The July Door opens like an oven door - got some heat, got some vacation; maybe a little more free time to relax.  In the middle of that free time, relaxation and increased activities, one cannot help but remember that Sunday worship is a 12-month activity joyful commitment for members, disciples, of the body of Christ.

       Very often in our lives it's fun to re-cop our understanding of what scripture has to say about spending time with our Christian sisters and brothers at worship.  Why don't you read with me for a few moments, please?  Let us start with 1 Corinthians 12, where Paul the Apostle compares Christ-followers to a body—the body of Christ.  Every Christian is a part of this body (vs. 27), every part needs the others (vs. 21), and every part should be concerned for the others (vs. 25-26).  In addition to this, no part of the body—no member of the church (visitors, too)—can claim to be a self-sufficient unit (vs. 15-16).  Since the local church is the method God has chosen for us to join together and live like a cohesive and unified body, worship attendance is very important for our souls.

      Although all Christians make up the universal church, God uses smaller local churches in very specific, important ways.  The local church is where we learn about God (Acts 2:42).  It's also how we build each other up through encouragement (Hebrews 3:13), exhortation (Hebrews 10:24), service (Galatians 5:13), honor (Romans 12:10), and compassion (Ephesians 4:32).

       Let me be very careful as you read these words.  My intention is to be entirely clear.  Church attendance is not a requirement.  We don't have to go to church to be saved.  However, staying away from church is dangerous.  When we avoid or, at least, are not in the company of other believers, we miss out on their encouragement, and we stand the chance of the world influencing our beliefs and thoughts more than the Word of God (Hebrews 10:25).  In the church, however, God has provided people who can remind us of who our Creator is and how much God loves us (Romans 15:14).  Most importantly and I think this really hits the target: we can grow in love for God and in our "Jesus-love" for others (1 John 4:12).

       How does this work?  It finds itself in our giving, in our growth as we give, and in our love for the world as we give.  A really cool avenue through which we can give has been set in our paths this summer.  I simply refer you to the article in this newsletter regarding this year's Summer Celebration.  

       In other words, this is our written guarantee that we will benefit greatly and deeply as we continue to gather, praise, hear God's Word, get fed with the Sacrament, thereby receiving the strength to move about in this world with confidence of faith and depth of commitment to the God, who sent Jesus to offer us eternal life.          


 I hope to see each other soon.  May I hold the door for you?


Pastor Housewright



March 28, 2020

WORSHIP TIMES10:30 Sunday Morning


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