Paul’s Message: Exploring Our Faith

faithI am excited about 2015.

It’s going to start out with a couple of parties. We will have an all-church potluck at the Epiphany meal on the evening of January 4. Our annual meeting will not be your average church business meeting. We are going to party as we celebrate paying off the debt from our building renewal (we sent the final payment out last week!).

And we will explore our faith.

As the new year gets underway, we will be focusing on some faith basics, and where the foundations of faith might be calling us to go and grow as individuals, as families, and as a church. We will be asking the question, Faith is…?

In worship, in our small group and other gatherings, in our Sunday school classes, we will explore our common faith and invite you to reflect and discover your own personal faith more deeply. For those who are newer to our congregation, and for those who are thinking about taking the next step of discipleship and joining our church, we will be offering an inquirer’s class. These are always fun times of conversation and getting to know some of you better.

This will be a journey of learning, as we encounter the wisdom of our tradition, and what it teaches us.

It will also be a journey of exploration. You will be invited to enter into conversation with our faith tradition, the larger church, those around you who are also seeking, your own inner voice, and the Holy Spirit, to discover what your faith is…and what it can be.

We believe this journey will be a blessing for you. You will discover more deeply the person you are, and who God calls you to be. You will discover more deeply the abundant life God wants to share with you. You will discover more deeply the blessings of seeking and sharing. You will discover more deeply ways to connect with yourself, your neighbor, and the God who loves you.

We will focus on particular themes in worship and through the week (Faith is … Receiving, Caring, Giving, and Building) There will be chances to discuss and learn. There will be opportunities to share your wisdom and experiences. We hope you will be challenged and nurtured. Stay tuned for details and invitations. Bring your questions and your unique perspective and we will discover together.

Happy new year! May 2015 bring shalom.

Paul

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  • Lent in the Midst of COVID

    We’re in the church season of Lent, a time of journeying with Jesus as he makes his way to Jerusalem and to the cross.  In addition to Sunday worship services on YouTube we will be adding short mid-week Lenten devotions from Pastor Meg and myself (also available on YouTube).

     Last month Mary-Ann Muffoletto sent me a picture. She took a ‘screen shot’ of our most recent Zoom congregational meeting, and I’m thankful she thought to do this. This is the moment when we ordained and installed new elders and deacons to our church. This is usually a sacred moment of our worship together on Sunday mornings, a special time for those new deacons and elders and also for the congregation as these individuals step into leadership positions for us. We’re usually doing a “laying on of hands” at this moment, as we offer a prayer for these new officers. This last year Presbyterian churches around the country have doing this via Zoom, and here we are, lifting up our hands as a blessing for these church officers, as we lift them up to God in their new roles.

    The big thing on our mind in the church office and with Session is when will we be back in worship together? I don’t have an answer for you at the moment, but as more people receive vaccines and transmission rates continue to decrease in Utah and around the country, we get closer to that time. Two Session members have volunteered to work with Pastor Meg and myself on plans for when we get back into the building. Outdoor worship services in a park is also a possibility before we return to our church building. When we are back in the sanctuary and Bruner Hall together our plan is to record the service and make it available on YouTube for those who choose to continue worshiping from home.

    I want to close by sharing a few things with you about our building during this last year. You might think the building has been empty and unused, but I assure you this is not the case. While most of our activities have been put on hold, several things have been occurring in our building. Session approved Loaves & Fishes to serve take-away meals and that has been ongoing through much of the year. Additionally, numerous recovery programs (similar to AA) have been meeting throughout the year (for some people, being able to attend a sobriety meeting is a life and death matter). And finally, the Red Cross has been holding blood drives every month or so. Craig Mortensen passed along to me that Red Cross blood drives at FPC collected 490 units of blood in the last year. Most of these units even came from willing donors… (just kidding!). All of these activities have required people to wear masks and socially distance to prevent spread of COVID.

    It brings me great joy to think of how many people Loaves & Fishes has helped, how many people have continued their journeys of sobriety, and how many people were helped through blood donations in the last year. Each of these activities come with some risk of COVID transmission, but Session approved them because they are essential for certain members of our community. All of these happenings are possible because of the use of our church building. I thank all of you for your ongoing support of FPC Logan. I know we aren’t worshiping there, and many of us are anxious to be back in the sanctuary (I am too). Thank you for bearing with us and our cautious approach. Good things are indeed happening through use of our building and because of our collective journeys with Jesus Christ.

    Grace and peace be with you on your Lenten journey.

    Pastor Derek

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