A Letter from Pastor Carolyn

Sunday, June 14
10:00 a.m.
Carolyn Poteet
"A Call to Excellence"  

2 Peter 1:3-9
Luke 5:1-11


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June 11, 2020

"I was glad when they said unto me,
'Let us go to the House of the Lord!'"- Psalm 122:1

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

We have a date! Our elders just voted that our first in-person worship service will be June 21, as long as Covid-19 case numbers stay low in Allegheny County. We are working out the details for how to keep you all as safe as possible, and we will let you know that information next week in this letter and on Facebook and YouTube. For the first few weeks, we will continue to offer a single service at 10am with the blended worship style we have been using. The service will still be streamed online for anyone who needs to stay home. We cannot wait to see you all in person again!

Many thanks to everyone who donated to the Brookline Christian Food Pantry in such a big way. The financial donations will purchase meat, cheese, eggs, butter and produce, items formerly supplied by the Great Pittsburgh Area Food Bank. The collection of non-perishable items was amazing. Seven full cars of groceries were delivered to Brookline! And best of all, as we collected food at the church, it was wonderful to see more than 40 cars and smiling faces of our members and friends come through the drive through with donations. Thank you for your generosity!

This Sunday, we begin a new series, A Call to Excellence, looking at the life of Peter. Peter is one of my favorite characters in the Bible, partly because he is such a mess. He jumps out of the boat and immediately sinks. He gets so excited at the Transfiguration he offers to pitch tents for everybody. He promises he will never abandon Jesus and within hours does just that. And yet, Jesus sees in him great potential. Beyond all of Peter's bluster, Jesus sees the rock on whom he will build his church. That rock is just going to need some carving.

During this series, we are going to be studying Peter's letters and holding them together with the stories about Peter in the Gospels and Acts. How do we see Peter's character develop over time? What experiences have a significant impact on who he is and how he thinks? And, central to the series, what character traits does he model and challenge us to demonstrate as we all grow closer to the Lord?

Our theme comes from 2 Peter 1: "Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, kindness; and to kindness, love" (2 Peter 1:5-7). That is quite a list! Which of these characteristics is the most challenging for you? Has one been particularly hard since we have been in quarantine?

As we will see, Peter was no stranger to hardship. But he reassures his followers that God uses times of trial for a purpose. He writes, "These (trials) have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed" (1 Peter 1:7).

May we all bring praise, glory, and honor to Christ as we persevere in the faith!

Small Groups: As we begin this new study, now is a great time to join a small group! We have groups meeting online almost every day of the week, and we have groups for Tweeners, Middle School and High School, Young Adults, just women, just men, and coed groups. And the Lamplighters Sunday School class is meeting again as well. If you are interested in becoming part of one of these groups, please contact us at 412-531-3387 or info@mlepc.org.

Family Lessons: There is also weekly family page to go along with our new sermon/study. It can be found here on our website: "A Call to Excellence".

Hour of Prayer (formerly known as Sundays at Seven): A group of us are gathering on Zoom every Sunday at 7pm to pray together, and we would love to have you join us! Here is the Zoom link for a computer, tablet or mobiel phone: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/92561964416. You can also call in from a regular phone - dial 1-646-558-8656 and enter the Meeting ID - 925 6196 4416. For more info, contact Pat Gaudio at t4two98@hotmail.com.

Again, please let us know if there is any way we can support you or connect with you during this season. We need to be here for each other now more than ever. The email, info@mlepc.org, has been set up so you can send us any needs, prayer requests, or just updates on how you are doing. And you are always welcome to call us at 412-531-3387.

Many blessings,
Pastor Carolyn

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