June 2019 Newsletter

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Dear Friends Pursing Christ,

As I look at our congregation, I see many of our members who grew up in the church. As you grew up you heard Bible stories, memorized verses, learned some hymns and, yes, some contemporary worship songs. That’s a great heritage and something to be very thankful for these days but that is not the norm now. In fact, I would say that is not everyone’s story at FPC.

In 2019, I would say the majority of Americans are not familiar with who Jesus is and what the Bible has to say about being a follower of Christ. If they believe in God at all, it is often fuzzy, and a very generic belief. There is no understanding of a relational God who invites people into a personal relationship with Him. There is not a clear understanding of the difference that Jesus makes for today and for eternity.

In the study, “Making Your Case for Christ”, the authors write, “…People may not know making your caseGod, (but) God still loves them and wants to reach them with his offer of forgiveness through Christ. And whether they be in your school, workplace, your neighborhood, your family, Jesus said to ‘Go and make disciples…teaching them everything that I have commanded you.’ (Matt.28:19-20) To do this effectively, you are going to have to be clear about what you believe and some of the reasons why you can be confident it is true. Put another way, you need to be ready to make your own case for Christ.” (pg.12)

During June and July, we will have opportunities to equip us to become better in sharing our faith and also opportunities to share our faith. In June, a group of members and teens from our youth group will go on a mission trip to Camp Courageous in Monticello, Iowa. At camp we do manual labor to help make the camp more accessible to the campers. Although we are not “preaching” about Jesus to the campers, we are living out our faith. Campers and staff have seen the love of Jesus. They see our joy and our love for them by the way we work and interact with them. They watch us pray. They watch our every move. They desire to hang around us!  Chris, one of the campers decided that the song, I Can Only Imagine, was to be our theme song! Please join us on Sunday, June 23rd to hear about the team’s “Adventure for Jesus!”

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July 16th -18th we will host our “Gone Fishin’” VBS from 6:30 – 8:30 pm. The VBS team has been working on this ministry for months. We already have over 20 people volunteering.  Please keep the team in prayer. On Friday night, July 19th, the Smith’s will host a BBQ for our VBS families and our congregation is encouraged to attend. Phil Needham promised for all who want to fish at the Smith’s a fishing pole will be available.

To equip us, there will be a study offered for teens and adults called, “Making Your Case for Christ”. The study will begin on Friday, June 14th at 7:00 pm. It will help us develop an action plan for sharing what we believe and why we believe it. Later in July, the 26th – 28th, there will be an adult retreat at the 4 Rs Retreat Center at Kinderhook. The cost is $100.00 per person. The study time will be based on Robert Munger’s book, “My Heart, Christ’s Home”. Registration begins on Sunday June 2nd and will close on Sunday June 30th. It will be a time of study, fellowship and some great R and R.

Press on as a congregation to love God and serve others and have a blessed June.

Love in Christ,

Ilona

 

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