

God said I will not hear you if you do not hear the cries of those in need. He made it clear that our relationship with Him would be affected by our relationship to the poor, the hungry, the lonely.

God commands us to serve others.

That should be reason enough, right?

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2009 in Connect to Community, Uncategorized

 

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Connect to Community

In case you missed it, the theme for 2009 is “Connect.” We have now gone through three emphases: Connect to Christ, Connect to Church, and most recently Connect to Community.

This past Sunday we wrapped up a four week focus on John 20:21 entitled SENT.

21Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

The four messages were:

  • Christ was SENT- He came to Earth for a Purpose.
  • Christ sends His disciples, those who believe and follow Him.
  • If Christ SENT you- Where are you? & What are you doing?
  • 10 Reasons you should serve others and 10 chances to do so.

After sharing the 10 reasons, we closed by handing out a response card that had 10 opportunities to serve others and we asked people to sign up for what they would be willing to do.

Here is the response so far:

  • 27 people signed up to donate non-perishable food for local food banks.
  • 20 people signed up to help at our November church work day.
  • 6 people volunteered to donate blood in the next 2 months.
  • 21 people committed to do a random act of kindness for someone outside our church.
  • 4 people volunteered to mentor a child at Chandler Elementary School.
  • 14 people volunteered to hand out “welcome bags” to people who have recently moved nearby.
  • 10 people signed up to help with “Love Chandler Day.”
  • 1 person volunteered to help in the WEC nursery.
  • 11 people will team up for a Habitat for Humanity build.
  • 3 people volunteered to serve in the “other” category. (I didn’t want to limit people to these 9, so I left the 10th option wide open.)

I asked the people to volunteer for what they knew they could do right then and if they had to check their calendar for other events, to sign up for those later. I hope to see these groups (and the impact) increase.

I plan to post one of the 10 Reasons or the 10 Opportunities each day over the next 20 days.

I also hope to be able to share reports, testimonies, and pictures of many of these projects.

If you would like more information or to volunteer on any of these projects, feel free to contact me.

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2009 in Connect to Community, General

 

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