This past Sunday was another sweet day at First Church of Christ. We celebrated two more baptisms - Josh Hill and his son, Ashton. Also a new friend, Ed Boger, came forward during the invitation and expressed his gratitude for his new connections with the church. Please join me in praying for him along with the entire Hill family in this great celebration!
The church held its Annual Meeting of the Congregation this past Sunday as well. It was filled with an excellent spirit of prayer and gratitude for all the volunteers who give so much in ministry through time, talent and treasure. Yes, it was a good, good day! All those on the ballot for election to serve on our church board as trustee were elected. Larry Heschke and Mike Sparks will serve as Elders. Our Deacons will be Kirk Nelson, Mark Patten, Dan Brockett and Cliff Nelson. – this will be a new experience for Dan and Cliff and we are glad to have them jump in and serve. Guy Fishman will serve as Trustee along with Tom Mortenson and Larry Heschke. Please pray for these men as they work together to help the Lord’s church act out His will and purpose for Cherokee and the surrounding area.
The theme for 2017 is: “Believe - Love - Grow” - First Church of Christ is a body of believers who simply want to grow in their relationship with God.
We believe this is best accomplished when we:
Share our Story of Faith with others
Serve with a heart of generosity, compassion and hospitality
Gather to encourage, study and worship
Devote ourselves to a life filled with prayer
Love others just as Christ Jesus has loved us.
We must live, love and work within this framework. Here is another way to see His church. The church is established by God and powered by the Holy Spirit so that each believer may let their light shine through service for God’s glory as we reach the lost through love, encouragement and prayer. It is my desire to work through the church board and all our volunteers to help this become the DNA of our church family. I wrote the following back in 2010 – it is still true today!
I love the church and how Jesus is lived out in so many ways through this network of lives in all manner of condition. Some are filled with contentment and hope while others are seeking the same. Some are filled with pain and rejection while others are able to walk along side and help carry the load; and in all of it, it comes down to Jesus. His mercy and Word mixed with our imperfections covered by His grace. And that is what we are; a wonderfully mysterious mix of broken people who bring all manner of concern, joy, pain and victory into the life of the church. We are a people covered by grace therefore we must be people of grace. Our great Heavenly Father is filled with justice, righteousness and mercy and He sees you through veil of Christ. The apostle Paul told the church in Galatia about their new identity in the eyes of their Heavenly Father in Galatians 3:26-27; “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” This is an incredible realization! Let’s encourage each other.
Here’s the point… I could go on forever with verse after verse… Jesus loves you and he wants all of us realize that His love is not exclusive just to us. He also loves the people around us. His mercy and patience with me is enough to share. Please forgive me when I’ve been selfish with his mercy. Please forgive his church when we’ve failed to share his love. And ALWAYS… love His beautiful bride… the church.
Merry Christmas and I’ll see you Sunday! - Preacher Tom