It's the Most Wonderful Time...?
Have you entered the Christmas season yet? I know some people who have been listening to Christmas music for a few weeks now, but my family always holds off on the music and decorations until the day after Thanksgiving... and then we go at it with a vengeance! In fact, as I write this we've just begun the transformation of our home.
Some of my friends got up early to get in on the "Black Friday" sales as they've started their gift shopping (some of it even started on Thanksgiving day!). From what I've heard, this is not for the faint of heart - or the easily bruised. I just saw a website called "Black Friday Death Count" which records that there have been 7 confirmed injuries (as of noon) which includes not only people being trampled, but also stabbed and shot! What in the world?!
The Christmas season has become a time of discontent - we "need" the latest doo-hicky and gizmo or we won't be merry this year. Is that really true? I have to admit that I can be just as guilty as the next guy and I need to continually check myself. What's the best way to fight this tendency?
I think it's found in one of the names assigned to Jesus at his birth: Emmanuel. This name means "God with us". What a wonderful reminder of what Jesus' incarnation brought to us - Jesus is always with us!
If I can really grasp that good news: that the creator of the universe loves me and is always with me, what more could I ever need? Stuff gets out-dated (as soon as we open the box) and is destined for the storage unit or trash heap. But Emmanuel is always with us, providing what we need and giving us hope and peace in a world that is increasingly hopeless and anything but peaceful!
Join us this Sunday, Dec. 1st, as we enter the Advent season and celebrate Emmanuel. We will celebrate the Lord's Supper - the ultimate celebration of God with us.
The Good Samaritan Fund
Our church has a special fund which enables us to assist people within our congregation and community who find themselves in need. In the past few months we've helped people pay power bills, purchase medication, and pay the security deposit on an apartment.
On the first Sunday of each month, we will take a special offering after the service to replenish this account. Please prayerfully consider making an offering beyond your usual tithe which will help us to provide assistance to others.
The Dreaded "E" Word?!!!
Jesus gave his followers two specific commandments: Love God and Love Others (Mark 12:29-31). There are a lot of specific ways that we can put these instructions into practice (you can go to the "Weekly Message" tab and listen to a whole lot of sermons on this topic as a part of "The Jesus Creed" and "Be the Church" series). But there's one particular element in the "love others" portion that most Christians have a tough time with... the dreaded "e" word -- evangelism.
Maybe, with the right motivation, we will do it. Take a look at the Evangelism Linebacker.
To watch on Youtube, click this link
The problem is that, once the Evangelism Linebacker (or his equivalent motivational pressure) is gone, we don't do it very often or not at all. I think that the main reason is that we've made evangelism into a program or activity that feels strange and isn't "doable" for most of us. There must be another way for each of us to help others move toward a relationship with Jesus.
This Sunday, November 24th, we'll be wrapping up our "Reckless Faith" series with the 2nd part of "Reckless Reaching Out". I think you'll be surprised to discover that evangelism can be a whole lot more simple and natural than you thought. I hope to see you there!
Covenant World Relief Offering
This Sunday we will be collecting the CWR "soup can" banks for the Covenant's ministry to hurting parts of the world. Bring your bank or simply write a check to "CWR" and put it in the collection basket in the Church Library.
If you would prefer to make a donation online, you can do so through the denominational website www.covchurch.org and follow the tabs to the online giving form.
Thank you for loving God through loving those in need.
Since the Seahawks aren't playing this week, you can stick around after Worship and help us transform the church for the Advent Season. And, beyond the fun, you'll also get a delicious lunch!
On Sunday you'll learn about a wonderful, new resource available to you and your entire family. More info to come...
Let it Flow!
I've always been fascinated and drawn to water. When my family moved to Mercer Island in 2006 we rented a house that was a block away from the waterfront of Lake Washington. I used to walk our dog through the neighborhood and stop at the small waterfront parks just to enjoy looking out over the water.
Now that we're here in the Methow I get to enjoy rivers and streams - including a stream running next to our home and the river only a few steps away from my office! There is something about the sights and sounds of moving water that is both calming and energizing.
In John 7:37-38 Jesus shouts out to the crowds,
Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, 'Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.'"
This Sunday, November 17th, we'll be talking about Reckless Reaching Out. When it comes down to it, our ability to reach out to others with God's love comes as an overflow of this river of living water that God bubbles up from within our relationship with Him. I hope you'll be able to join us!
Potluck and Annual Meeting this Sunday evening!
Be sure to make plans to join us this Sunday evening, November 17th, for our Annual Meeting. We'll begin with a potluck meal at 5:00 followed at 6:00 with our meeting. After we've concluded with business, we'll finish up the evening with dessert and more fellowship.
Everyone is invited to join us for this exciting evening - both members and attenders. We will be hearing about the exciting things taking place within the larger Covenant denomination, watch a slide show reviewing some highlights of the past year, hear about our hopes and plans for the coming year, and vote on new Church Officers and Council members and the 2014 budget. It should be a fun and encouraging evening!
If you've been a Christian and/or around church for a while you may have encountered some terminology that you don't understand. Some of the terms are unique to Christianity and Christian theology. If you don't have a handy dictionary (or a neighbor who can whisper info into your ear), you may end up drifting off like the kid in biology class who didn't read the assigned chapter and is now completely lost in the lecture....
But some of these big words are really important to understand! This Sunday, November 3rd, Don Wallis will be opening up God's Word to help us to understand a couple really key ones: justification and sanctification. Join us for an enlightening and inspiring time.
We will also welcome new members and celebrate the Lord's Supper. It will be a wonderful morning and I hope you will be able to join us!
Thoughts about living as a Jesus follower and life at Community Covenant Church