Follow me, and I will make you fish for people. Matthew 4:19
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
Peace and grace to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I hope you had a relaxing and enjoyable summer: days at the pool, fresh produce from your garden or farmers market, and time with friends and family.
In August we returned to our 10:30 worship time and kicked off Sunday school. During worship, we focused on the way of Jesus. When I began the series, I reflected on the many challenges of the last year we have had as a congregation and a denomination.
When Jesus called his first disciples he invited them to follow him. Certainly, Jesus meant this literally but he also meant it figuratively. As his disciples, Jesus calls us to observe his teachings and his lifestyle. Rev. Dr. Jack Seymour has identified six guideposts of the way of Jesus:
- Loving God and Neighbor Matthew 22:34-40
- Living in God’s grace Mark 4:1-20
- Looking for the realm of God Mark 1:14-15
- Calling people to the banquet table Luke 14:1-24
- Resisting the time of trial Hebrews 11:29-12:2
- Proclaiming the resurrected one Luke 24:45-49
Over the next month, take some time with each of these. As Jesus’ disciple, where do you need some improvement?
As many of you know, I was on spiritual renewal leave in July. While away, I did not take my flute or piccolo with me. Recently, I have returned to the practice room. Let’s just say, “There is room for improvement.”
We do this for the hope of heaven on earth and for the people Jesus has called us to love.
Christ’s Servant ~
The Reverend Joseph A. Johnson
ALL are INVITED to our GRACE GATHERING!
10:30 am. Sunday Morning Worship
11:30 -1:00 pm. All Church Cook-Out & Potluck Picnic on the Church Lawn.
Bring your favorite summer side dish or a dessert while the church will be providing plenty to drink and will be grilling just-for-you hot dogs, burgers, & veggie burgers.
LET’S CELEBRATE ALL THE GREAT CLASSES AND EVENTS PLANNED AT FIRST CHURCH FOR THE UPCOMING YEAR.
RSVP to CHURCH OFFICE by Friday, August 16. We gotta know how many buns to buy!!
Buy lasix pills, Buy lasix online usa
1 Timothy 2:2 (CEB)
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:
Grace and Peace to you in the name of our Lord.
This morning I found myself praying for impeachment as I prayed for the world, its people, and its leaders. Let me be clear. This was not a prayer for the US Congress to impeach the President. It was a prayer for the wisdom of God for the people of the United States and for elected leadership — all the elected leadership.
Paul in his letter to Timothy instructed him to pray for those in authority so that the people may live quiet and peaceful lives in complete godliness and dignity. Authority in the Scriptures is accountable to God. Authority and power are never an end in themselves. They always serve the higher purpose, as Paul says, so the people can live a “quiet and peaceful life in complete godliness and dignity.”
Many of Paul’s letters addressed the issue of division in the church. We don’t know what he thought about the political divisions of his day. My hunch is that he liked them no better. His opposition to division was grounded in his commitment to a quiet and peaceful life for all the people.
This is an uncertain time in our nation. Yet I believe that the prayers of the righteous are powerful and effective in what they can achieve. At the very least, it will make the church (you and me) a community in which people’s dignity is unquestioned.
Whether the US Congress moves forward with impeachment or not, the church must be the place where the values of peace, dignity and godliness are upheld for all people. Will you join me in praying for our leaders that they may uphold peace, dignity and godliness for all people?
Christ’s Servant ~
The Reverend Joseph A. Johnson
Pastor Joe is exploring three of these stories with the congregation through discussion, interviews, and application. Join him at 10:30 am on Sundays — April 28, May 5, and May 12.
From GOOGLE: “At a hot-dog-eating contestor at a demolition derby, in line at the pharmacy counter waiting for a shingles vaccination, living in a cave with a colony of bats: the Almighty appears in ever-more mysterious ways in Ninety-Nine Stories of God, Joy Williams’ surreal, sublime new collection of very short short stories. Each less than a page long, each packing a punch belied by its size, every one of these ninety-nine stories tells of everyday human interaction with an increasingly elusive and arbitrary deity.
Haunted by an array of extraordinary historical figures, from Kafka and Tolstoy to O. J. Simpson and Philip K. Dick, but populated by anonymous ordinary people just like you and me, the stories pool seemingly random moments into something deep, dazzling and disconcerting. Bleak and funny, ironic and lyrical, enigmatic and aphoristic, Ninety-Nine Stories of God breaks down the barriers between the everyday and the divine and takes Williams’ writing into territories strange and new.”