"Following Jesus is hard. If anyone tells you that it isn't, then they are misinformed or just plain lying," says Justin LaRosa, our friend, our colleague, and the author of
The Jesus Challenge. The first step in centering our life on God is believing in Jesus Christ. And while that is a giant first step for most of us, the next steps are equally as difficult, or perhaps even more so, because believing with our head doesn't always mean that we are following him with our heart and life.
Over the next three weeks, we'll focus on the challenge of loving God, loving neighbor, and loving our enemies. Check out Justin's personal video invitation to Trinity to accept the challenge.
Many of you already have the book and are "all in" either on your own or together with a group. There's a short chapter of reading for each week followed by brief daily devotionals and a specific challenge to do each day. If you haven't purchased a book, I encourage you to stop by the Trinity Education Building and pick one up at the reception desk. And everyone should read the introduction prior to Sunday, if possible.
And if you would like to share this experience with a small group or class, the following classes are taking up
The Jesus Challenge beginning this Sunday:
- Misty Mornings Class (@9:30am in Room 221)
- SALT Class (20s and early 30s @11am in Room 225)
- Class - name TBD this Sunday (30s and 40s @11am in Room 211)
- Spiritual Growth Class (40s and 50s @11am in Room 221)
- Seekers (@11am in Room 203)
Singles and marrieds are welcomed in all.
Rev. Ben Richards, one of the Trinity pastors, will also be leading an online group on Sundays at 7pm. You will find more information about the group
On another note, we have all been in prayer this week for all those affected by Hurricane Dorian, particularly for our brothers and sisters in the Bahamas. The devastation is heartbreaking and unfathomable.
This Sunday, we'll receive a special offering for UMCOR (the United Methodist Committee on Relief - Advance #982450). When you donate to UMCOR, 100% of your gifts go directly toward relief and recovery in the affected area because all administrative costs are covered by the United Methodist Church. UMCOR has already sent a first "solidarity grant" to Bahamas Methodist Habitat, the Disaster Ministry of the Bahamas Conference of the Methodist Church of the Caribbean and the Americas. The grant provides emergency short-term funding for basic human needs of those affected by the catastrophic storm. They will distribute more in the future and provide long-term support and recovery. I am grateful for the generosity of Trinity, particularly in crisis situations like this.
We'll also be giving Bibles to all of our 3rd graders this Sunday.
It's a special service that I know you won't want to miss as we all offer our prayers for these children as they begin reading their Bibles and learning about the love of Christ.
And remember that our new Sunday Morning schedule moving forward is: the 8:15 Traditional Service in the Chapel, the 9:30 Modern Service (yes!, 9:30) in the Worship Center, and the 11:00 Traditional Service in the Worship Center.
Grateful to serve as one of your pastors!