Hello Brothers and Sisters,
I hope you all had a restful and rewarding time with family and friends over the holidays. We have enjoyed our time away, but we look forward to being with you again this Sunday. After being here in Texas for only two days, Lanna and I both remarked about how much we missed our church family.
This Sunday we begin our new series: Christ, the Church & the Multi-Ethnic Kingdom. This special four-week series will feature relevant and challenging messages during the Sunday morning worship services, and a combined Learning Community (C8/10/12) that will discuss Trouble I’ve Seen by Dr. Drew Hart.
Our series will culminate with Peace Sunday on January 29. Drew Hart will be speaking in the Learning Community at 9:00 am and the worship service at 10:30 am.
Here are the speakers for Sunday worship:
January 8 – Woody Dalton (Harrisburg BIC Church)
January 15 – Hank Johnson (Harrisburg BIC Church)
January 22 – David Flowers (Grantham BIC Church)
January 29 – Dr. Drew Hart (Messiah College)
Why are we making this our focus for January?
A few months ago I sat down with the Missions, Peace & Service Commission (MPS) to talk about Peace Sunday. At the time, we were in our Aliens & Exiles series. You may remember that I encouraged us in that series to think about how the church should engage in societal concerns by taking serious the call to be Christ through the influence of our local assemblies, instead of first reaching for the politics of empire to do justice.
Therefore, it made sense to dedicate several weeks in order to address such an important topic. We saw this as an opportunity for us to imagine what Christ wants to do on a local level through the hands and feet of Grantham Church. I’m thankful for the vision of MPS and their enthusiasm for the multi-ethnic Kingdom.
We look all around us today and see pain, injustice, and the deep divides brought on by irrational fear and prejudice. Unfortunately, these problems are often compounded by the partisan politics of the day.
As the people of God, how can we approach the topic with a deep love for our neighbor and a concern for the Scriptures? What does it mean to follow Jesus through Samaria as ministers of reconciliation? And how does God want us to respond in our local assembly out of biblical conviction?
I hope you will join us as we enter a time of listening, reflection, and congregational discussion around race, reconciliation, and the multi-ethnic Kingdom of God. I’m glad to know that many of you have already purchased Drew’s book. If you haven’t got yours yet, copies of the book are available for sale ($10) in the foyer or in the church office.
Finally, I will miss my usual load of preaching for the month. However, it will allow me to do some planning and give attention to other important matters of the church.
For example, our search for a full-time Worship Arts Pastor begins this month. I’m working with Doug Curry (interim), the Worship Commission, and the Church Board in this process.
Also, we are planning to launch new education classes in the Spring for people seeking membership, those interested in baptism, and for getting folks plugged in at Grantham Church. There is a clear need to reevaluate and implement processes at Grantham that create room for others and help us do effective ministry.
I’ll be sharing about other new 2017 initiatives, plans, and projects in the weeks ahead. In the meantime, please be in prayer for each other and for the work that God wants to do through our congregation. I believe there are great things ahead for all of us. I look forward to walking with you on the journey.
P.S. Please remember to pray for Pastor John and Amy Yeatts as they serve in Zambia over the next three months. They will be missed.
See you this Sunday!
Grace & Peace,
* This post was first sent as an email to all church members. If you would like to receive the weekly email from the pastor, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org