We’re looking forward to seeing you tomorrow!
In worship, Pastor Nate is beginning a new message series based on Matthew 5:3-12, in which Jesus lays out eight surprising ways to experience God’s blessing in life. In person or on-line – you won’t want to miss a week!
This afternoon I’m preparing for tomorrow, and our upcoming Staff Planning Retreat. (Vicki and volunteers will man the office while we’re offsite Sun. evening through Tues. afternoon.)
My personal preparations have included time in Psalm 112:1-9. In this marvelous scripture, the psalmist is emphasizing the person who fears the Lord by keeping in mind His words and works.
v. 2: generation of the upright – that’s all of us. All humankind is corrupted by sin, but by God’s gift of faith, we are recreated.
v. 7: bad news – Upright people do not fear setbacks and do not constantly worry about what could be lost. They know God will never lose them.
I’m looking forward to retreat time. We need it. We’ll pray together, study God’s Word together, wrestle with the calendar, and get to know each other a little better – particularly two new staff members – Niki Stewart, our Director of Growth Groups, and Jen Howell, our new Executive Assistant (PT) who will be on her first day!
We’ll also grapple with staffing an important position. After nearly four years on the Summit team, Vicki Swinford, our Administrative Coordinator, will be leaving later this month to pursue other interests. We’re thankful for her partnership in ministry – and realize there are big shoes to fill!
On Retreat, I plan to “unplug” and will encourage our staff to do likewise.
With today’s constant connectivity, it is easy to become ensnared with society’s generalized anxiety and fear. I think that’s partially a result of constantly hearing bad news. While technology permits us to be directly connected with world events – that gift can become a curse if it causes us to build walls between us and those around us. Our fears can make us Peeping Toms – voyeurs, if you will, of other people’s lives rather than real loving neighbors.
We can become anxious about acts of nature, or political unrest, or violence that is far from us, but fail to fear for the lives of nearby brothers and sisters who long for us to simply know their name, or share a bit of comfort, or piece of good news. Here the psalmist reminds us that in our righteousness we don’t have to be afraid of bad news. When we are attuned with God’s great news of life, we are free to give ourselves away on behalf of our real neighbors.
Dear Jesus, calm our hearts. Rid us of unnecessary fear and anxiety. Send your Spirit to focus us on the peace and fulfillment you promise your people. Make us grace-filled doers of your real good news. Amen.
Thanks and blessings,