For the last five weeks we have been laying the foundation for a new message series. If you missed any of these Jesus, Friend of All messages, we encourage you to watch, download a podcast or read a manuscript of the messages. Click on the message titles below.
Me? Friend of All?
Our new message series uses an outline suggested by Time of Grace speaker Pastor Mike Novotny in a book entitled Gay and God: Loving Everyone God Made and Everything God Wrote. We have purchased 350 copies for distribution after services this weekend. You can also download a Kindle version for a donation to Time of Grace Ministry by clicking here. Our GroupWork questions for the next four weeks will be based on this book. The GroupWork questions are attached.
Love People AND Love the Passages
The topic of the book is homosexuality, but the goal of our study is broader. We want to understand the passages regarding homosexuality and heterosexuality. As Pastor Mike says, we want to Love the Passages. But we also want to examine our own hearts. Do we Love the People? Can we be the People of God who love all people unconditionally so that we might have a chance to share with them the God who forgives unconditionally?
A member of the congregation summed up our goal well in an email earlier this week:
John 1:14 tells us that Jesus is full of grace, and full of truth. As people, we seem to favor one or the other… And gladly take the moral high-ground over those who are on the other side (pious enemy, anyone?). Hopefully, these sermons will challenge both sides to see others the way Jesus saw them, with 100% truth, and 100% grace. Amen!
Prepare Your Hearts
Part of my preparation has been to take several Harvard Prejudice tests. The 10 minute tests have helped me realize where I want to work harder to “Love my neighbor as myself.” Check out Harvard’s Implicit Project here.
St. Paul’s Congregational Dinner
Sunday, February 17, from 10 am to 2 pm is our annual chicken dinner. There is no charge, but there will be places to give a freewill offering not only to cover the cost of the meal but to help us move forward with the Centennial Gym renovation this summer and other Cool Million projects.
Our Cool Million goal is that by the end of the dinner, we will have received $500,000 in gifts. We have received about $462,000 so far! If God has enabled you, consider a special gift to A Cool Million to help us achieve our goal. Click here to give online using a credit card or direct withdrawal from a checking or savings account.
As part of our half-way celebration, you will be able to sign a poster-sized check for $10,000 made out to Garden Homes Lutheran Church and School. This is the fifth $10,000 check to our mission partners as our tithe of every Cool Million gift given. We will present this check at one of their services in March.
Lutheran School Week
This coming week we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of our Lutheran school! Share the news that we have a school that is “worth a visit!” Schedule a tour with Principal Fitzsimmons (firstname.lastname@example.org.) Information about our school is in the attached St. Paul’s News including information about the Parental Choice programs and financial aid. Our goal is that Christian education is accessible to every family who desires it.
Attached are instructions to download your personal giving statement for tax purposes. If you have trouble, simply reply to this email and ask for a copy.
May God place his hand of blessing on our ministry! By every possible means we bring every person within our area of influence closer to Christ.
I am so thankful to be a part of a congregation that has a passion to bring Jesus to the world around us!