One of the things I do to keep my faith strong, stay sharp and keep finding how I can help all of us to build the community of faith here at Longview Chapel, is attend continuing education events. Last Saturday, I went to hear Dr. Tex Sample, one of my old seminary professors. Tex told a LOT of stories about how essential it is that the Church focuses on what we do best as a faith community. That is living our faith and sharing it in real ways. That we share our concerns and our joys. That we find others who will pray with us encourage us and even challenge us. That we learn to stretch and make room for our unique gifts, even when those seem pretty diverse. In a world where many are pressing for the independence of the individual, as a church, we lift up the reality of our connectedness as the children of God AND how that can make a real difference in how we live and experience life.
One of the ideas Tex shared was something I had been pondering. I feel his words were a little extra nudge from God to get going with the idea. Sunday mornings there is simply not a lot of time to talk about things together. I realize some of you would like to talk more, but may not feel comfortable asking for a time to get together. So, on Thursdays, starting August 1, I will be having open times set from 3:30 to 7:30 so you can schedule a time to talk. Please call Kay at the church office and schedule a time that works for you. (The week Family Life meets, we will go until 6:30 with times to talk.) We can talk, pray and look at possibilities together. If those times don’t work for you, please give me a call and we can schedule another time. If you prefer, I can come to your home.
Being a community of faith requires us to be a bit vulnerable with each other. It calls us to share moments of life together and experience God together. I am always honored to share time with you.
My plan is to attend additional workshops at General Assembly in Des Moines this Friday this week through Wednesday of next week. I have been asked to be a guest speaker at one of the local congregations on Sunday morning. I may shorten this to respond to pastoral concerns. I am VERY appreciative that Chuck Masoner will be preaching at the Chapel this Sunday and he is excited to share a message with you at both services. Come and worship together and celebrate the gift of being part of the Chapel together.
Home Opportunities for the week of July 14, 2019:
· Think of everyone you know who is your neighbor. Who comes to mind first? What person or kind of person do you need to stretch a bit spiritually to see as your neighbor? Lift them up in prayer and see if God guides you to take action.
· Pray about what it means to love God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind. When do you do this the best? Where is it a struggle for you? Lift these times up to God and be open to how God is helping you to grow in your heart, soul, strength and mind.
· Find a neighbor who could use some assistance from you. Perhaps it’s a phone call, or some baked goods, or help with the lawn. Choose to spend some time with a neighbor who could use a bit of God’s love and grace coming through you.
Scripture for July 21, 2019: