On Forgiving the People Who Killed Your Relatives, Showing Up Early for the End of the World, and Jesus Screaming

I try to use this column as a spiritual discipline, writing down thoughts and stories connected with the Biblical texts for the week in a way that may not be total sermon material, but still kind of interesting enough to spark the Biblical imagination (or maybe even make up for a bad sermon I preach on Sunday).
I know, I know, sometimes these columns for other pastors and at other churches are more typically devotional, and sometimes they relay information about something coming up in the life of the church.  And sometimes I do that, too.
But normally I'd just rather riff off the texts a bit and connect it with real life somehow.  This time is no exception.
But, I'm conflicted. Because the texts for this week are awe-some, in the truest sense of the word.  All three readings (from the Hebrew Scriptures, from the Epistles, and from the Gospels) are packed full of wonderful imagery and golden threads that, if pulled, will unravel a whole tapestry of spiritual meaning for the attentive person.
So instead of just riffing off of one, I'm going to point out three major themes, one for each reading, and I'll let you connect it with your life however you need to. Ready?  Read more
Sunday's Readings
Jonah 3:1-5, 10
1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Mark 1:14-20

Guest Experience/Welcome Team Training - This Sunday, January 21, at 12:00 pm - If you are interested in being one of the first friendly, knowledgeable people that a guest encounters on a Sunday morning, come join us to get all the information you will need to feel comfortable in this position.

Coffeehouse Help Needed - Friday, January 26 at 7:00 pm  Can you join our Coffeehouse Crew to serve our guests this month? We will need approximately 25 adult and youth helpers to assist with set-up, serving, and clean-up for approximately 200 guests. Sign up to serve at
Blessing Bags Assembly - Saturday, January 27 at 12:00 pm in Fellowship Hall  Join us for fun and fellowship as we assemble Blessing Bags with the donations from our congregation to help those we see in our community that are in need.  Learn more and RSVP.  

Preschool Open House and Art Show Rescheduled  Due to the inclement weather, the Preschool Open House and Art Show will now be held on Thursday, February 1, 6:00-8:00 pm. Come learn more about our preschool, meet the teachers and view our preschoolers' artistic creations! All are welcome; invite your friends.
Preschool Registration Is Now Open  Find out more about our preschool and registration at  gslchurch.org/preschool .

Day Camp Registration Has Begun  Camp week is July 9-13, and Agape Day Camp at GSLC is open to rising 1st - 6th graders. More info and online registration is available at  gslchurch.org/connect/day-camp.

More information about upcoming events is available in  this week's bulletin announcements .

The January edition of The Shepherd's Voice is available  online.

Health and Healing for Roger Gardner, friend of Dawn Hansen and Paul and Gail Phillips; and Phil Valente Jr., father of Phil Valente III .
Thanksgiving for  the safe return of Pastor Tim and all the pastors he was traveling with; and for this Sunday's baptism of Elise Noel Still, daughter of Jacob and Lauren Still.
For the Orphans of Mnene Parish , including Siphathisiwe Sigono and Memory Zhou .
Si pha will soon turn 21. She is a cheerful, energetic, outgoing young lady. She is presently attending Zvishavane Vocational School. She visited with our 2017 mission team at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. She and her four siblings are all in the GSLC support program. Sipha's Mail For Mnene partners are the Caudill and Valenti families.
Memory is 23 and happily married. As of November 2017, she is living in Gweru, Zimbabwe with her husband and baby. Mnene staff report that she is happy, well cared for and doing well. She is no longer in the GSLC support program. We continue to keep her and her family in our prayers. Her Mail For Mnene partners are Randy and Lori King and Bonnie Livingston.
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