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How has God called you to worship Him?

 

Dear Church Family and Community,

 

Another week, another snowfall. Due to today’s inclement weather, we cancelled our evening meal and programming. Last month, we had to cancel a few of our services on Sunday mornings as well. I honestly cannot remember snow affecting our church schedule as much as it has so far this winter.

 

I pray this finds you all safe and warm. I also encourage you to use these snow days as a means of serving neighbors and enjoying Sabbath with loved ones. It can be a blessing when we are sometimes forced to rest, to be still, and to just be. So, I hope this week’s snow can be that blessing for you.

 

This past Sunday, we continued our After God’s Own Heart: Lessons from the Life of David series. We learned about the David and Jonathan and how their friendship and covenant was used by God to bless David and Israel. This is a great reminder to us that God has designed us to connect with others and that our friendships can be a blessing to us and the world around us.

 

The covenant relationship has always been prevalent between God and His people. Eve and Adam, Abraham, and David all reveal covenants with God and for our world. The people of the Bible knew covenants, and it’s why the early Christians spoke of our relationship with God in covenant terms. In Christ, our covenant with God allows us to exchange our filthy rags for His robes of righteousness and our weakness for God’s strength and armor. We are also gifted the Holy Spirit, new names in heaven’s book of life, the promise to be with Jesus and to one day be like Him, communion as a celebration of what Jesus has done, and the eternal blessing of being family with our God. If you missed hearing this message, please be sure to check it out on our website, or through our sermon podcast on SoundCloud, Google Play, or iTunes.

 

This Sunday, we will journey with David as the Ark makes a return to Jerusalem. Along the way we will learn of Uzzah, Michal, David and the people of Israel. In this story, we are reminded of our God who is worthy of our worship and that worship is more than mere good intentions or about outward appearances. Worship is obedience to God, rejoicing before God, and honoring God’s name for who God is, what God has done, and what God will do. To help prepare for this week’s service together, please take time to read and pray through 2 Samuel 6. In reading, I pray you can think of ways that God has called you to worship Him. I hope to see you on Sunday as we learn about worship through David, the Ark, and our God.

 

In our services on Sunday, we will have Child Dedication for Pastor Carmen and Marvin’s three youngest children: Naomi, Mateo, and Lucas. This practice is a wonderful reminder of our work as a body and community: to be members of one another as we pray for and encourage one another. I am excited for their family near and far, who will come together to celebrate this event.

 

Also, this week we will be celebrating the installation of Carmen Dones as our Pastor of Outreach Ministries. I am excited for us as a church family that God has called, gifted, and prepared Carmen to serve us in this role. Carmen’s gifts and abilities, passion and creativity, love of God and our people and community will all be used by God to introduce people to God’s love, and God’s Son Jesus, our Christ. Following both services, there will be cake and punch in the open area just outside our youth rooms, so please plan to go and greet Pastor Carmen and her family there.

 

Carmen and her family began worshipping with us in the summer of 2011. She began volunteering with Outreach Ministries during our Easter event in 2012 and began serving on our Women’s Ministry Team later that same year. In September 2015, she began serving as our Outreach Events Coordinator, and on February 1st of this year, she began serving as our Pastor of Outreach Ministries.

 

Speaking of Februarys – on February 1st, 2015, I preached a sermon on how, like Joshua, God calls us to be strong and courageous. During the music set in that morning’s worship service, Kiki Ewell led us singing the song Oceans. God used that entire service and some people in our community to help convince Carmen to apply for our Outreach Events Coordinator that day. Four years later, on that same day (February 1st) Carmen began serving as our Pastor of Outreach Ministries!

 

In her new role, Pastor Carmen will oversee our Outreach Ministries (i.e. Food Pantry, ESL, etc.) an Outreach Ministry Team, and our outreach events along with serving as our liaison with several of our community ministry partners. When I asked Pastor Carmen about what excites her about this new role, she said:

 

“I’m praying that with this new position, it’ll bring opportunity for us to (continue to) be a change agent in our community. I’m excited about what God is doing and following closely behind Him, to make sure that those who need are getting what they need, beyond the crisis.”

 

Thanks for reading everyone! I pray that this update finds you well and growing in your faith and trust in our God. I pray that the love of our God is as present to you as the breath in your lungs. And I hope that our God, who is worthy of all our praise and worship, is proven worthy by how we, His children, follow Him, love Him, and love one another.

 

God bless and take care.

In Christ,

Pastor Hank (Psalm 8)
P: (717) 561-2170, ext. 104
E: pastorhank@harrisburgbic.org