Mid-week Update--August 24, 2016
On Sunday, I told the story of being at an intersection near our home and having a bunch of crazy things happen. The traffic lights seemed to go haywire so that my direction could not go. A car pulled up beside me going the wrong way on a two-way street. I was late, and my anxiety started to rise. In the midst all this, I received the gift of a moment of gratitude. I noticed it was a beautiful day and that I was on the correct side of the street. I gave thanks for my marriage and my family. I remembered that I was on my way to worship, which is one of my very favorite things. In this single moment, with no change in my outer circumstances, I turned from rising anxiety to feelings of peace and calm. My heart rate went down, my breathing grew deeper, and I felt happy and alive.
In every single moment of our lives, Jesus invites you to pivot from the irritations and anxieties of life to the gratitude of faith and trust. Try it right now: take a breath and give thanks to God for all the gifts and beauty in your life. Is there something or someone that is bugging you right now? Give thanks for that too, and watch as God transforms you from anxious to joyful, from shame-filled to peace-filled. God promises the fullness of the Spirit’s peace and love any time you need it, and this is a promise you can trust.
Our text for next Sunday is Luke 14:1, 7-14, which talks about hospitality and the blessing of inviting “the crippled, the lame, and the blind” –those who cannot invite us in return. Who will you invite into your heart and home this week? Who will you invite to worship at EPC?
The organ was fixed on this past Monday and will grace our worship on this coming Sunday. Thank you again to everyone who donated money to help cover this cost and to Todd Barnes for playing this wonderful instrument with so much creativity and spirit and skill.
School Tools Dedication This Sunday
Also in worship we will dedicate our School Tool gifts and bring them over to Highland Park HS early next week as the teachers prepare their classrooms for the start of the school year.
EPC Building Tour
On Sunday after worship, Pastor Phil will give a brief update on the state of our building, highlighting pressing issues and problem areas. We could also take a tour to look at any issues firsthand. The purpose of this information is to help the church budget for upcoming years and to have a current list of building needs as we continue our conversation with Crescent Cove about new development on our property. The other purpose is to hopefully inspire some of you to join the Building & Grounds team to help as we look for solutions and bids to address these issues. The list of building needs that will be handed out this Sunday is included at the end of this Update.
Bible Study with Phil
It has been a couple of years since we have had a group studying the Bible together. I would like to restart such a group this fall. My plan is to meet every week or every other week to look at the lectionary texts for the coming Sunday. The top time suggestion right now for this group is Monday evenings at 6:15pm. If this is at all interesting to you, please write or call me, or fill out a form in the church narthex.
Here are some events coming up in the life our congregation:
· Sunday, Sept. 4 – Outdoor worship and communion and hymn sing!
· Thursday, Sept. 22 – Session meets
· Sept. 26-Oct. 2 – Pastors Julie & Phil on continuing education with Julie attending a contemplative retreat at Snowmass, Colorado.
· Sunday, Oct. 9 – Pastor Review Process forum after worship
· Some Saturday this fall – All-Church workday
· Dec. 24-25 – Christmas Eve is on Saturday this year, so start thinking about what you want to do: worship on Dec. 24 and not 25, worship on both, etc.
· Prayers for comfort and wisdom for the folks looking for rest and solutions to debilitating back pain, including Frank Alden, Marilyn Monson, and Lois Glewwe.
· Andrew Kingsriter is recovering from his infection, still tired, trying to get back to work, showed up in worship on Sunday. Prayers for gratitude and healing.
Think gratitude! Live gratitude! Give every moment to the Holy Spirit, so that God’s peace and joy might fill your hearts and minds. In Jesus, Pastor Phil