Dear Church Family and Community,
“It was also called Mizpah, because he said, ‘May the Lord keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other.’” – Genesis 31:49
In August 2018 we hired Esteban Nieves as our Pastor of Worship Ministries. In the life of our church, our hope was that Pastor Estee would help us continue to grow in who we are (a thriving and intentionally diverse family of believers) and in what we do (sharing Christ’s love locally and globally). Over two years later, our church and community have been so greatly blessed by the gifts and ministry of Pastor Estee. We are so thankful for his time with us.
From our birth as a congregation, HBIC has always been really blessed by our people. We are a special community, a loving family, and a place where the kingdom of God is experienced, seen, and felt. As such, we are also blessed by many siblings who are with us for a season before moving on to serve God in many different places. I count this as part of our rich tradition and HBIC DNA. Pastor Estee has left his mark on us and I’m grateful for the mark we have left on him and the ministry God has called him to.
This Sunday marks Pastor Estee’s last service as our Pastor of Worship Ministries. I hope you will plan to join us at Lingle Park or online. Estee and Priscilla have recently moved to Drexel Hill, PA. Priscilla has begun a Master’s program at West Chester University. Estee will be starting as Worship Pastor at a church in that area next month. Personally, I count Estee and Priscilla as cherished siblings. It has been a joy getting to know them, serving alongside them, and seeing God work through them.
This week we will be wrapping up our series, called to Steward: Growing in Christlikeness, Caring and Trust. My prayer for us now and over these last several weeks is that we all remember that all that we have and all that we are belongs to God. What we have been gifted can be offered back to God and used by God for the kingdom. Jesus is our ultimate example. In offering up himself to God with each breath and then even in death, Christ shows us the way.
All of creation, all of our lives, all that we are, and all that we have – it all belongs to God. If we’re willing to entrust God with what we have been entrusted, we will be blessed to see the kingdom come in so many exciting ways. So many times in this life and work, we fall short. We fall short in fully trusting God with all that has been entrusted to us. We fail to surrender and let go, and choose to fight to hold on.
One place we often fail, is in our call to steward creation. I am excited that Helena Cicero is going to share the message this week. We will be challenged to both lament for how we have fallen short, and to do much better going forward. As you prepare for this week’s service, I would like to invite you to simply take some time to think through ways that you can better steward the gift that God’s creation is to us.
I look forward to worshipping together and seeing you at Lingle Park. If you are unable to join us there, remember that we pre-record a service from the sanctuary and we also livestream both services from Lingle Park. All of this can be found on the church’s YouTube channel (just google ‘Harrisburg BIC Church YouTube’, if you are not already subscribed). So, if you cannot be with us in person, we hope to “see” you online.
My prayer for us this week is Mizpah. This is the prayer of Laban after he reconciled with Jacob. It is a prayer of promise and hope that God will watch over us when we are away from each other. It is a prayer for our HBIC family to Priscilla and Estee. It is a prayer from me to you, until we are together again. God bless you all, and take care.
Love in Christ,
P: (717) 561-2170, ext. 104
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