Pastor Linda Pokrajac

Please join us!


May 26, 2019


Pastor Linda Pokrajac


"What's YOUR Read?"


John 21:15-17
1 Peter 4:7-11

Click Links Below for:

May 23, 2019

Linda Pokrajac
Dear MLEPC Members and Friends,

I woke up this morning thinking about jigsaw puzzles and what a sense of accomplishment I have when the puzzle is complete and all the pieces fit together. Why did I wake up with that thought? - perhaps because it's Memorial Day weekend and I'm thinking ahead to Labor Day weekend when we have planned our annual week of vacation at Conneaut Lake. Paul always buys me a jigsaw puzzle to take on vacation, and I look forward to working on it throughout the week. Then my thoughts went with me to the gym and I thought about how each part of my body is strengthened if I'm faithful to work through the circuit of machines. And so it is with the church, as each member of the church body is faithful to use his or her spiritual gifts, it follows that the church itself will be strong. This fits into the theme of our Gifts of Grace sermon/study series this week, taken from 1 Peter 4:10, "As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace" (ESV).

Last week I had the privilege of spending the Sunday School hour with the Cornerstone Class, and since they have not been doing the study in class I put together a summary of our first four lessons and chose a few questions from each lesson. We had a great discussion and I encouraged them, as I am encouraging you today, to work through one of the Spiritual Gift Surveys you'll find in the narthex and drive through lobby in paper form or online with this link: 
Spiritual Gifts Survey   

I took it on line last Friday evening, and within ten minutes, my scores were calculated and there was a neat bar graph created that showed where my gifts lie. I found that the score of my top three gifts was tied, service, mercy and giving, with exhortation (encouragement) and teaching close behind. One of our Cornerstone members took the online version as well and sent me an email with her top three gifts, and I now know why we are kindred spirits!

Sunday's sermon title is "What's YOUR Read?" as the study guide titles Lesson 4, "Reading the Balance." Reading is a means of communication and of sharing information and ideas. When we apply that definition to our spiritual gifts, it is each person being able to "read" their gifts then share them with the church family. Because when we are serving with the gifts we have been given, it not only helps the church become stronger but it also brings us much joy. To that end, I encourage you to take the Spiritual Gift Survey before June 9, and join us in Fellowship Hall between the two services as Liz Mayfield helps us to understand our gifts. Then on June 16 as we gather together again with Liz, we'll have time to sit with others who share the same gifts. As we share information and ideas, we will be working toward putting the puzzle together - to see how we all fit into the life of MLEPC. As the staff liaison for the Congregational Care Ministry Team, I can only imagine how wonderful it will be to have people serving not simply because they are asked to fill an open slot but because they possess the gift that will allow them to serve with great joy.

This week, I've been wondering if our choir director, Cindy Pratt, possesses the gift of prophesy. Not only did she pick two of my favorite hymns for the 11:15 service on Sunday, but she led staff devotions on Tuesday with a story that so well fits into our lesson this week. From Streams in the Desert by L. B. Cowan, the devotion dated January 7 illustrates how each of us is a significant part of the whole body of Christ. I share with you this modern parable, an earthly story that indeed has a heavenly meaning.

A story is told of a king who went into his garden one morning, and found everything withered and dying. He asked the oak that stood near the gate what the trouble was. He found it was sick of life and determined to die because it was not tall and beautiful like the pine. The pine was all out of heart because it could not bear grapes, like the vine. The vine was going to throw its life away because it could not stand erect and have as fine fruit as the peach tree. The geranium was fretting because it was not tall and fragrant like the lilac; and so on all through the garden. Coming to a heart's-ease, he found its bright face lifted as cheery as ever. "Well, heart's-ease, I'm glad, amidst all this discouragement, to find one brave little flower. You do not seem to be the least disheartened." "No, I am not of much account, but I thought that if you wanted an oak, or a pine, or a peach tree, or a lilac, you would have planted one; but as I knew you wanted a heart's-ease, I am determined to be the best little heart's-ease that I can."

I want to be that heart's-ease (a violet), how about you? What's YOUR read? Please take the Spiritual Gifts Survey then continue to study with us through June 16.

There are two opportunities for you to be in fellowship with your church family this week - come and join us on Monday, May 27, as we show hospitality to our community and watch the Memorial Day parade together. Then there's the second annual Rummage Sale on June 1 to support our Kenya Mission. Do you have something to donate? Can you spare a few hours during the week to help organize the sale or on June 1 itself to mingle with the community and assist with the sale itself? I'm looking forward to spending time at these events and hope to see many of you there too!

Love, in Christ,
Pastor Linda
Having Trouble Viewing the Graphics?

If you are having trouble viewing the graphic elements on this Pastoral E-Letter, please go to the top of the page and click where it reads "Click Here." If you have Outlook, please right click in the image block and "download pictures."