Hello Brothers & Sisters,
It is getting cold outside! Please stay warm and safe over the next 48 hours.
Did you miss any of our January Peacemakers series? If so, you can find all of the sermons in the series at our website or at the Grantham Church Podcast via iTunes. Shane Claiborne concluded the series this past Sunday with a powerful message called, Blessed are the Peacemakers (4 of 4). Shane’s words in the Learning Community and at the lunch/Q&A were challenging and inspiring.
As I have been reflecting on the Peacemakers series, there are a few things that stand out to me that I’d like our congregation to put into regular practice: (1) We need to seek out friendships with those whom we disagree; (2) We need to listen to people’s stories (e.g. “Tell me why you feel/believe that way?”); (3) We need to always remember that there are real people (with their own story) on the receiving end of our words, so be slow to speak and quick to listen.
Each week in our series, we were reminded the Jesus calls us to love those made in God’s image, which includes our neighbors and our enemies. I pray that we will be the sort of congregation that exudes that love and puts into practice all of the helpful wisdom we received in our series. May we be known by our love as we make room at the table for everyone who would come. Our community needs to see us model this in our church, for such a time as this. I’m confident we’re on this path together. And I’m hopeful about the future of Grantham Church.
Please join us this Sunday for the kick off of our spring learning communities and another meaningful time of corporate worship. I’ll be sharing the results of our Peace Sunday Offering and preaching a sermon called, God’s Good Future. I’ll invite us to consider why I think our best days are not behind us (i.e. “good old days”), but in front of us, if we will deepen our trust in God for his good future—for our lives, our church, and our world. I’ll be preaching from Exodus 33:12-17. We will close the service by sharing in communion together.
Also, we are unveiling our new bulletin design this Sunday! As I said last week, we have adopted a clean and simple look that will be attractive to visitors (warm and inviting) and helpful for our intergenerational congregation. You will notice a few changes, but the biggest change you’ll see is that we have removed all of the announcements. We have done this for two primary reasons: (1) We have put together a bulletin that is focused on the worship service; (2) We wanted to consolidate all of our announcements into one “go to” place for what’s happening in our church.
So, where can you find out about all of the ministries and opportunities to get involved at Grantham Church? We’re calling it the Body Life. Sound familiar? Grantham has had this before, but this time it’s a little different. The “Body Life” can be found below my weekly email/letter. In addition to our website, we’re encouraging you to get all of your information from this digital form of communication.
For those who don’t have email, who would like a hard copy, or who are visiting with us, there will be a few copies (print out) of the Body Life at our Information Centers, located at each entrance to our building. We’re certain that his new Body Life will save us time, energy, and paper. And it will simplify the way you receive information from the church office. Thank you for moving with us in this new direction!
May God continue to bless Grantham Church as we seek to contextualize the gospel and adapt our ministry practices for this unique time in our history.
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