I enjoyed a different kind of a day yesterday, as Jeff and I were part of an ordination council for the pastor of the Lake Area Evangelical Free Church in Roach, Missouri (just south of Camdenton). If you’re ever traveling around the Lake of the Ozarks, stop by the Lake Area Free Church (just north of the Davis Baskets store on Highway 54). Several of their church members were there for the council, and they are making a difference in the Camdenton-Lebanon area. Their pastor, by the way, passed his examination and is being recommended for ordination with the Evangelical Free Church of America.
In the EFCA Statement of Faith, there is an article that addresses “Christian Living.” I’ve reprinted it below. Read through it carefully and get a sense of how the EFCA exhorts its pastors and members to be living :
Christian Living : We believe that God’s justifying grace must not be separated from His sanctifying power and purpose. God commands us to love Him supremely and others sacrificially, and to live out our faith with care for one another, compassion toward the poor, and justice for the oppressed. With God’s Word, the Spirit’s power, and fervent prayer in Christ’s name, we are to combat the spiritual forces of evil. In obedience to Christ’s commission, we are to make disciples among all people, always bearing witness to the gospel in word and deed.
I think individual members at Emmanuel, and our Emmanuel family as a whole, do a pretty good job of living up to this calling. A strong witness in word is steadily going out to the community through Emmanuel, and a witness in deed as well through things like …
- involvement in the Hermann Food Pantry,
- giving to the 2nd Corinthians Fund,
- participation in certain kinds of missions efforts (such as our recent involvement in the backpack project in inner city Chicago),
- support of prison outreach and discipleship through Chaplain Bob Shanks,
- participation in Operation Christmas Child,
- and support of other local outreaches, such as our “baby bottle” fundraising effort a couple of Christmases ago for the local chapter of Birthright.
This fall we’ve been invited by St George School to participate in Hermann in a project you may be familiar with called Serve St Louis. St Louis’ Christian radio station, 99.1 Joy-FM, spearheads Serve St Louis, and two of the project’s “anchor churches” are St Louis area Evangelical Free churches.
Serve St Louis is about followers of Christ performing simple service projects in their community as a means of helping other people and loving them sacrificially. Last year 60,000 volunteers took part in service projects all the way from the metro east part of St Louis west to Wentzville. Work projects can be anything from visiting the sick and elderly, to cleaning yards, to painting and simple construction – whatever meets a practical need in the community.
Serve St Louis takes place on the weekend of October 11-12, but participation Hermann has been limited to Sunday, the 12th, due to the heavy activity Oktoberfest will likely bring to town on Saturday, the 11th. Some projects will be morning projects ; some will be afternoon projects ; and some will be all-day projects.
If you are interested in … (1) participating in a service project on the 12th, or … (2) if you have a project to propose for that day, … would you please let myself or Catherine Mahoney know. We will let St George School know about your involvement and/or idea. Thank you ! Find more information at www.servestlouis.org.
Thanks to everyone who stuck around last Sunday for the congregational meeting. We elected a Nominating Committee made up of the following members of the Emmanuel family : Rich Brune, Katie Heaney, Mike Horstmann, Glenn Story, and Sherry Traub. John Gloe will provide leadership from the Elder Board. I’m sure you’ll be hearing from the Nominating Committee later on this fall as they seek your input for nominations for church officers for 2015. In the meantime, would you begin praying for them as they prepare for the task ahead ? Thank you !
Thanks to those who have been gathering at church on Tuesdays at noon to pray for Emmanuel’s people and ministries. You are an encouragement to the church and an important part of God’s work !
We will gather again this Tuesday for prayer (probably about half-an-hour) at noon. This week a missionary candidate with ReachGlobal, the Evangelical Free Church mission, will join us. His name is Mark Farran, and he and his wife are missionary candidates to Romania. You can read more about the Farrans on the internet at the farrans.blogspot.com.
Please join us this Tuesday at noon for prayer, and consider going out to eat afterwards with Mark Farran and others from the church !
Staying Strong When Your World is Falling Apart
We will continue our look at the Book of Judges this Sunday. Are you wondering these days about the ongoing conflicts between men and women in our society ? Recent high-profile incidents in the sports world have highlighted some of the challenges that exist as men and women try to relate to each other. Judges 4 – the story of Deborah and Barak – will help us address this issue … in our “falling-apart” world … and in our own lives.
“Men and Women in a World That Is Falling Apart”
Hope to see you at 10:15 ! Don’t forget about classes for adults and children at 9:00 …
Survey of the Book of Acts.
What Is Faith ?
Discovering Christ & the Church 101.
Word Connections (for children ages 3-11).
See you Sunday !