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World Communion Sunday offers congregations a distinctive opportunity to experience Holy Communion in the context of the global community of faith. The first Sunday of October has become a time when Christians in every culture break bread and pour the cup to remember and affirm Christ as the Head of the Church. On that day, they remember that they are part of the whole body of believers. Whether shared in a grand cathedral, a mud hut, outside on a hilltop, in a meetinghouse, or in a storefront, Christians celebrate the communion liturgy in as many ways as there are congregations. World Communion Sunday can be both a profound worship experience and a time for learning more about our wider community of faith.
This year Global Ministries showcases its Caribbean Initiative: On this World Communion Sunday, the materials we are sharing with brothers and sisters in Christ, will guide us to return to the original, radical message of the Eucharist. The Parable of the Great Dinner (Luke 14:15-22) and the Parable of the Wedding Banquet (Matthew 22:1-14), give us examples of breaking norms and rules of a concrete economic and cultural system and allow us to shift into openness, compassion, generosity, and welcome to all humans and creatures in Creation. The proposal is to surrender our haciendas, our private places, closed by privilege and domination, and to fill our stomachs with the reality of the other, letting the yeast of the Gospel transform us from the logic of retaining to one of offering. This alternative implies a society governed by a different symbolic order, not only by another law. It is about a permanent re-evolution of love, understanding, and care. ¡Bienvenidos y bienvenidas a la Mesa del Señor! Welcome to the table of God!
If you want to embrace the spirit in worship, a new album of Caribbean hymns and praise music, complete with lyrics in English and Spanish is now available! Download the free album today!
Currently a Memorial Service has been planned for Alice Welch for Friday, September 29th at Davis Greenlawn. Visitation will be at 1:00 p.m. followed by the Memorial Service at 2:00 p.m. followed by the interment. Please keep her family in your thoughts and prayers.
In October the Rev. Haas will lead a special Sunday School Series highlighting the lasting impact the Reformation has on our lives today. On four Sunday mornings, October 1st, 8th, 15th, and 29th at 9:00 am we will explore radical changes in the way we think about God, Salvation, the Bible, Sin, Predestination, Saints and Sinners. Martin Luther started fundamental reforms by publishing his 95 theses on October 31st, 1517.
If you are able to read your Bible today, thank this medieval monk. Luther popularized the idea that the church should speak the language of the people. No more Latin Mass, no more Bible that only the learned priest can read, but local language for local people. As a matter of fact Luther valued the Bible so much that he declared “sola scriptura”, only the scriptures are the guiding norm for our faith life. He was up against a church hierarchy that took itself way to serious.
One would think that we have learned that lesson. Unfortunately not so. Pew Research just published a study showing that 52% of US Protestants say, “Christians should look both to the Bible and to the church’s official teachings” in order to find God’s truth. The church is overrated once again.
There is a lot of work left to do after 500 years of teaching a theology that values God’s ways more than human ways. Luther clarified the biblical message of salvation very poignantly by distilling it it to the simple fact that we are saved “sola fide”, by faith alone. Yet Pew Research also found that the same 52% of US Protestants say, “both good deeds and faith are needed to get into heaven”.
Please join us those Sunday mornings. No registration is required, no prior knowledge is necessary. You don’t have to commit to anything beyond these four sessions. Because one thing should be clear: There is nothing you could possibly do to earn a place a heaven.
Please find your copy of the Church Council Minutes dated August 21, 2017 which was approved at the last Council meeting on Monday, September 18th. A copy of the Pastor’s Report given at the September 18th Council meeting is also available for review.
Join us on Sunday, October 22nd, for a chicken fried chicken dinner. We will be serving from 11am to 1pm. Deserts and silent auction items will be available for purchase. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to local flood relief fund. $10 tickets are available via pre-sale only. Please find all the details in the flyer.
When you are texting while driving you are 23 times more likely to cause an accident. While some people may be natural multi-taskers, driving requires single-minded focus. That’s why Texas has a new law in place now that bans texting while driving. Sometimes people just need to be reminded to focus.
God has the same problem. Sometimes we miss the road signs God has posted. We get distracted and lose focus. That is true for individuals as they get busy with work and family. The same is also true for the church itself. Sometimes we lose focus. When I browse the websites of the bigger churches in our area I find one thing they have in common. They all have one clear and precise focus. One is all about music. Another is all about changing your life. A third is all about enjoying yourself on Sunday mornings.
What we can learn from that is pretty simple: “Do one thing and do it well!” When you are driving, do just that. When you are focusing on your spiritual life, pay attention to where God is calling you. The church cannot be everything for everybody. Your spiritual life needs a focus. But please remember: There are other drivers sharing the road. They have different goals, they drive different makes, models, and colors. Every journey is different and that is okay. Just make sure that you are intentionally focused in single-minded pursuit of where God is calling you.