Hello resurrecting sisters and brothers,
We will continue our Easter celebration this Sunday. A lovely and meaningful service that I am looking forward to spending with you. If you want to get a sneak peek – see Revelation 1: 4-8 and John 20: 19-31. I am planning a very meaningful spiritual exercise for us to enjoy together. Nothing unites the hearts of people of all ages, races, generations, political persuasions, and social status as well as worship. In God’s eyes….nothing matters more than you…and us….together.
See you Sunday at 11:00 a.m. in the sanctuary.
PS. There will be no adult Sunday School this week.
The staff and session are very much looking forward to hosting a Sunday luncheon, immediately following worship within the next month. As a congregation, we are looking at some significant issues that will go far in setting the direction that FPCE. The leadership of this church will not make any major decisions without input and insights from you, the congregation. We will be addressing two issues in our meeting together: the renovation of the building and the newly developed strategic plan. The discussion will be moderated and facilitated by Pastor Michael.
With plans in hand, the people who have worked the most and the hardest on the renovation plan will be present. The elders will all have an opportunity to share their thoughts and understanding of the strategic plan. YOUR THOUGHTS ARE ESSENTIAL TO US! MORE LATER. KEEP PRAYING!
Hello members and friends of the FPCE community,
An important question for every pastor to ask her/himself is: “Where will I go to be fed? Who will be the shepherd that keeps me on the right path? Who can I turn to when my spiritual life becomes an arid, depressing, and meaningless wasteland? (Yes, this happens to Pastors, too!) I will confess in my earlier days of ministry, I was too proud or naïve to believe I needed anyone outside of me and my God. Guess what? It didn’t work. So I began to develop a list of names who I can turn to for spiritual direction. After Heather and I were married, she introduced to another spiritual writer, Joan Chittester. She is a member of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, PA. Joan is a woman of depth, candor, and wisdom. Below is a resurrection reflection followed by prayer. It is powerful. I pray it is an inspiration for all of you.
To say ‘I believe in Jesus Christ . . . who rose from the dead,’ is to say I believe that the Resurrection goes on and on and on forever. Every time Jesus rises in our own hearts in new ways, the Resurrection happens again. Every time we see Jesus where we did not recognize him before — in the faces of the poor, in the love of the unloved, in the revelatory moments of life, Jesus rises anew. The real proof of the Resurrection lies not in the transformation of Jesus alone but in the transformation awaiting us who accept it.
To say, ‘I believe in Jesus Christ . . . who rose from the dead,’ is to say something about myself at the same time. It says that I myself am ready to be transformed. Once the Christ-life rises in me, I rise to new life as well. ‘Christ is risen, we are risen,’ we sing at Easter. But it has a great deal more to do with life than with death. If I know that Jesus has been transformed, then I am transformed myself, and as a result, everything around me.
Until we find ourselves with new hearts, more penetrating insights, fewer compulsions, less need for the transient, greater awareness of the spiritual pulse of life, resurrection has not really happened for us. Jesus has risen but we have not. Resurrection is change at the root of the soul. It marks a whole new way of being in life.
Jesus, help me to understand that in every life, something good fails, something great ends, something righteous is taken unjustly away, something looms like an abandonment by God. Give me the wisdom to know that You rose from the dead as a sign to us that every one of these ‘little deaths’ is life become new all over again. Be with me in living Your Resurrection over and over again. Amen.