by: Christian Ilten
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Last week we communicated to you some changes regarding our Sunday worship schedule, as well as the start of a new Pastor-led Bible study that will take place between the two Sunday morning services. Thank you for everyone who shared their thoughts and encouragements, we always appreciate and welcome heartfelt feedback.
The primary motivation for these proposed changes is to purposefully get us as a congregation into God’s Word, together, in a corporate setting. Remember: “Man must not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God!” We believe that in-person, Pastor-led Sunday Bible study is the best way to bring this about.
Although we have already undertaken the two-service model, starting May 9, 2021, the Sunday schedule will look like this:
- Our childcare nursery will reopen this Sunday, May 9th!
- 8 am traditional worship in the sanctuary
- Fellowship time from the end of the 8 am service until 9:25 am (coffee and sweets are back!)
- 9:30 am – 10:15 Pastor-led Bible study in the sanctuary (also, Sunday School for elementary school-aged children) – this will again be known as the “Christian Education Hour”
- 10:30 am contemporary worship in the Family Life Center
- 6 pm worship service will return June 6, 2021
We are extremely excited to undertake our first study in the Book of Philippians; the focus of the study is relationships, and the title of the supporting text that we have purchased for the use of those attending the study is “How Then Can We Be Friends?” The study will be livestreamed every Sunday with a recorded version available on the church website.
As God’s people, it is crucial to our spiritual health that we are regularly in God’s Word together. God tells Joshua this in Joshua 1:8 “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it.” Jesus tells his disciples in Matthew 7, “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” And Paul reminds Timothy in 2 Timothy 3: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Again, we know that there may be some members that are disappointed with the decision to alter the worship schedule, and it is our prayer that moving forward we may all maintain open minds, a sense of grace, and a willingness to give something “new” a shot. We continue to value your views on this; if after a period of time this model seems to not be accomplishing the objectives we have established for it (increasing Biblical literacy, building confidence in witnessing what we believe, developing discipleship, and equipping the saints gathered here to be the arms, legs, hands and feet of Christ in the world), then we are more than willing to reevaluate and make further changes that will best empower us, with the help and the leading of the Holy Spirit, to accomplish these objectives.
Please give this new model the opportunity to thrive that it deserves! We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible in Bible Study in the Sanctuary this Sunday, May 9th at 9:30 am!
Pastor Pat and Pastor Eric