Hello Brothers & Sisters,
It was exciting to see a full house for our fall kickoff this past Sunday! Our staff recently reflected on how meaningful the morning was and how we were encouraged to see the Spirit at work. Thank you for participating in the start of a new season of ministry in the life of Grantham Church. I hope you received a blessing by gathering with your church family for worship.
If you missed the sermon on Sunday, you can listen to Ask, Seek, Knock at our website or on the go through the Grantham Church Podcast. If you listen to the podcast, you will notice that we’ve now added a greeting and intro that briefly describes who we are and where we’re going as a congregation. It’s a helpful reminder for those who worship with us, and an invitation to those podrishioners who don’t attend Grantham. Please let your friends and neighbors know about this ministry resource. And if you’re able, subscribe to the podcast and rate it so that it becomes more visible in the world of podcasts.
This coming Sunday we will begin our fall series, Spiritual and Religious. You may have heard the phrase: “I’m spiritual, but not religious.” It’s a common phrase used by many people today to self-identify as someone who values spirituality and the well-being of mind-body-spirit, while taking issue with organized religion. Even among many Christians, the term “religious” is often used as a pejorative term with connotations of hypocrisy, legalism, and a lack of genuine piety. So, we say things like “Jesus wasn’t religious” or “Christianity is not a religion” or that the Christian faith is “not about religion, it’s about a relationship.” But is that really true? If not, where did this modern disdain for religion come from? And what is at stake if we merely seek to be spiritual but not religious?
In this 7-week series, I’ll invite us to see that “spirituality” is honestly a vague, individualistic impulse toward the transcendent and it’s not enough to shape us as disciples of Jesus. As the New Testament will attest, there is good in religion. In fact, Christ himself was a religious Jew. And correctly understood, the Christian religion has handed down observance of the church calendar and Spirit-infused practices like prayer, Scripture, creeds, sacraments, and ancient liturgies to properly form us into his image.
God doesn’t need these things. We need them to be properly formed in our worship. Join us for a series that will challenge and inspire us to embrace the mystery and liturgical power of the Christian faith—a way of life that is both spiritual and religious.
Remember, change is inevitable, but growth is intentional (optional). How do you need to grow? Do you have questions? Are you struggling with doubt, anxiety, or a sense of purpose? Are you needing to discern God’s will for you and your family? Maybe you need the Spirit’s help to overcome negativity and criticism of others. It could be that you need to be moved out of your own complacency and cynicism. Whatever your need, I want to encourage you to be intentional in working the spaces of the church this fall. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Seek with your whole heart and you will find him.
As we continue to be intentional about moving forward in our faith, may we experience the grace that God gives us to grow our roots down deep into the love of Christ (Col 2:6-7). And may God bless our congregation as we put our hands to the plow of God’s Kingdom purposes and not look back. Onward and upward, Grantham Church!
Grace & Peace,
P.S. Our mid-week meal is back with a fresh focus to meet new people and deepen our connections to one another in the church! Come out and show your support for our Community Meal this Wednesday night from 5:00-6:30 PM in the fellowship hall. This is a chance to get to know people. It’s a chance to listen to others and their stories. Our desire is that the Community Meal would serve as an intersection between the church, college, and greater community. We want to offer this meal as a reflection of God’s table that’s open and freely available to all. I hope to #SeeYouAtTheTable!
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