August 30, 2018
Dear Friends in Christ,
First, I wanted to thank you for you support, care, and especially prayer during this time in my life. Everyone has challenges in their lives-some expected and some not. But what we have in common as Christians and followers of Jesus is that we don't go through any challenge alone. Our loving and gracious and powerful God is beside us, around us, above us, and most importantly, in front of us in our life journey, and even through our struggles and disappointments. Indeed, our God leads us and is always in front of us, guiding us, just as in the pillar of cloud and fire, or in the words of St. Paul: "But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ's triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere" (2 Cor 2:14).
Second, I want to encourage you all to come to church service this Sunday. My mentor, friend, and the man who led me to Christ, Chris Buda, is preaching. Chris is the former regional director of Young Life and is currently in ministry with The Pittsburgh Experiment. His Scriptural text will be Mark 4:35-41, the calming of the storm by Jesus. At the end of this passage, it states this: 'They (the disciples) were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"' My friend Chris is a master of humor, but also a master of getting to the point of the gospel, and getting the point of the gospel across to many people. Who is Jesus? What does it mean to follow Him? And more importantly, what does it mean to know Jesus? The kind of knowing that goes beyond a church service, or a tithe, or a short term mission trip, or even several years of social justice volunteering. The kind of knowing that puts everything on the line for Jesus, because Jesus put everything on the line for us. Such questions are convicting, and raw, but above all else, they are necessary. God wants so intently for us to know Jesus, that He was willing to send Jesus to live among us, die for us, and intercede on our behalf upon His rising from the dead.
Last, I want to encourage you all to get involved at MLEPC this Fall. Fired up Friday volunteering, small group opportunities, Sunday school classes, and various activities await. There is a place for you to serve, to have fellowship, and of course, to worship. Although there is no Family Fusion this fall, there will be three special Wednesday evening events with family style meals served: our annual rooftop church picnic on September 12, Octoberfest on October 10, and a Thanksgiving feast on November 14, all from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. We're also planning events for Advent, and an all-church retreat March 8-10 at Laurelville (save that date!). If you are new to the church or want to learn more about Jesus, about membership, or simply about MLPEC, please mark your calendar for our "Discover" small group starting on Sunday, Sept. 9 at 10:15 a.m. in Pastor Carolyn's office, led by myself along with some Elders. Please stay tuned for more info!
In Christ's love,