Email From the Pastor

Hello Brothers & Sisters,

I hope this letter finds you living in the love of Christ. Take comfort in knowing that he is now with the Father interceding on your behalf.

Our Jesus Heals series continued last Sunday with the message, Living in a Warzone (2 of 4), and we concluded the service with a moving time of reflection and prayer. Thank you for being engaged with your heart and mind in our worship services. It’s always a blessing to see how the Spirit is working through our worship and response.

In the first two sermons in the series, I felt it was important to address two big items that have become controversial in our culture today. The first being the credibility and believability of miracles. If you’re looking to go deeper with the topic, check out Craig Keener’s 2-volume work,Miracles. Keener’s book deals with miracles in the Gospels and in contemporary times.

Reminder: Come hear Merle and Ila Brubaker share a personal story of physical healing this Wednesday night at 6:00 pm in A1.

And this past Sunday I brought before us another challenging concern that is central to the New Testament—the reality of the devil and demons. Whether you’re skeptical or just looking for a fun, refreshing read on the topic, I encourage you to check out the book Reviving Old Scratch: Demons and the Devil for Doubters and the Disenchanted by Richard Beck.

You can get these books and more in our library. Currently, we have a nice shelf in the lobby with suggested reading for our healing series.

From my perspective, as people who believe that the Scriptures are inspired and authoritative, as well as a guide to faith and practice, we can’t talk responsibly about healing without addressing what is foundational to the Jesus story and to our understanding and adopting a New Testament worldview.

As a pastor, part of my calling is to help the church affirm this worldview and see the difference it makes when we live accordingly. Most of all, I pray that our application of the text will lead us to discovering that this is actually how things really work in the world.

I hope you will join us for worship this Sunday as we look at two healing episodes that show people doing whatever it takes to get to Jesus for the healing that they need. Following the sermon, we will once again have a time of prayer and response. For those who desire it, we will also be anointing with oil and laying hands on you for healing (see James 5:14).

Finally, you may have noticed that we are regularly seeing an average of 400 in worship on Sunday morning. Over the last 6 months I have mentioned a few times that we have a need for a better way of recording attendance for Learning Communities and the Worship Service. Why?

The primary reason is so that leadership (staff, deacons, teachers, etc.) can more promptly respond to pastoral needs and concerns. We do not want people to be lost in the crowd. For example, we recently learned that someone wasn’t in church for a month before someone noticed they were absent.

We are planning to try out a new process next month, beginning with our Learning Communities at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday morning. There will be someone in your class who has an electronic tablet that is connected with our church management software, Fellowship One. We expect that this digital recording process with be much more efficient as we seek to effectively pastor those in our care.

We will start recording attendance in Learning Communities on Sunday, June 4. Stay tuned for more details regarding the process for the Worship Service that we will be trying out later this summer.

Thank you for your willingness and support in trying new things as we do our best to keep up with what the Spirit is doing among us.

Have a great week! See you this Sunday.

Grace & Peace,

Pastor David

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