Hello Brothers & Sisters,
I hope you’ve already been encouraged and challenged by our Peacemakers series. This past Sunday we heard from Dave Brubaker, a leader in helping churches and organizations work through their differences and pursue peace together. You can listen or watch Dave’s message, Dealing with Difference in the Body of Christ (2 of 4), at our website, or at the Grantham Church Podcast via iTunes. You can also view his slides from the 9:00 Learning Community under Worship Resources. Dave offered practical steps in navigating disagreements we encounter in our relationships. Helpful stuff!
In the worship service we watched a video of the Summer Peacebuilding Institute at Eastern Mennonite University. This is the first of three ministries that our Peace Sunday Offering will help support this year. You will be introduced to the second ministry this Sunday during the offering. Next week I’ll be sharing the last of the three in a summary of how our ingathering offering will help further peacemaking near us and around the world. This summary will help you come prepared for how God is calling you to give on Peace Sunday, January 27.
This Sunday we have another guest speaker with us! Osheta Moore, Outreach and Teaching Pastor at Woodland Hills Church, and author of Shalom Sistas (Herald Press), will be sharing in the 9:00 am Learning Community (Not Your Typical Peacemaker), and then again at 10:30 am in the Worship Service. In a message entitled, We Will Tell Better Stories, Osheta will challenge us to use the internet and social media for peacemaking and furthering the Kingdom of God. How do keep from adding to the noise? How do we rise above the vitriol and the outrage? Osheta intends to reveal steps that move us forward.
Once again, let me encourage you to be intentional in how you’re applying this series to your personal life and your relationships. Some of our sermon-based small groups are already meeting this month and using the discussion questions (provided with each sermon at the website) to dive deeper. That’s a good way to respond, but you can also find other ways to engage with the content. You could meet with a trusted friend or a group of friends for conversation over coffee, talk to your spouse and/or family members about what you’re thinking, pray about it, reflect and meditate on relevant Scriptures while listening to this moving song, meet with a member of our pastoral staff, follow up with deeper study/research/reflection, etc.
Remember, God is always speaking. If we want to experience the fullness of his life, we must listen and respond in obedience, aligning ourselves with his good and perfect will for our lives. I hope you’ll join me in drawing closer to Christ in our Peacemakers series, so that we can be used to bring more of heaven to earth. Let’s take advantage of this opportunity to grow into the people God’s called us to be.
May God bless you this week as you live into being peacemakers in an age of outrage.
Grace & Peace,
P.S. As you know, this past weekend we saw some wintry weather, and it’s very possible that we may see a more intense storm this coming weekend. Please stay tuned to your email, our website, and social media for an announcement related to the worship service on Sunday. If we have to cancel the morning, the office will be letting you know as soon as we’re able to make that call, likely on Saturday afternoon/evening. Also, if we have to cancel the service, we will find a way to get the content for the Learning Community and the sermon to you so that we can all benefit from Osheta’s ministry.
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