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The Preacher’s Post: Calendars and Changes
I realize after reviewing some of the columns I’ve written for you over these past (almost!) two years – not to mention what I’ve written for previous churches in similar columns over the years – that I should probably just stop talking about calendars and years altogether! When you have a calendar year, a program year, a “church” year, a school year … well, there are just too many different “years” and “calendars” to keep track of them all. However, the installation of new church officers and ministry team facilitators means that we’re off and running on yet another “year,” and I’m excited about some of the things I see God having in store for us! In conversations with your Church Council, your elders, and your ministry team leaders (both new and returning), there’s a growing sense of purpose and possibility that I’m chomping at the bit to explore in the months ahead!
But a church isn’t
just its leaders – it’s the sum of all of us coming
together to praise God and share the good news, so I want to make sure
that you’re in on this, too! While there are a number of ways to
plug you in – and I’ll be exploring different ones in the
coming months – one of the obvious places to start is in worship. If you glance ahead in your newsletter, you can see that I’ll be drawing on Paul’s letter to the Ephesians for my sermons this month, but chapters and verses alone don’t tell much of a story, so let me give you the skinny on what I’m thinking. Beginning on August 5th, I’ll be exploring some of the things I learned from our kids during VBS, which will open the door to a Sunday of the nuts and bolts as to what it means to be a “safe church” on August 12th. Then for the remainder of the month I’ll tackle a couple of tough theological questions, before circling back to pick up some more important conversations in September. Honestly, I’ve never been this excited about preaching a series of sermons from one of Paul’s letters in my life!
However, my excitement about how God can change us tomorrow is tempered a little bit by some changes that are happening today. This fall, we’ll say goodbye to some staff members and begin the search for new ones to take their place. In our nursery, both Katie Jones-Morales and Angela Jones have tendered their resignations. Katie’s departure is no surprise, as she will begin her studies at Central Washington University next month, but Angela has decided it’s the right time for her to step aside as well. On our worship staff, Linda Beetz has also tendered her resignation as our music director. After speaking at length on the joys shared and friendships made here, Linda shared her sense that she’s accomplished what she was called to do and that it’s time to allow the Holy Spirit to move us in whatever new musical direction may come with new leadership. Needless to say, Katie, Angela, and Linda will all be missed as we’ve grown accustomed to their steady presence among us, but we send them with our blessings and gratitude for all they’ve given us during their time on staff at our church.
So, I hope you’ll join me in praying during the month ahead. Pray for wisdom in the work that lies before us, and raise prayers of thanksgiving for the ministries that friends are bringing to their conclusion with us. And continue to pray for one another, because that lies at the heart of our calling to be community together.
Yours in Ministry,
Christian Church of Bremerton is a diverse group of people seeking to
respond to the vision of God's purpose revealed through Jesus the
We believe this vision calls us to be an intentional community, which engages persons in Christian practices. These practices include the Lord's Supper, joyful worship, Bible Study, prayer, service, and inclusive hospitality. We anticipate being open to all people, discerning how we can respond to needs within and beyond our congregation. As a community we will listen to and bear one another's burdens, and work on behalf of justice for all God's people.
To embrace and manifest Christ-like relationships in our community, we desire to communicate Jesus' death on the cross and bear witness to His resurrection as a sign of hope in this world. We seek to realize this hope by finding ways to overcome the forces that degrade, enslave and oppress God's creation.
In this vision we seek to know, to discern, and to act on the Holy Spirit's guidance to become an expression of God's new creation through our personal gifts and resources. In our actions we strive "to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with [our] God." (Micah 6:8c)