Dear Church Family and Community,
Years ago, I remember Pastor Lynda saying that she firmly believes that God provides for the church everything she needs to do God’s work. Like most wisdom, it’s simple to grasp and impossible to let go of. This has always stuck with me. At HBIC, what we need in order to do the mission and ministry that God has called us to will be provided by God through the people of our church.
In my years here, it has been humbling to see all the ways this family has come together to love and minister. It really is a joy to see people use their gifts, share their hearts, and give of their prayers and selves to see God’s love transforming lives locally, and even globally. This body of faith is really beautiful because of our diversity in gifts, makeup, and partnership together with God.
Over the years, I have also noticed that it is easy for particular groups of people to get involved in the life of our congregation and community – those who are called by God, those who know our church (or generally how HBIC works), those who get connected with us through congregants or staff, and those who are more outgoing (or just ready to jump in). All of these people seem to be able to easily join our community and work here. However, there’s a growing group of people that we are consistently missing.
Furthermore, I was troubled when I realized that those who are coming in and trying to enter more fully into our community may not be able to easily discern who we are and what we do. And as our community continues to expand, it has even become harder for us to know who our people are and what they’re passionate about. This is why I am very excited about our new Rooted: Connecting with God, The Church, & Your Purpose class series!
Beyond a series of classes, we pray that this is a catalyst for life change, connection, and the strengthening of our work together here at HBIC. Rooted consists of four sessions, taken in order and at your convenience (sessions will be offered every other month, beginning in November). I hope you’ll seriously consider taking part in these classes. Going forward, we pray and hope that this is a helpful tool in introducing (and reintroducing for some) our church and ministries to our community, while also empowering our people to learn where and how they can connect, serve, and thrive in our HBIC family.
During last week’s services, we continued our Miracle: Making God Known series by learning about God the Just. Being just reveals who God is. It shows God as having the ultimate authority now, and in the future, and God working to make things right and bring shalom to our world. Justice is also so foundational to who God is that it’s seen in His redemption (Exodus), His Law, His prophets, and His people. Drawing upon Amos’ most famous passage, we learned that the day of the Lord is coming, that our God of Justice desires righteousness over ritual, right living and justice for all over personal righteousness or living for oneself, and that God’s justice comes to save not only our souls but our lives and any yokes we find ourselves under. 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, iTunes, or Stitcher.
This week I am also extremely excited to have BIC Church Planter Ericka Henry worshipping with us and bringing the message. Ericka has served as a Pastor for eight years and recently moved into the Allentown area to plant The Holy District, a faith community designed to join God in the work he has already begun in order to bring healing and restoration to individuals, families, neighborhoods, and communities. I had an opportunity to meet Ericka earlier this year, and I am eager to learn more about how God has called her, prepared her, and is using her to minister to her new Allentown area community. She will be preaching from Isaiah 6:1-8, so be sure to read and meditate on that this week, focusing on how God has called, prepared, and is using you…to do God’s work.
God bless you all, my sisters and brothers. May the Spirit of God be ever close, Jesus be ever your guide, and our Father be ever your love.
Love in Christ,
Pastor Hank (1 John 4:7)
P: (717) 561-2170, ext. 104