Last week we mentioned we’re keeping most of the details under wraps until the big reveal in a few months. However, we’re starting a new series called It’s in the Details. Weekly, we will post a new detail photo from the Peel House and you get to guess what it is! Don’t worry, we’ll give a few hints.
“Jesus was amazed at their lack of faith” Mark 6:6
I’ve been thinking a lot about what faith is for. In Mark’s gospel Jesus commends people for their faith saying ‘your faith has healed you.’ But he’s also amazed at the lack of faith, like in this Sunday’s story about his visit home. In that case he doesn’t do many miracles because they lack faith. Yet in many other healings and miracles there is no mention of faith at all. So it’s not like Jesus requires faith for Him to do good things for people. What’s going on? I think there’s something about being open to the work Jesus would do in your life. If we are indifferent or closed off then we are less likely to experience the good work He would do. If instead we are open and expectant, we are much more likely to experience God’s work in our lives. But isn’t that the case with most things? Yes, I think it is.
It is hard to believe looking at the equipment, supplies and mud outside of the Peel House that we are just about 4 weeks away from completion of the construction! We have been documenting the construction through photos that we share with you each week and I know how much so many of you have enjoyed seeing the progress. As we enter the final phase we are going to hold back from sharing any additional photos so you can come and experience the transformation at our Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting on Sunday, August 22 at 1:00 p.m.
In the coming weeks, we will share with you snippets of finishes, details, and corners that you might otherwise miss, or that might be fun to guess exactly what they are or where you might find them in the house! We are so grateful for your continued support and generosity throughout this project. We look forward to celebrating together years of faithful ministry that have taken place in the house and the years of growth that are yet to come!
This story of Jairus’ daughter and the woman with hemorrhages tells us so much about the heart of Jesus. A man’s daughter is sick and ends up dying. Is there anything worse than losing a child? No. There’s also a woman who has been really sick for 12 years. That’s such a long time. Her hope was exhausted. Both Jairus and the woman are desperate. Jesus heals them both. Not in the same way and we’ll talk about that Sunday. But don’t let this point get lost. Our Lord Jesus heals. Our Lord Jesus cares about the things that devastate us. He is moved by our suffering. We are loved, and Jesus is on the move in this world. Moving toward pain and hurt to bring healing and relief. May his church do the same.
How often have I prayed that line to God? The same line the disciples said to Jesus. Don’t you care? Why was Jesus sleeping during the storm? Was it in fact that he didn’t care about the disciples? Was it because he didn’t love and cherish them? Was it because he didn’t want them to be safe and to have a full vibrant life? Of course, we know the answer is no. Of course, we know that Jesus cared. Can we also believe that God cares about us in the storms of our life? Even when our prayers aren’t answered immediately or in the manner we expected. Can we trust that God’s perspective is better than our own and that his love and care and desire for our well being have not and will never diminish? Let’s explore the difference between our perspective and God’s this week
The sun is setting and the wind is bringing in a cool summer breeze. Around you are the noises of preschoolers gathering pine cones and teenagers whispering about their week. People are dressed in sweatshirts and jeans, sometimes even the pastor, and it’s not uncommon to see a youth arrive in their soccer uniform straight from practice. The lights twinkle above you as the beautiful contemplative music brings you to focus on worship. All ages of the Body of Christ surround you as you settle into Wednesday Night LIGHT (Living Into God’s Holy Truth).
Our new mid-week service began as a way to provide an outdoor worship experience in the midst of a pandemic and a short but meaningful service for our young confirmation students, but it has since become a special atmosphere all its own. Our Wednesday Night LIGHT Service is casual and welcoming, literally a beacon of light to the community that drives and walks by. It has become an inter-generational service where all ages are able to enjoy faith in a different way than the average Sunday morning service.
The service itself is only thirty to forty minutes long complete with violin and piano-led music and contemporary liturgy. After the service, we are offering a special small group for young adults led by Michaela Eskew, the Minister of Faith Formation and our two pastors. The intention of this small group is to foster community and allow for open and honest conversation about living our faith in an ever-changing world.
It truly is a unique worship experience and we hope you all will try it at least once this Summer!
“The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground,” -Mark 4: 26
This verse has oddly been with my all day without my knowing it was part of the preaching text for this coming Sunday. I’ve been thinking about the seeds that we scatter and how some of them take and some of them we’re not quite sure. Just this past weekend I was pulling weeds and planting some new shrubs and flowers. I had a little spot that a few plants share, one of the plants is lavender. It’s come up for the last few years and I always love the smell (sometimes I even use it in shortbread), but this year it just looked dead. So I thought I was being patient, I’ve given it time and kept looking to see if anything was sprouting. For weeks it has just looked like it was a lost cause. So as I went about pulling up all the weeds and a few other forlorn shrubs, I headed for the lavender plant. I started to gently tug on it, brushed some dirt off, felt some resistance and looked a little closer. I saw a few green sprouts at the bottom, almost hiding under the dead, dried up stalks. I pulled one out, rubbed it between my fingers and it smelled like beautiful lavender. I gently patted it back down, gave it a little water and plant food, and I’m hoping I didn’t damage it when I had almost given up on it.
The seeds have been scattered and God cares for and loves his creation. No matter how scraggly the seeds or the branches look, no matter how parched or dead they seem, God is in, with and under them. It’s up to us to not disrupt them, but to care for His creation, to be patient as the seeds come to life, and to feed and water the seeds in ways that are life-giving. Do no harm, for God is always with us.