Dear Church Family and Community,
So one of my goals for this year is to be intentional about connecting with the congregation and to see the relationship between our congregation and staff continuing to be strengthened. One of the ways we will be doing this is through celebratory dinners that our Church Board will be hosting over the next six months. These nights will be designed to encourage fellowship with our congregation and staff, and also to say thank you for being part of our family and community here.
The first scheduled dinner will be at 5:30pm on June 1st, and it is specifically for our generation of folks who have been with us for 20 years or more. I am so grateful for this crew. They have loved, prayed, supported, and used their gifts to lead us through so many progressions and evolutions. They have overseen our change in vision, focus, and ministry as well as a move to our current facility. Talking with Pastor Woody, we both affirmed that we couldn’t think of a generation of people who have been through so much change within a church, but who have done so in such a healthy manner. Y’all are saints! And I am thankful for you and looking forward to celebrating you.
This past Sunday, we continued our current sermon series on The Beatitudes entitled Blessings: Promises of the Kingdom. We focused on Jesus’ third Beatitude: Blessed are the meek, for they inherit the earth. In this promise, Jesus reminds us that we are to be meek as He is meek – by being righteously angry, fully surrendered to God, humble to know our deep need for God and the witness and community of our sisters and brothers in the faith, and completely dependent God-fearing peacemakers.
The meek inherit the earth by only being angry at the right time and at the right things. They submit every instinct, impulse, and passion to God. They depend on the Spirit to teach and remind of the work God has done and is doing. They ask the Spirit to consistently help them bring shalom to their everyday scenes. They reject grace without repentance, transformation, cost, and true following of Jesus. The meek accept God’s invitation to participate in His grace. God help us to be meek, as Jesus is meek! 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 continue Blessings: Promises of the Kingdom by looking at the fourth Beatitude: Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. This Beatitude challenges us to long for complete righteousness as a starving child longs for food or a perishing child yearns for water. Jesus never desires His followers to simply highlight a world that’s not as it should be. Instead, He boldly calls us to partner with Him, the Spirit, and our sisters and brothers to bring about redemption, reconciliation, and righteousness.
Please take time to read and pray through Matthew 5:1-12. As you read, perhaps you can write down one thing that you know in the depths of your soul isn’t right in your world today. How can you learn more? How much are you willing to pray about this? How might God be calling you to bring redemption, reconciliation, and righteousness here?
Lastly, with the news of Naed Smith’s sudden passing last weekend, I was reminded of the forever necessary need to consistently tell those you love that you love them. Naed was a servant leader who loved deeply and lived intentionally to promote peace and build up our community through his life and work as manager at the Catholic Worker House on Market Street. It was such a blessing to know Ned. He has inspired many including Shell and I – in this city we love, in the work that we do, and with our God that we live to follow. I wish I took more chances to tell Naed all of this. We join the many who miss him deeply. “Peace,” my brother.
May the Lord continue to bless and keep you all!
Pastor Hank (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
P: (717) 561-2170, ext. 104