Matthew 19.26 (NIV)
Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
First, thank you for the wonderful responses to the question that I posed for us as part of our worship on Sunday. Please remember that you can listen or listen again to the sermon on our website at lpcomch.com. If you haven’t responded to the question “What gives you hope?” you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . We had 40 responses to this question and I expect that we will have more than 60 responses this week.
Discernment is seeking to listen carefully to what God is inviting us to do, to be, and to live. Grounded in the Gospel story, our hope is grounded in God's keeping of God's promises of liberation, salvation, and deliverance. Our listening and hoping together shapes how and what we see leading us to a clearer understanding of God's vision for us as a community.
Our imagination becomes a powerful way for us to see how Jesus’s salvation, liberation, and deliverance can be lived. By wildly allowing the words of Jesus to be lived in our dreams and possibilities, we take the first steps in letting Jesus' ways become our way. Our imagination becomes exciting and also a but a bit frightening because of endless possibilities and what we might be invited to do.
Sunday, we will tap into the power of imaginations so that we can see with the eyes of faith. See you there…
Grace and peace,
Psalm 39.7 (NIV) "But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.
LPCC is moving into a season of discernment this fall. Discernment is to discover and test how we might live into God’s will for us being aware of our present unique and
wonderful gifts, as well as our challenges and opportunities. During this time together, we will sort, distinguish, evaluate, and acknowledge who God is and what we will do in response to what God hopes for us. It takes us being soft, malleable and open to what the Holy Spirit does in our lives.
As part of this process, we will have many opportunities to reflect together trusting that God is guiding us. We will have moments of engagement and sharing of what we are discovering during worship and throughout the week. We will have opportunities to
respond to scriptures, questions, thoughts, and challenges.
The first sermon series frames how we see with eyes of faith. The first topic is hope and where we place it. Do we trust God or ourselves? Hope is found in the confidence and courage to first trust the future to God's faithfulness to fulfill God's promises and not in only our abilities or resources.
Here are some questions to consider꞉
-Where has God been faithful in your life?
-In what things do you find hope?
-How does hope help you in your life?
Let’s gather together this Sunday and discern together and see with the eyes of faith.
Grace and peace,
I Corinthians 11.26 (RSV)
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.
We offer communion every week. Our practice is called “open communion”. Simply stated, we trust that Jesus has called all to the table and anyone present is welcome to participate based on receiving that invitation.
I love how we observe the Lord’s Supper. One first Sunday’s, we receive the bread and cup as it is offered to us. We hold it until everyone is served and then take it together. This way shows our unity. On following Sunday’s and in the 9am Chapel service, we celebrate the Lord’s Table by intinction by tearing off a piece of a common loaf and dipping into the cup filled with juice. We meet together at the table to receive forgiveness and share our witness of God’s love for us in Jesus.
When you celebrate communion what do you discover? How has Jesus met you there? What do you learn about yourself? Sunday, we finish our series on “Being.” We will be looking at Jeremiah and hear once again that God knows us, carries us, and sets us free to love as God loves. I hope to see you there.
Grace and peace,
Romans 12.4-5 (RSV)
For as in one body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
A community is critical to a maturing faith. Time and time again, God has brought people
together. Adam and Eve helped us see companionship is important. The people of Israel found strength to be a blessing through which God would bless the world. The twelve disciples discovered challenges to their own thinking as they followed Jesus. The early church found a way of living, worshiping, praying, and sharing all things.
Church is a community where we learn to entrust our lives to one another. I know community can be a bit of a challenge. There are people that don’t see eye to eye with you. There are people that have hurt you. Yet it is the church where we develop into a community. In the church, we seek justice, learn to love kindness, and find ways to walk humbly with God. As we see familiar faces and are reminded of sacred words, we witness to the good works of God together.
Worship is a great time to embody being a community. As we turn our hearts to God, we reorient and remind ourselves we are followers of Jesus. Each person present is a special child of God. Church is the special place where we can find peace, share mercy, and receive forgiveness. Being church takes practice, commitment, and through it all, God’s help.
Grace and peace,
2 Corinthians 9.8 (CEB)
God has the power to provide you with more than enough of every kind of grace. That way, you will have everything you need always and in everything to provide more than enough for every kind of good work.
I have been making plans for the Fall. My emphasis is on how LPCC is living out God’s hope that we be the salt and light to our community. Specifically, I focused on how we can precisely and uniquely plant the seeds of Jesus’ love, hope and peace in our community. During these last several months, I listened, prayed, and sketched out ideas.
As soon as I thought all was just right, and I was ready to put pen to paper, the unexpected
happens. Case in point, Courtney Rockafellow, gave notice that she will no longer be our
secretary. Her final day with us will be August 4th. I know you will join me in thanking Courtney for all of her dedication and hard work for the church. While some things never change, some things do. Our call as God's people is to continue to be the salt and light to the world. So we learn to adapt to circumstance and remain true to our call none-the-less. While our expectations might change, our resolve of Christ's being in the world never does. Our mere existence is forever shaped by God’s Word in Jesus as we learn to live it
Join me Sunday and this Fall, as we carry out God’s hope. The next sermon series, “Being”, starts this process with us, the individual. See you on Sunday!
Grace and peace,
Husband, father, minister, child of God, follower of Jesus Christ writing in the context of La Porte Community Church