Dear Church Family and Community,
It’s hard to believe that around this time last year, we as congregation were in the final week before my installation as Sr. Pastor. That was yesteryear, although it feels much longer than that. And what a year it has been–a season of transition, a time of growth and a year of blessing–all guided by our good, good God!
Part of my work this year involved intentionally connecting with the congregation and staff and helping both to grow together. One way I did this was meeting with people, ministry teams, and life groups. There are still a few groups I’ve yet to visit, but I’m on my way…just let me know when, and we’ll make it work!
A blessing in how we have all been able to connect has been through the Celebratory Dinners hosted by our Church Board. These nights of fellowship have been amazing as we have enjoyed sharing stories, celebrating finding a home here at HBIC and getting to know some of our “peers” (those who came to the church around the same time we did).
Our very last dinner is scheduled for 5:30pm on Saturday November 9th. This night is specifically for our generation of folks who have been with us for less than 5 years. This is a group that joined us in the midst of many transitions. They not only stayed, but they have joined our family to help us continue our ministry and service to our congregation and community. If you are part of this generation, I am excited to celebrate you all in a few weeks. Please be sure to RSVP with the church office or by stopping at the Information Center to let us know that you’re coming!
Last week, we were so blessed to be joined by our sister Ericka Henry from an Allentown BIC Church plant, The Holy District. Ericka shared about her faith journey, her call to Allentown and starting The Holy District and what God has been teaching her about holiness. Holiness is God’s purification of us. It is God working in us and for us. It is contagious and we are tasked to bringing it to our people. It also makes our sin incompatible with us because God’s holiness is where our sin goes to die, sickness goes to heal, and darkness turns to light. We were so blessed! 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.
In this week’s services we will be returning to our Miracle: Making God Known series by learning about Jesus the Just. We often think of Jesus’ justice as something to come in the end, and that’s true. However, we must also remember that Jesus came to bring God’s justice and calls us to do the same. Jesus came to save our souls and to make this life more abundant, not just eternal in the days to come.
Jesus was anointed to bring good news to the poor, freedom to the imprisoned, sight for the blind, healing for the sick, and freedom for the oppressed and to proclaim the year of God’s favor. God’s justice is what Isaiah prophesied as the valleys being raised and the mountains and hills being made low. This is also the work we have been called to join Jesus in. To prepare for this week’s service, please take time to read and pray through Luke 4:1-28. As you do, take time to reflect on the following questions: What does God need to free me of so that become fully dependent on him? What does it mean for me to bring into my world the same justice Jesus brought into his world? Who are the poor, the imprisoned, the blind, the sick and the oppressed that God is calling me to join with the Spirit in setting free?
The call of our Lord God is to bring his justice into our world. May the Lord bless you and strengthen you. May his light and love shine on and through you as you live to answer His call…for our world.
Love in Christ,
Pastor Hank (Isaiah 40:4-5)
P: (717) 561-2170, ext. 104