Good Thursday afternoon !
Yesterday, Pastor Jeff and I were able to be part of a training event – held at Emmanuel – to expose E-Free area pastors to an exciting Bible Study method God is using worldwide called Discovery Bible Study. It’s a small-group approach to Bible study that’s intended for unbelievers, new believers, and seasoned believers. It’s easily learned and allows you to take the study of the Bible into your family and relational networks. I look forward to the possibility of Jeff or me sharing more with you about that Bible study method in the future. Because it’s so relational in its approach – and eliminates the traditional dependence on the group “leader” – it’s easily replicated, allowing for new groups to start up quickly among people you know and love.
It was one of several reminders to me this week that God is at work … powerfully impacting lives and leading us into new chapters of service to him.
Yesterday evening, Emmanuel’s Elder Board had the opportunity to meet with Rachelle Hill who has asked to become a member of the church. Rachelle is another example of a life transformed by Jesus Christ … with a big part of that change happening in the time she has been coming to Emmanuel with her children, Olivia, Halley, and Sebastian. We look forward to receiving Rachelle and her family as new members at Emmanuel during an upcoming worship service. This coming Sunday, we will officially receive Tom and Mary Andrews as new members at Emmanuel.
God is on the move ! … and should be moving again in our midst at the start of a new men’s ministry this Sunday evening at 5:30 at Wings A-Blazin’. Hope to see many of you men at Wings for lips, Bible, prayer, and fellowship.
So, we see that even in a time of transition God’s work doesn’t stop. He doesn’t leave, and the Spirit of Christ continues to go before us, making life transformations possible. Actually, transitions – and leadership change – have been taking place in God’s work and in the Church for thousands of years. Consider :
a transition from Moses to Joshua
a transition from Elijah to Elisha
a transition from David to Solomon
a transition from Jesus being physically on the earth, to Spirit-indwelt believers
the Apostle Paul planting new churches in Asia and Europe, then turning them over to the care of godly shepherds.
Transition can be a time of renewed vision and commitment to the task. As concerns our own transition at Emmanuel, we can … and will … do it, with God’s help ! Very soon you will be hearing from John Gloe and the Elder Board about how we would like for you to provide input for nominations to the 5-person Pastoral Search Team. According to our church bylaws, three of those members of the Search Team are to be nominated by the congregation ; two are to be nominated by the Elder Board. Then, all five are to be approved by the congregation. So, please continue to pray about who God’s people are for this team. I know you have been praying, and I ask that you continue to do so. For that Search Team, we will need people who are spiritually mature, have good people skills, have a willingness to invest the time necessary, are good listeners, and are well-acquainted with members of the family at Emmanuel.
Let’s keep in mind that although there is an upcoming pastoral change at the church, the mission of the church stays the same !
Here are some particulars about dates and activities coming up over the next several weeks :
Thanksgiving Outreach, November 22, beginning at 10:00 a.m. All who wish to be involved in putting together and delivering some Thanksgiving meals for people in our area who would not otherwise be able to enjoy one, please contact Valerie Uthlaut at 573-826-8119.
Concert of Prayer, November 30, 10:15 am. As in the recent past, this 5th Sunday of the month will have prayer as its focus.
Staff Meeting, December 8, at 6 pm. We will have some important things to communicate to ministry leaders at this meeting, so your presence at the meeting is very important. In addition, we will construct a calendar of activities for the 2015 spring semester.
Congregational Meeting, December 14, following worship. The agenda for this meeting will include approval of the 2015 church budget ; a formal presentation of the changes proposed for the church bylaws ; and a presentation by the Nominating Committee of candidates for Elder Board and Steward Committee for 2015.
Christmas Eve Open House. The church building will be open from 10:30 am – 5:30 pm for cookies, hot drinks, fellowship, rest, and a focus in worship — at three different times during the day — on the coming to Earth of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Concert of Prayer, January 4, 10:15 am. This will be a second opportunity to gather as one for prayer. We will start the new year, and officially kick off the pastoral search process, with prayer to God.
Congregational Meeting, January 4, following worship. At this meeting, the agenda will include election of church officers for 2015, and the election of the Pastoral Search Team.
Volunteer Appreciation Day, January 4, noon. We are organizing a church dinner – for you – at which time we will rejoice in what God has done in 2014 by recognizing everyone who has been serving the Body of Christ at Emmanuel.
I hope you’ll mark your calendars. We will be successful to the extent that everyone is involved and that we all look to the Lord for humility, provision, and guidance.
Finally, please note that our plan for cancellation of Sunday morning activities (if necessary due to poor weather conditions) will be the same as last year. If we have your email address, you should receive an email message from Pastor Jeff and/or me early Sunday morning. In addition, a message will appear on the church website – www.hermannefree.com.
“Great is our Lord and abundant in strength ; his understanding is infinite.”
See you Sunday for the conclusion of our sermon series on Samson, “God’s Power in a World That’s Falling Apart,” from Judges 16.
Adult and children’s classes at 9:00.
Worship at 10:15.