Hello all !
There are a lot of good and exciting things going on at Emmanuel during the next several weeks. It’s always good for me to hear from you the many ways God is working in your lives ! As we’ve seen the past two Sundays with the story of Samson, life is fleeting. Samson’s life ended suddenly and dramatically. He accomplished his life’s work (he began to deliver Israel from the Philistines), but it almost seems he accomplished that work in spite of himself ! He lived a reckless and seemingly self-centered life. Some of us live the same way at times. God was working in and through a man who had many flaws. God is just that good and faithful and gracious to us too. That’s what the Book of Judges has been about, … and it’s how we stay strong when our world is falling apart.
Men’s Ministry. An energized group of nine men and one young future auctioneer met around some chicken wings last Sunday evening to cast vision about future men’s ministry at Emmanuel. I was impressed by the heart these men brought to the table for seeing male followers of Jesus grow in their faith and in their relationships. We visited, watched some basketball and football out of the corner of our eyes, discussed the future of men’s ministry at Emmanuel, and paired up as prayer partners for the next month. Men praying for each other – what a powerful instrument in a local church ! The next informal men’s get-together at Emmanuel will be Sunday, December 7, at 5:30 pm at the church. We’ll share a light meal and, among other things, do a short Bible study using the “Discovery Bible Study” method Pastor Jeff and I received some training in just a week ago. This is a great study method – not only for the opportunity it provides to engage with the Bible, but also because it easily equips facilitators of new groups so study groups can multiply into the social networks we’re part of ! I hope some others of you men will join the enthusiasm on December 7.
The search for a Search Committee. As John Gloe mentioned Sunday morning, there are forms available at the church for you to nominate someone you think would serve well on Emmanuel’s Pastoral Search Committee. The congregation needs to nominate three people, and the Elder Board will nominate two. Our Nominating Committee is collecting those nominations and will present them to the church family for approval. So, please take the time to pray and offer some suggestions. We hope to elect that Search Committee at our January 4 congregational meeting.
Community Thanksgiving service … and choir. If you are interested in singing in a community choir at the Hermann Community Thanksgiving service this coming Sunday evening, November 23, there will be a rehearsal tonight (Wednesday) at 7:00 pm at St George Church. The service itself will be held at St George Church at 7:00 Sunday evening. Pastor Jeff Roth will present the message at that service.
Two eventful Sundays coming up. We have a couple special Sundays coming up still in November. This Sunday (Nov 23), Pastor Jeff will conclude our series in the Book of Judges, “Staying Strong When Your World is Falling Apart.” The final section of Judges shows the descent of Israel into what was truly a period of moral awfulness and political anarchy. These passages illustrate the great need for a rescuer. (Then comes the Book of Ruth — our Advent sermon series — which actually paints a wonderful, bright, hopeful picture onto the dark background of Judges). The content of the final chapters of Judges are especially hard-hitting ; a children’s church for ages 3-11 will be offered during the message time this Sunday if you would like to have that option for your children.
Immediately following worship this Sunday, you are invited to stay to help decorate the church building for Advent and Christmas. A light lunch will be served after worship, then we’ll get right to work. The more hands, the merrier ! Thank you !
Worship on Sunday, November 30, will be focused on prayer. It will be a “Concert of Prayer” during which time we will unite our hearts and voices to pray for each other’s needs, remember the needs of the church and world, give thanks to God, and enjoy a powerful time of fellowship with the Lord and with each other. I hope to see you there.
Someone has said : “A day hemmed in prayer will not easily come unraveled.” We will hem that day in prayer and will also, by prayer, enter into our Advent season.
“Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you” (Jesus, in Mark 11:24).