Events – Folder

Retreat Is Only One Month Away!

Jackie Thompson, Retreat Coordinator

When Pastor Wes and I were brainstorming with Rev. Elder Ken Martin about the topic of our retreat, Ken brought up the fact that the retreat is scheduled just one week before the beginning of the Season of Pentecost.  This is a time of empowerment through the Holy Spirit, a time when we focus on how the Spirit enables the people of God to witness Jesus Christ.  This is a time to celebrate hope, because of our knowledge that God through the Holy Spirit is at work among us.

In the New Testament, Acts 2 tells of the Holy Spirit coming on the day of Pentecost, which is the 50th day after Jesus’ resurrection.  In the last days God said, “I will pour out my Spirit upon all people” (Acts 2:17).

All of this led to the creation of the theme for our retreat, “What Happens When the Spirit Comes? Connections!” based on Acts 2:1-21.  Rev. Elder Ken Martin divided this topic into four different sessions;

Session 1 – Introduction–Preparing for the Spirit to Come

Session 2 – Communication–A New Way of Connecting with Each Other

Session 3 – Diversity–A New Way of Connecting with God

Session 4 – Transformation–A New Way of Connecting with Self

In the limited space here I can’t even begin to try to give you my thoughts on what we may experience in these sessions at retreat, but I can say how excited I am to learn what Rev. Elder Ken Martin will bring to all of us. As you may be able to tell, I have been reading Acts and several other references to prepare myself for the weekend, and the more I read the more excited I am to learn deeper meanings and truths about connecting through the Spirit.  This is going to be such a powerful weekend of worship and a weekend of making connections that will remain with us a lifetime.

In addition to the sessions with Ken, there will be plenty of activities to choose from that will be of interest to everyone attending the retreat.  As it gets closer, we will be distributing more information for everyone to plan and prepare for the weekend.

Just as a reminder, final payment is due by next Sunday, April 29, 2012.

When you send your Spirit, new life is born to replenish all the living on the earth. – Psalm 104:30

Believing in Something BIG

Rev. Wes Mullins, Senior Pastor

pastor wes

This is the interesting thing about miracles:  Those who do not believe in them do not experience them.  Those who do believe can attest to the many miracles they have witnessed and experienced in their own lives and in the lives of those around them.

Doing the work of miracles requires belief.  If we are to claim the miracles God has for us as a congregation, we must believe that we can be a part of one; we must have faith in ourselves and in our God.  When we dare to dream big—as we do today—it is not so much a test of our ability, but it is a test of our faith.  Will you dare to place your trust in God?

This is a big and serious question.  Some of us have risked putting our faith in God or in a church before, and we were hurt by it.  For those with that experience, this is your chance to have your faith renewed.  This is God’s chance to show each one of us that while a church may occasionally fail us, God never will.  Scripture says that while we may be faithless, God will remain faithful.  Even if we don’t keep up our end of the bargain, the Spirit of God will never fail or falter.

Speaking of churches that disappoint, I also want to say that we are not that kind of church.  I am so proud of how healthy we have become as a community of faith.  Health is always a journey, so it is not as if we have arrived at some sort of “perfect healthy church” status, but we are doing most things right.  I firmly believe that our Board of Directors represents the healthiest church leadership that I have ever been a part of in my entire career.  This leadership team carries power very lightly, and refuses any kind of triangulation or temptation to talk behind someone’s back.  They lead with love and wisdom, and they are all genuinely committed to doing the best for our congregation.

Given our health as a church and the quality of our leadership, this is the perfect time to dream big and dare to make a miracle happen!

In this morning’s service, I will announce the miracle—the Something BIG—that your church leadership feels God has called us to do.  More than that, God hasn’t just called the leadership but our entire church to do this.  We cannot do it without all of you.

This will forever change the life and ministry of our church.  The possibilities are big as our dreams—as big as God—as long as we do it together.

So, this leads us back to the question from above…will you join with the Board and Staff and dare to “Dream Something BIG?”  Will you dare to hope for a miracle?  Will you place your trust in God to something amazing in this place?

The church leadership has, and I fervently pray and faithfully trust that you will, too!

(To see what the something BIG was that Pastor Wes announced that Sunday, click here.)

 

Easter Resurrections!

pastor wesRev. Wes Mullins, Senior Pastor

When I was growing up, I thought of Easter purely as the time when we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection.  My family was careful to teach me about the significance of this day —especially noting that we don’t just celebrate Easter to get an Easter basket full of candy and goodies.  I am grateful for that balance that I was given and the spirit that was behind my parents’ and my childhood church’s teachings.

As I’ve aged I’ve learned that Easter is about Jesus—especially about Jesus—but not only about Jesus.  There is one big Easter resurrection, but there are many other resurrections, large and small, that we pray for, celebrate, and remember each Easter.

When you’ve lived long enough to lose some close friends, family members, or perhaps worst of all, a child, Easter resurrection is no longer just about Jesus.  It is about the eternal hope that we maintain for all those who have passed on from this world.  It is about our faith that there is more life beyond this life —even if we cannot know for sure what that life beyond really looks like.

And there are simple resurrections on Easter as well.  Times where we simply pray that some of the Good Fridays we have had in the last year will begin to fade in the Resurrection Light of Easter.  That relationship that ended painfully, or the pet that we lost, or the job that laid us off…any of these things are places where we may call on the resurrection power of Easter.

So, as we celebrate Easter this morning, as we say again, “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ shall come again,” I encourage you to take a moment and look inward.  As you celebrate Christ, what other resurrections can you also celebrate?  As you sing Easter “Hallelujah’s,” allow yourself to also consider the Good Fridays that God has brought you through this year.  Join with Christ in celebrating your own resurrection.

Perhaps it would do you a bit of good to take a few minutes today to withdraw from Easter egg hunting or Easter dinner and just say a few simple words to yourself:

________ has died.

________ is risen.

________ will come again!

For me, two resurrections I will claim this year are:

Arbutus (my Grandmother) has died, she is risen, she will come again!

Fear of change has died, life is renewed, opportunities will abound again!