Dear Church Family and Community,
One of the great blessings of our church is our vision to serve the needs of our local and global communities. This means that our mission, the work that we do here, impacts our city and region but also continents around our world. Our embrace of local and global ministry also means that we are impacted here at home, with things that happen in our world as a whole.
The last few weeks, Cyclone Idai has devastated portions of Southern Africa. It has been reported that more than 750 people have died in countries where BIC congregations and World Missions ministry are located: Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi. You may have seen Beira, Mozambique on the news. In Beira, about 90% of the town has been decimated through the storm. Please pray for the immediate and long-term needs of congregations and communities impacted by the cyclone.
There are currently BIC national church and World Missions leaders on the ground working to assess needs and implement relief in practical ways. If you are able, please commit to giving to the BIC Global Compassion Fund to help support relief efforts in the region. Thanks too for the consideration.
This past Sunday, we continued our After God’s Own Heart: Lessons from the Life of David series. We tackled the first half of 2 Samuel 24 by looking at David’s census of Israel. In so doing, we were reminded that God alone is worthy of our trust. David stayed captive to his thoughts of grandeur and that temptation and desire gave birth to sin and inevitable death. Though this is a story of dire consequences for sin, it is also a story of God’s great grace.
David’s heart shows up, as he remembers his God who deeply loves and graces him. David chooses to throw his life and fate into God’s hands. Though the punishment was slated to last for three days, after one, God relented. David repents, and God forgives. Furthermore, David’s forgiveness is immediate, and God also turns around and immediately restores David who now becomes an advocate and an intercessor for his people, Israel.
This story reminds us: to live to honor God, and not ourselves; to have our thanks to God be greater than our appreciation of His gifts to us; to make every thought captive and in submission to God; to stay humble in God’s eyes; and that God alone is worthy of our trust. If you missed hearing this message, please be sure to check it out here on our website, or through our sermon podcast on Soundcloud, Google Play or iTunes.
This Sunday, we will end this leg of our journey with David by looking at one of my favorite stories in all of Scripture. This concluding story of David, Araunah and the threshing floor, is one ripe with delicious fruit and blessing for us. David’s heart and love for God is seen as he defines worship here as submission and surrender to God, praise and thanksgiving to God for what He has done, and sacrifice that comes at a cost. To help prepare for this week’s service together, please take time to read and pray through 2 Samuel 24:18-25. As you read, try to focus on the following: What does worship to God look like for you? What is David teaching you about worshipping God? And why is God worthy of your praise and worship, love and trust?
Also, this Sunday is the fifth Sunday of the month. Each fifth Sunday, our children and youth bless us by serving and participating in various parts of the service. It is a joy to see them serve. Please grace them with your love and prayers as they join us on Sunday. Also this Sunday, Pastor Patty will invite the kids up front for a Children’s Story. She will be highlighting Children’s Ministry’s My Coins Count initiative which is done in support of the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). If you have coins sitting around the house, this would be a great Sunday to bring them in to help support!
Lastly, every 5th Sunday, as part of our local and global ministry commitment, we have a second offering. This Common Ministry/Missionaries Offering is split evenly to help support our current HBIC Missionaries as well as the greater Brethren in Christ denomination (BIC World Missions; church planting; equipping existing churches; general church leadership; etc.). Prayer is a wonderful way to consistently support our common ministry as the Brethren in Christ as well as our missionaries. This offering is another way for us to provide support, so thank you for your participation here as well.
Praise God who has called us to make disciples of Christ in all the nations! Help us, God our Father, and lead us, Holy Spirit, as we endeavor to do this work, globally and in our everyday scenes. God alone is worthy of all our praise and worship – and what a blessing it is to join Him in the work of making His kingdom come as His will is done.
May the Lord continue to bless and keep you all!
Pastor Hank (Psalm 103)
P: (717) 561-2170, ext. 104