Hello Brothers & Sisters,
I just returned from a brief stay at Christian Retreat Center (CRC) with some our pastors in Susquehanna Conference. I always look forward to driving out to CRC and staying for a couple days. While it’s never easy leaving my family, I feel that I’m able to rest there with a bit of solitude in the mountains. I’m grateful for the time of refreshment that Bishop Bob and Heather Beaty planned for our pastors. Please keep them in your prayers. God has most definitely called them to lead our conference with a grand vision. That’s exciting, but as you might guess, it comes with many challenges.
So, if you have a minute, please send Bob an encouraging email (email@example.com) that you are praying for him and his family.
Did you miss the sermon on Sunday? Maybe you’d like to share it with someone? You can check out Spiritual But No Religious? (2 of 7) at our website and the Grantham Church Podcast. In the second installment of our Spiritual and Religious series, I shared how we are all religious beings by nature. The question is: “What do we love and are we aware of the liturgical forces that are shaping us, for better or for worse?” I invited us to see how religion is necessary in that it provides us with religious habits, rituals, and routines that help us to aim our loves at Christ instead of idols in the world.
This Sunday we will further that point with the message, Jesus Was Religious (3 of 7). We will see that Jesus was shaped by the Scriptures, a confession (creed), a religious calendar, and other religious habits. I’ll also be dealing with some common objections like, “Jesus was against religion” and “Jesus didn’t come to start a religion” and “Christianity isn’t a religion, it’s a relationship.” I hope you can join us as we continue to explore what it means to be spiritual and religious, and why we need more religion and not less of it in our post-modern age.
Finally, thank you for the encouraging words that many of you often share with me and our staff. It means a great deal to us that you recognize our callings and that you support your leadership in these difficult times (Heb 13:7). As one Christian leader recently said on a podcast created for pastors, we are now seeing major shifts in Western culture of the likes that haven’t been seen in several hundred years. All of these shifts impact you, the church, our community, and our nation. More than ever, pastors and leaders need your prayers, encouragement, and support in shepherding the church in a busy, loud, and polarized world. Thank you for joining with us in our struggle against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Eph 6:12).
And remember church, we are praying for you. We are shepherds for your sake, under the watchful eye of God. We love you and believe in the future of Grantham Church. May God continue to bless us as we submit our lives to his Spirit and give him our hearts, over and over again.
Grace & Peace,
P.S. I wanted to let you know that Harrisburg BIC had a big celebration last Sunday. They paid off their mortgage almost 7 years early! We thank God for this news. I know there were folks from Grantham who helped with that, so thank you for showing your support of our sister congregation across the river. Please pray for Hank Johnson (senior pastor) and their entire staff as they continue to grow as a congregation, and as they are also grieving the unexpected death of Cedra Washington’s daughter, Jaida. Pray for comfort and mercy as our brothers and sisters seek to move forward after this tragic turn of events.
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