A Son, A Servant, A Steward

Are You Isolated from God?

Are You Isolated from God?

ONE OF THE “BUZZ” WORDS associated with the pandemic is the word “isolation.” We experienced a “lock down” and we may experience another one. We are limited in our interactions with people.  This isolation has been hard.

But what about your relationship with God? Are you feeling isolated from God? That is an interesting question, because there is no place we can go where God is not. And furthermore, if there is one thing this time of isolation has given us is time to spend with God. And yet, I wonder, are you feeling isolated from God?

The Old Testament book of Hosea describes a group of people, God’s people, who had become isolated from God. In fact, their idolatry is compared to spiritual adultery. That is a serious word from God against his people. 

Because of this “adultery” God promises his judgment and at the same time pledges his faithful love to a people who have chased after other gods. It is amazing to consider the incredible love of God, for we too have played the harlot from time to time. We too know what it is like to stray – to be isolated from God.

What really strikes me about Hosea is how God identifies the cause of their spiritual adultery.  Hosea 4:6 reads like this; “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children.”  Their isolation from God began with an isolation from the Word of God.

As a people of God, we must always keep the Word of God before us. I remember hearing a pastor say once, “you will never know God more than you know his Word.” If you are feeling isolated from God, consider reconnecting with God through his Word.

Here is an interesting article on the trend of Bible reading during the pandemic. Take a look!  

Congregational Meeting Recap

Congregational Meeting Recap

BEFORE RECAPPING WHAT WAS DECIDED on by the congregation, I want to express my appreciation to ALL involved in making this meeting happen.

Thank you to Pastor Mike, Nathaniel Pearson and Neil Knudsen who worked on the technical side to enable us to conduct this meeting. As you know, we had three meetings in three months and each month we added a “new wrinkle” to the meeting. This month, while the majority of participants were on Zoom, at the same time, some of our participants were at the church. This required a lot of effort to be able to include both groups in the meeting. So, thank you!

I would also like to thank Steve Peery for his leadership during this time and for the way he has made the meetings easy to follow with the power point charts. For that matter, I would like to thank the entire Executive Board for meeting weekly for the past few months. Much effort has been put into how to best serve the congregation through these meetings. 

I would also like to thank the office staff, Kirsten Trumbull and Mary Sarratt, for making the information for the meeting readily available and easy to access.

Finally, I would like to thank YOU, the congregation, for your faithful participation in these meetings. We have had more involvement during this time than we normally do. Thank you for adapting with us and for engaging with us during this time. It is encouraging to see.

The meeting we had this past Sunday was very important. The Executive Board made three recommendations to the congregation and all three of them passed with near unanimous support.

  • We embraced the doctrinal statement of the EFCA as our own statement.

  • We modified the church covenant.

  • We agreed to move forward with a process that seeks to revise the church constitution and bylaws. An initial draft has been presented and we now have one year to develop a final draft and vote on it.

Regarding the revision of the constitution and bylaws, we are grateful for the willingness of the congregation to continue moving towards this goal. Our next step is to work on a process for more conversation to help us get to a final draft and vote.

In addition to these items, we approved Bob Bingham and Nick Rago to serve as Trustees; and the nominating committee nominated Maureen Alexander from the floor to serve on the Nominating Committee. She too was approved to serve in this capacity.

As we have demonstrated through these meetings, while things may be different than normal, we can adapt. It should encourage us to embrace the opportunities that are before us in the coming months as we seek to love God, love other and make disciples.

Introducing Amirah

Introducing Amirah

The following blog post is adapted from an article written by Rick McKinniss, pastor of Wellspring Church in Kensington, CT.

AMIRAH IS A MULTI-FACETED aftercare organization for survivors of sex trafficking, providing residential, outreach, and education services. 

Amirah has recently set up a safe home for women who have been rescued from the sex trade.  This is a very exciting and needed step forward, providing a safe and secure place for the women to heal and re-establish themselves.

Amirah is a New England based ministry to women who have been rescued from the sex trade. They have operated a safe house north of Boston for several years and have now opened one in the Greater Hartford area. This will be the only one of its kind in the entire state of Connecticut.

The house is a beautiful older mansion that has been leased to Amirah to provide beds for 26 women, who will have a safe place to begin to put their lives back together. Several churches in the area have been involved in helping to establish this needed ministry in our area.

On Sunday, July 26, Michael Distefano, the director of Amirah Hartford, will be with us to share the ministry of Amirah with us. As part of our series, “Do Justice”, Michael will speak to the need for rescuing women from trafficking. 

This kind of ministry is incredibly difficult and costly. The women’s lives have been utterly fractured by their involvement in “the trade”. The work of healing and restoring trust, dignity and confidence, and training in a skill for a new way to earn a living is very painstaking and difficult. The love of Jesus is at the center of this restoration process, but it is more than a “come to Jesus moment” that is required for a life to be set free and put back together.

On a Kingdom measure, something very significant is accomplished when each one of these lives is restored. In the face of a great systemic cultural evil that is fueled by hell, each woman rescued and restored is a powerful witness in the face of cosmic evil. God is glorified and great grace is released to a culture whenever a systemic evil is addressed and overcome by good.

12345678910 ... 3334