On the calendar above my desk I discovered something last week that I have obviously read before, but has never really gripped me like it did last week. On my wall calendar from the company that does some of our printing needs for the church, I read in the box for Friday, April 18, 2014 these words – ‘Good Friday’. Now I know that Good Friday has existed for a long time, but what really caught my attention this year was that in our world the day that we remember Christ’s death is still acknowledged. For a lot of people it has become a day off. I was really drawn into Good Friday this year as a day off. The day that we as a church reflect on as the day Jesus Christ died for our sins, is now a day off. A day off to do what? I was really challenged this year with Good Friday.
Then Easter Sunday came. I woke up at 4:59am. My goal was to come to the church. Safely and purposefully, go up on the church roof. Safely and purposefully, go to the pinnacle of our church. Safely and purposefully, I was going to sit at the base of the cross on top of the church. Safely and purposefully, I was going to face the east and watch the sun come up on the horizon. I was going to safely and purposefully take a photo that I could share with everyone on Sunday morning during the Sunday morning gathering. Then safely and purposefully, I was going to climb down, go home and get ready for church.
I did wake up at 4:59am (which is quite amazing considering I am not a morning person). I proceeded outside, walked towards my van and then paused and looked up into the sky. It was completely overcast. I could not see the sky in any direction. I could tell the sun was coming up, but I could not see it at all. I became frustrated and disappointed. I wanted to climb on the church roof (safely and purposefully) and see the sun rise. I went back into the house and sat on the couch. My frustration began to turn into joy as I felt led to rejoice in the fact that I did not need to see the sun rise in order to know that the Son had risen. I began to worship the Lord. Then I must have fallen asleep. I awoke with an attitude of anticipation in regards to coming to CLC and celebrating the plan of God’s love for me.
What a Sunday morning it was. Amazing hymns and songs about Christ’s life and resurrection. Songs of worship that engaged my heart, mind, soul and body into worshipping the God who saved my life. Listening as 6 different members of our congregation read from their Bibles the account of Jesus’ death and resurrection. I love hearing the Bible read in our church gatherings. Well done. As the service went along, I looked forward to sharing the message. This past Sunday morning was a wonderful experience for me.
Here is a quick synopsis of Sunday’s sermon:
Blessings as you continue to remember Good Friday, Easter Sunday and all that God has done to show His love for you.
3 – Things Jesus Said
3 – 13 on 13
On Sunday, Celebration hosted a family reunion of sorts. We hung out together after church with all the usual necessities; cold cuts, cheese slices, soup and dill pickles. It was of course a gathering with a purpose. One of the regular activities we have learned to do is gather together to discuss important matters. In the past we’ve dealt with goals and values – this time we were talking about core beliefs, name change, and a possible building program. We’ve come a long way as a family over the last five years. From my perspective, on the Board and with the staff we have had lots of opportunity to practice trusting each other enough to hold important conversations, to be able to hold different opinions and to still encourage and support each other.
Sunday was an opportunity for us to have some of those discussions with a broad group of the congregation/family. We are in a learning process as a Board, and one of the things we learned was that people need more information and more opportunity to investigate or study issues of core beliefs before coming together. We will get better at this process.
On the positive side there were some great conversations at the tables, lots of people showing their passion and commitment to this body. The turnout was spectacular. The Board will have feedback from the table notes that we can use to help us ensure that we are informed and able to act as the “trust” on behalf of the congregation.
No decisions were made at the meeting. The purpose was to gather feedback and further feedback is still welcome. The discussion guides we used will be at the glass table in the lobby for a few weeks so please pick one up, read it, and send the Board your comments. Or, please phone any one of the Board members or snag us on Sunday for a chat.
Thanks to everyone that joined us. More information about the CLC 1-2-3 project and our Core Beliefs and name change will be made available well in advance of asking members to make any decisions.