Hello Brothers & Sisters,
I am still overjoyed from our experience last Sunday. The morning worship service was jubilant and uplifting. I preached a message entitled, Buried & Raised with Christ, before many of us went down to the creek for a baptismal service. We baptized six people in the Yellow Breeches! It was a beautiful day and a meaningful time of celebration. Even some tubers and kayakers witnessed the event.
I’d like to thank everyone who shared in this memorable time together. I also want to thank Duane Asper for assisting me and making sure we didn’t have anyone float away with the current. It was my first time to baptize in the creek and I shall never forget it. Please continue to pray for the six who were baptized: Sami White, Dan Curry, Joanna Barnhouse, Nathan Seibert, Noah Bisbee, and Amber Fogelsanger.
This coming Sunday will be focusing our attention on another ordinance (or sacrament) of the church, the communion meal. I will be preaching a message called, The Table of Memory & Mystery. Naturally, we will take communion (via intinction) at the conclusion of the service. I hope you will join us for our monthly communion and then stay for a welcoming luncheon for Matt Bushoven, our new Youth & Young Adult Pastor. We will have a brief installation ceremony for Matt toward the beginning of the service. I hope you can join us for this special time.
Also, we will be including the Blessing of the Backpacks in this week’s service. This is when we set aside a time of prayer and blessing for students as they begin a new school year. All students are invited to bring their backpacks or school bags to the worship service. I look forward to seeing all of our students as we show them our love and support for a new year.
Can you believe that summer is coming to an end? I want to remind you that the launch of our fall ministries is happening on Sunday, September 10. Our fall sermon series will invite us to consider the divine purpose of the local church, how we make disciples here at Grantham Church, and how God may be leading us forward as a congregation. We will also be re-launching our small groups as “sermon-based” small groups at the same time.
What are “sermon-based” small groups and how is this different than what has been done in the past? This modification means that small groups will be encouraged to specifically engage with the content of the sermons, using discussion questions as a springboard into conversation that is intended to deepen your relationship with Christ and with others in Christian community. Also, this means that we will form and re-form small groups each semester, allowing people to change small groups, though not requiring it.
I believe this approach will help us in the following ways: (1) it allows us to engage with the sermon content in a personal space and discover what God is saying to you in community; (2) leaders do not have to do any significant prep work to lead the discussion; (3) it is easier to join with a beginning to a small group, having the option to step away during a busy season, or join another group the next semester.
There will be more information on our fall ministries and how you can sign up for a small group coming soon. Please stay tuned for more details.
Finally, I want to invite you to pray for what God is already preparing to do this fall. I truly believe that the Spirit is at work among us. Your church staff is expecting to see our sphere of influence as church expand even more this fall. Please pray that God would provide the hands and feet (volunteers) to help us minister to one another in the church, and to those outside who need Christ. And as you pray, ask the Lord where he might want you to plug in and serve the Body of Christ during this exciting season of church growth.
May God continue to bless Grantham Church.
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