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encouragement from steve wise

Monday, August 31 2020

Dear friends,

“Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another…” (Hebrews 10:24-25).

We are rebuilding our house. The tornado of February left some gaping holes in our roof and rainwater damaged our ceilings and floors. We are learning that rebuilding requires a good plan, hard work, time and many decisions. Things must be done in order. Steps cannot be skipped. One must keep in mind the purpose – to make it our home again, a place for our family and friends to be together.

As a church, we are not rebuilding our facility but we are rebuilding our community. The Coronavirus forced us out of our place of worship, physical distancing created social distance, and, perhaps, some of us have experienced an erosion in our involvement in our faith community. The storm is not completely over yet. We have begun and continue our efforts to re-engage with one another. It requires a good plan, hard work, time and many decisions. But the purpose is to make and provide spaces for us to fellowship and grow in faith together as spiritually mature followers of Jesus.

I am happy to announce the beginning of another phase of our rebuilding and reengaging efforts.

Worship

Starting on Sunday September 13th, we will be adding an 8:00am indoor service with hymns, prayers and a sermon. Expect this service to last around 45 minutes. For health reasons, masks will be required, temperatures will be checked, and we will practice social distancing. We recognize this may not be ideal and appreciate your patience.

We will continue our 9:00am outdoor service (masks recommended) and 10:30am indoor (masks required and temperatures checked) service which will be live streamed as well.

Fellowship

Wednesday night dinners will begin again on September 9th from 5:30-6:15. Dinner will take place in the gym and on the grounds. Children will sit with their families. After dinner, there will be separate programs for our children and adults. Masks will be required as per restaurant and school rules.

Our youth activities will resume the following week – Monday September 14 for high school and Wednesday September 16th.

More information will be forthcoming regarding these opportunities.

Please consider joining us for these worship services and fellowship opportunities. If you are still unable to join us physically, I invite you to continue to worship with us each Sunday via our livestream.

Your friend

Steve Wise

Posted by: Steve AT 03:20 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, August 26 2020

Dear friends,

In our “Spiritual Pre-Season Training” series entitled “Devoted,” we have been studying the four basic moves, practices or habits of the earliest followers of Jesus. These practices led to personal transformation and community growth. Acts 2:42 tells us they were “continually devoting themselves to the Apostles’ teaching, fellowship, the breaking of bread and to prayer.” We have studied their consistent commitment to practicing and forming habits of studying God’s Word, showing up and staying involved, and celebrating the Lord’s Supper. This week we look at the practice of prayer.

The Gospels tell us Jesus prayed as a regular habit, often early in the morning. This impressed the disciples enough to ask Him to teach them how to pray. Jesus responded with what has become known as the “Lord’s Prayer.” This prayer provides us with a model of what we can say to God and about God. It enables us to reset our priorities and realign our purposes with God’s. It guides our thoughts and words regarding the relationships, events, and circumstances of our daily lives. It helps us work through our present needs, our past failures (and the failures of others against us) and our future fears.

This Sunday, we will actually practice this prayer together in the context of our worship service. Our order of service will be built around the Lord’s Prayer. A short teaching on each petition will be followed by prayer, a brief moment of reflection, and then a song of praise. Booklets will be provided at both services to follow along. If you are worshipping via live stream, you can download the booklet here.

I am excited about this opportunity to “practice” prayer together. My hope is that you will be able to take this “drill” and personalize and modify it for your spiritual training. May this be another way that we are strengthened by the Spirit to know the height, depth, breadth and width of the love of Christ and be filled with the very fulness of God. (Ephesians 3:14-19)

Your friend

Steve Wise

Posted by: Steve AT 03:20 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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