It is October! The weather is changing... somewhere. It is a time of the year when we start wearing slightly thicker t-shirts and tennis shoes don't make our feet sweat as much as normal. True, in Florida our seasons are marked in 4 stages, Hot, Rain, Less Hot with Christmas decorations to help us mentally be able to sing "let it snow" without irony, and Spring (it's a nice, though short, season). The point is, even though slight, changes abound.
Are you? Are you changing? Is your faith developing? Are you closer to God and your family and your neighbors? Do you understand yourself any better? If your life were a television show, are there new episodes or are you running in syndication?
The truth is that your life is changing. Life never stays the same, the question you have to answer is, "Are you being intentional with that change or is the surrounding culture changing it for you"? Evaluate your life. Do you know where you are headed and if you don't are you doing things to help your figure it out?
"Belief is a wise wager. Granted that faith cannot be proved, what harm will come to you if you gamble on its truth and it proves false? If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation, that He exists." -Blaise Pascal
Some believe that belief and faith are blind. Some hail that as ignorance and some as strength. But just because we cannot see something doesn't make our belief blind nor does it make our faith a cop-out. Quite the contrary, our faith and belief lead us to the incredible gift of curiosity. Curiosity beckons us to pay attention. Paying attention lead us to living creatively which brings us into a cooperation with our Creator.
Although belief and faith are not blind if we do not pay attention to what we believe it can lead to all kinds of folly and destruction. After all, the worst human atrocities in history were based upon beliefs that did not lead to creation but to destruction: Nazi Germany, Pohl Pot, The Inquisition, the Crusades. You see, we have a tendency to pervert beliefs when we don't pay attention to what those beliefs are in, who those beliefs are about, and where those beliefs lead.
Odds are that our unchecked beliefs will not lead to genocide, but they may lead to apathy to suffering in the world, self-justification for bad habits, blindness to opportunity, slothfulness in life, greed in consumerism.
But what if I told you that what we believe as Christians leads us away from all of that, that who we believe as Christians draws us into life, leads us into creation, equips us to bring healing, life, and joy to a suffering and asleep world.
The Apostles Creed is an incredible statement of faith when looked at closely beautifully outlines not a statement of what we believe, but the nature and relationship we have with WHOM we believe.
Here is the Ecumenical version of the Apostles Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, is seated at the right hand of the Father, and will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
Look at these statements. What do you think? What questions do you have? Join us over the next several weeks as we explore not just what we believe, but who we believe and why it matters.
VIDEO OF THE MONTH
This is one of my favorite stories. If you feel like giving up, watch this.
CHILDREN'S SUMMER PROGRAMMING
10:00 am = FX in Room 114 for All Ages!!
(children under 3 must be accompanied by an adult)
11:15 am = Large Group
Pre K - Rising 5th Graders meet in Room 114
Sunday Night Live
Sundays from 5-7pm
SNL is our main, weekly program for 6th-12th grade students. This is a night filled with games, music, dinner and small groups.
South Shore Youth Welcomes Rising 6th Grade Students
Summer time is a time of fun and warm weather, but it's also a time of transition. Students who were considered elementary school age are now seen as middle schoolers even though they've never been to middle school. Youth Group is a great place to meet friends and get introduced to students who are a little older.
Join us on Sunday nights all summer from 5-7pm.
THIS MONTHS CHALLENGE
How's your faith nourishment?
Are you communicating with Jesus?
Reading your Bible, spending time in prayer, in a small group with friends, living your faith in community?
Here is your Prayer/Scripture challenge
28 Day Challenge
The Book of Acts
Pray the A.C.T.S prayer
Adoration: acknowledging God's greatness
Confession: confess your sins to Jesus
Thanksgiving: Give thanks to God
Supplication: ask for God's provision for you and others
Pray: Jesus, reveal your word for me this day.
Read one chapter of Acts (a day)
Note: What verse spoke to you
Note: What does this look like in your life?
Pray: Lord help me live our your word today and show me how to be a part of what you love.
When reading scripture it is good to take your time and absorb it. It is challenging and sometimes confusing. Allow yourself room to be ok with not mastering it in one sitting. Write down your questions, challenge yourself, and allow God to work through the pages.
Carefest is a ministry where churches of several different denominations come together to live out their faith by supporting those in our community that need a hand up. We participated last weekend and Carefest was a great success in our community and in our district. For a great article on all that happened please
Here are some Photos of our youth team
South Shore's next Family Promise week is coming up
November 1-8. We will be housing homeless families in transition on our campus during this week. If you are interested in being a part of this vital mission for our community, contact Julene Hussey at email@example.com.
Please check out their video:
Backpacks on a Mission
SSUMC addresses food insecurity fo
r children inthree of our neighborhood schools by providing a backpack full of healthy snacks and easily prepared food for the weekend for those in need.
If you are interested in helping host a food drive at your workplace, volunteering, or donating money towards the purchase of food and supplies, please contact Kathy McGartland by emailing her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of the great ways to grow in our faith is by being in fellowship with other Christians. Fellowship, prayer, study, and service.
Online giving has enabled me to stay faithful to what God has called me to be a part of.
We hope you find this convenient.
Please click the "Give" badge above to see how you can contribute online.
SOMETHING TO THINK ON
""It is not my ability, but my response to God's ability that counts.""
-Corrie ten Boom (1892-1983)
We often think of Christian calling as something that is strictly vocational. We make assumptions that only those who are pastors and missionaries can be devout in the actions of their faith. But I contend that God's calling in our lives isn't to establish an army of clergy, but to establish a world where we use our skills and gifts to enrich the lives of those around us, to address injustice, and not just take care of the least but to help transform them into the strong. Consider the life of Corrie ten Boom.
Corrie ten Boom was born in Haarlem, Netherlands in 1892. She was raised in a devout Christian home, a faith that was more than just words but a life of action. They had a deep respect for people in general and Jewish people in particular. They often looked for ways to provide food, shelter, and money to those in need.
After her mother died and her love life fell apart she began training as a watch maker. She then went on to become the first woman watchmaker in Holland. This job provided her with the means and opportunity to set up a place where she could create a Girls Club to help teach teenage girls about scripture, as well as athletics, and craft skills.
Life, however, changed drastically at the onset of World War II. Nazi Germany had its way with the people of the Netherlands and the Jewish community was under severe attack. The ten Boom family was not idle. They created a hidden room in a wall that could hide up to 6 people at a time in a very cramped space. The watch repair shop was a good front. It is believed that the family saved 800 Jews.
After her release, Corrie ten Boom "returned to The Netherlands to set up a rehabilitation center. The refuge houses consisted of concentration-camp survivors and sheltered the jobless Dutch who previously collaborated with Germans during the occupation"(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corrie_ten_Boom).
The greatness of life is in the details of living. The question is whether or not we are paying attention. God is calling us all to create life with him. That could be at our place of work, in our home, in our neighborhood, or something else entirely, but as Corrie ten Boom said upon learning of her release due to clerical error, "God does not have problems-only plans"