Paul’s Message

Prayer and communion service to be in sanctuary on eve of election

Friends, I found this idea recently, and we are going to participate:

“On November 6, 2012, Election Day, we will exercise our right to choose.
Some of us will choose to vote for Barack Obama.
Some of us will choose to vote for Mitt Romney.
Some of us will choose to vote for another candidate.
Some of us will choose not to vote.

During the day of November 6, 2012, we will make different choices for different reasons, hoping for different results. Before we make our choices, let’s meet at the same table, with the same host, to remember the same things.

We’ll remember that real power in this world — the power to save, to transform, to change — ultimately rests not in political parties or presidents or protests but in the life, the death, and the resurrection of Jesus.

We’ll remember that, through the Holy Spirit, this power dwells within otherwise ordinary people who as one body continue the mission of Jesus: preaching good news to the poor, freeing the captives, giving sight to the blind, releasing the oppressed, and proclaiming the year of the Lord’s favor (Luke 4:16-21).

We’ll remember that freedom — true freedom — is given by God and is indeed not free. It comes with a cost and it looks like a cross.

We’ll remember our sin and our need to repent.

We’ll remember that the only Christian nation in this world is the Church, a holy nation that crosses all human-made boundaries and borders.

We’ll remember that our passions are best placed within the passion of Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2).

We’ll remember that we do not conform to the patterns of this world, but we are transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2).

We’ll remember that God’s strength is made perfect in weakness. And we’ll re-member the body of Christ as the body of Christ, confessing the ways in which partisan politics has separated us from one another
and from God.”

We’re offering an informal prayer and communion service on the eve of election day, November 5, 6 p.m. in the sanctuary. It will be a brief service, maybe a half hour or so. It will be a chance to pray for our nation and the world, and to celebrate God’s grace and love for us. We are going to remember what’s really important, and entrust everything to God, who empowers us for good. The rest is in God’s hands. No politics, just time spent with our Lord and with each other. What better way to be in the right frame of mind and spirit for the day to come? We invite you to join us.

Peace, Paul

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  • On Being the Church

    As you can see in the note from Session, we’ll be continuing with online worship in the month of October. I am aware that many people are struggling with these decisions. You may see other churches holding worship and wonder why we are not doing so. You may not be aware, but Session makes this decision, not myself as pastor. At our last Session meeting the decision was unanimous to continue with online worship. To be clear, I fully support this decision, and I think they are making the correct call. It is important to me that we all survive this global pandemic. It’s not the decision that some of our members want to hear, of course.

    I wonder how we can turn this around from being something that weighs us down or frustrates us. I imagine that the hour or two you normally spend on Sunday morning at FPC Logan is an extremely important time for you each week. We worship God. We learn from scripture. We sing and listen to talented musicians. We pray with and for each other. We socialize with each other.

    Perhaps you can ask yourself, like I’m asking myself, what it means to be the church? Coming together on Sunday mornings has been important to Christians for two thousand years. But there is much more to being the church than being in the same room together for that one hour on Sunday morning. There are 167 other hours in the week when we are called to ‘be the church.’ Even in the middle of this pandemic, I hope that we each continue to find ways to pray for one another, learn (or teach) from scripture, pray for each other and the world, enjoy beautiful music (a Christmas Bell Choir concert on YouTube is in the works!), and spread God’s goodness to others around us. The only thing that’s truly missing is the fellowship and social aspect of Sunday morning. Those are important, and they are certainly good for our emotional well-being. But I hope you will join me in the many other ways we can still be the church. That will help nourish our spiritual well-being.

    One way that we have been the church during Covid-19 is by caring for those in our community who have been affected the most. I’ve shared with you how we have donated many dollars and goods to help those in need. Inside these pages is a thank you note that was sent to me by St. Thomas Aquinas Church. Although the thank you note was sent to me, it needs to be shared with you, for you are the ones who have contributed greatly to this ministry in Jesus’ name. Take a moment to carefully read this thank you letter and reflect on how much you have shown God’s love to others. I am incredibly grateful for the way you have ministered to our community in this manner.

    October Communion (World Communion Sunday)

    We will offer drive-through communion on Sunday, October 4th. Unfortunately, I will not be there. My mother has been struggling greatly with her aggressive chemotherapy treatments in Colorado, and I will be visiting her this weekend when I should be serving communion to you. I apologize to you all for not being present for communion, but I feel this trip is necessary to be with my mom and dad during a very difficult time. I hope that you understand, and that you will join me in praying for her during her remaining four months of chemo. If you wish to participate in the communion, an elder will serve communion and offer a blessing to you on Sunday morning October 4th, from 9:30-10:15 a.m. in the church parking lot.

    Congregation Meeting October 25th, 7pm

    We hold a congregational meeting every October for two important reasons: to elect new elders and deacons for the coming term, and to approve pastors’ terms of call (salary, benefits, etc.) for 2021. This year we will hold the meeting via Zoom. We will email names to you of the elders and deacons who are nominated, and details about your pastors’ terms of call. I will also help anyone who is not familiar with Zoom find a way to participate in the meeting. If you would like to participate but are unfamiliar with Zoom, please contact me and we’ll make arrangements.

    May the grace and peace of Jesus Christ be with you,

    Pastor Derek

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