In just a few weeks our choir will be resuming for the season. They rehearse at 7:00 PM on Monday nights to share music and help lead our congregation in worship on Sunday mornings. Bruce Linser directs the group, made up of some that can read music, others that follow along, all of whom enjoy making music together. See Bruce Linser or just join us Monday, September 8th at 7:00 PM.
Our SpiritKidz elementary Sunday school class just wrapped up a month learning about peacemaking and getting to know some peacemakers of the Bible. From Abraham to Jesus, they experienced the power of making peace.
SpiritKidz is for kindergarten through fifth grade. After the children’s story in the worship service they go to their own class with two trained, caring adults to engage scripture and spiritual concepts at an age-appropriate level.
Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved. Acts 2:46-47 (NRSV)
A big part of the efficacy and power of the early church was that its participants spent a great deal of time together. They met together, shared meals, cared for one another. Most of us living in the 21st century in the United States would not find such a lifestyle practical (although many within the new monastic movement, including the simple way, are experimenting with just that).
Lately, I have been wondering how technology might nudge us toward “spending much time together.” There is much to critique in the virtual world. It can be used to waste time, bully or exploit others, or keep us from more interactive, face to face relationships. However, I am wondering if this tool could also be used in positive, life-giving ways. The possibilities are many. Our Facebook page could be used for sharing prayer requests and encouraging one another. We could have small groups that meet on line. A group that meets at the church at 6:30 for an hour and a half might be difficult for some, but a group that meets by video chat at 9:00 for a half hour after the kids are put to bed and the dishes washed might be more convenient.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Can you imagine yourself being more active in community here on the internet? Would that even be community for you?
You may respond here or on our Facebook page. Speaking of our Facebook page, make sure you check it out every once in a while. Unfortunately, the way Facebook works is that even if you “Like” and “Follow” out page, you will not see everything that is posted there. If you go to the page itself, you’ll see everything posted. While you are there, you can comment on posts and share posts that you think your friends will appreciate. That will make our page more visible to others.
I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts and spending time together, if not in the temple, then here!
Our monthly Family Nights have been an enjoyable time for those who have participated. It is an opportunity to gather together with church friends and enjoy fellowship together. In August, we are going to Sweet Tomatoes on Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard in West Palm Beach. They have great food at a reasonable price and there is enough room for us to sit together. Check the newspaper and mail for coupons, or sign up to receive them by mail at www.souplantation.com. Mark your calendars for Friday, August 29th at 6:15 PM! Come hang out with your church family and invite your friends to join us!
You can RSVP and invite your friends by sharing our Facebook event page for this event.
We all need a plan for our money. Financial Peace University (FPU) is that plan! It teaches God’s ways of handling money. Through video teaching, class discussions and interactive small group activities, FPU presents biblical, practical steps to get from where you are to where you’ve dreamed you could be. This plan will show you how to get rid of debt, manage your money, spend and save wisely, and much more! FPU classes meet for around an hour and a half each week for nine weeks.
This life-changing class will be taught by Dave Ramsey and the FPU teaching team on video and coordinated by Church Treasurer Phil Suomu at First Congregational Church in Lake Worth, FL will help you achieve your financial goals by showing you how to eliminate debt, save for the future, and give like never before. You will be challenged and motivated to make a plan for your money and change your family tree forever.
If you would like to sign up, or to watch a preview, visit the Financial Peace University Website.
Candy Von Sparkle presented the Community Dinner with a check for $1415, the proceeds from her fundraising event in June. The proceeds came from sales of “Our Hearts Desire” jewelry as well as other vendors along with a fabulous dinner provided by Ristorante Antonio South. Special thanks to Candy and everyone who helped for a great evening and a amazingly generous donation.
Yes, it’s a long title.
Practicing the Presence of God for Practical Purposes Dr.’s Alan Anderson and Deb Whitehouse begin with the 17th century monk, Brother Lawrence and draw on theologians, mystics, and business people to establish a practical vision of how we can work together with God to create a positive life for ourselves and our world.
Beginning in August, Pastor Jason will lead a six-week discussion of this book on Wednesday or Thursday evenings, depending on what works best for participants. You can find out more information about the book and its authors here. Consider joining us for what are sure to be some great conversations as we engage this material together.
Email or call Pastor Jason to let him know what night would work best for you, Thursday or Wednesday.
The Community Dinner group provided dinners all 25 Tuesdays in the first half of 2014 from January 7 to June 24. In all, we served 1,755 meals to church members, friends, the homeless, and nearly homeless and various visitors who heard of our weekly event. We averaged 70 diners a week which is a 10% increase from 2013. We spent $2,161.89 on nutritious food which included salad most weeks and dessert every week. Our cost per meal served was $1.23 and this included many people who received second helpings! We collected this amount from our loyal parishioners and special events which were sponsored. A big thank you goes out to Christopher Lepard for hosting charity events for us. Of course, thanks to Barb Derryberry is in attendance every week and makes a pastry pickup for free pastries at Costco weekly. Our high water mark was serving 106 dinners on June 17 when the counselors from the Guatemalan-Mayan Summer Camp joined us for dinner. We are so blessed to have a loyal and dedicated group of cooks, servers, dishwashers, and help. We are fortunate to have members donate to this self-funded Christian activity.
Matthew 25:34-40New International Version (NIV)
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Thank you all, and please feel free to join us any Tuesday when we begin serving at 5:30 PM.
It’s also a great opportunity to invite a friend to meet some of the nicest folks in Palm Beach County.
We’re looking forward to seeing you there!