My family and I have been here a little over four months and “connections” have been the theme of the last 4 to 6 weeks for me, personally. I have become increasingly excited about the new and deepening connections I have made, but I am also excited for our whole church body to deepen in connections as well. We live in a culture that has more possibilities and options for activities/commitments than perhaps any other culture the world has ever seen. This has obvious benefits, but a substantial drawback is these “opportunities” can be beyond hazardous for the kind of connections that allow us to know and be known in the ways that move us toward meaningful depth and discipleship.
I mentioned in a sermon back in September that the depth of our relationships will be in proportion to our ability to get messy with one another. Messiness is a positive byproduct that comes only in relationships where we actually know and trust each other enough to expose ourselves. Thus, here’s to new and deepening connections that build trust where we will love, learn, and listen to God and each other together!
In his New Testament epistles, multiple times Paul gives a vision of a growing, maturing deeply connected body of Christians similar to what he writes to the Church in Ephesus here in Ephesians 4:11-16:
“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built upuntil we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” (NIV)
If we are to serve one another by using our various gifts to help each other grow to maturity in faith in Christ, first we must be deeply connected relationally. I’m excited to keep thinking through with you how we can be a countercultural, Kingdom of God-minded people who know each other and are known by each other, so we can together equip each another to love God and others more richly and faithfully.
Our next week to host families with Family Promise is November 19-25, which falls over the week of Thanksgiving. Thank you to those who have signed up to help so far; we now have all the meals covered!
The remaining need is for some volunteers to spend a night at the church during our host week on Sunday, Wednesday, Friday, or Saturday night.
It is a pretty easy assignment:
- We ask that you show up at 8 p.m. with your own pillow and sheets or sleeping bag. You will have your own room with a cot provided. (The families start settling down pretty early since they leave early in the morning, so you can spend some time reading and relaxing, or just go to bed early as well.)
- In the morning, our guests normally grab some breakfast and lunch items to take with them to the day center and leave by about 6 a.m.
- Then you can turn out the lights, lock the doors, and go about your day.
Since most schools are closed for Thanksgiving week, this might be a great time for a parent/child team to serve as hosts. You can get some quality time with your child, and the experience of being involved in this ministry is likely to spark some important conversations and perhaps increase gratitude for the blessing of having a home. If you have questions or would like to sign up, please call the church office or email email@example.com.
Kids Night Out
Student Ministries will be hosting a Kids Night Out this Saturday, November 11 from 5:00-8:00 PM. KNO is a fun time for kids to participate in crafts, play games, and enjoy stories and a movie while their parents can enjoy some time off! The cost is $25 per child for children ages 12 months – 5th grade. Pre-registration is required, and families can register by following the link.
KNO is not only a fun time for kids but is also a fundraiser to help reduce travel costs associated with events such as Summit, Spring Connection, and Camp Quaker Haven for our student ministries. Be praying over this event and the different ways that this can support our students and families. If you have questions, please contact Katelyn Sanders.
Annual Thanksgiving Meal
The church is hosting its annual Thanksgiving Meal catered by Cracker Barrel on Sunday, November 19th at 5:00 PM. Tickets are available for purchase online now, in the church office, and will be sold after the Worship Service on November 5th and November 12th. Tickets will be sold until November 14.
Bible Quiz Pie Sale
It is time for the annual Bible Quiz Pie Sale. Pies can be ordered after the Worship Service on November 5, and November 12. You will be able to pick up your pies on November 19 after the service. Pecan and Pumpkin Pies are $20 each and Apple Pies are $25 each. Thank you for supporting the Bible Quiz Team!
In coordination with FISDCares, Bay Area Alliance, and other churches in the community, we are participating in “Undie Sunday.” This Sunday, November 12, there will be collection bins in the Friends Center, Coffee Café, and outside the Worship Center to accept donations of NEW undies, pajamas, and socks for kids in need this holiday season. Donations can also be dropped off at the church office leading up to November 12. Children and adult sizes are needed. We appreciate your help in making this Undie Sunday clothing drive a success.
Holiday Save the Dates
The Advent Season is quickly approaching, and we would love for you to participate with us. The Christmas Carol Hayride will be Tuesday, December 5th and The Women’s Ministry Cookie Exchange will take place on Wednesday, December 6th. Be watching for more details on these events and others as the season approaches.
I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. Romans 1:11-12