These turbulent times are noisy times. We are barraged by a 24/7 news cycle. There are multiple people with contradictory viewpoints claiming to tell the truth. Furthermore, with the glut of information online, anyone can support their own viewpoint with a supposed guru or authority figure. In 5 Prayers God Loves to Answer: The Amazing Promise Jesus Makes, Larry Selig writes, “If prayer is meant to be a conversation with God, then the easiest part is speaking to Him, and the biggest challenge is listening in return.” So, how do we listen to God in the midst of a noisy world?
The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 12:2, “Do not conform to the patter of this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will.” With all the noise in this world, we need to make sure that we are not conforming to the world, but that we are being transformed by the renewal of our minds. Our minds are transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit when we prayerfully read God’s Word. Then as our minds are transformed, we can prayerfully discern how we can live out God’s will in this world.
Now, there is nothing fundamentally wrong with watching the news, reading widely, and being informed. To read widely and be informed is generally a good thing. However, ask yourself, are you being informed, or formed? Make sure during these noisy times that you are being formed by the ultimate source of truth, the Word of God. While at least some truth can be found in many places, God’s will revealed in his Word is the perfect, clean well that you can drink from fully. As the Apostle Paul writes in Romans 12:2, God’s will is “good, pleasing, and perfect.” In the midst of all the noise out there, listen to and be transformed by God’s holy and perfect Word.
Rev. Andy Byers
About our Guest Preacher: We are pleased to welcome Rev. Andrew Byers to the pulpit this morning. Andy is an ordained Teaching Elder in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. After growing up in Western PA, Andy enlisted in the Navy for six years. He is a graduate of Geneva College and the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary. During seminary, Andy served as a volunteer jail chaplain and guest preacher in various settings. After finishing seminary, Andy and his wife, Becca, moved to South Dakota where Andy served as a hospital chaplain resident, and then to South Carolina where Andy served as a pastor. Andy, Becca, and their daughter, Ava, currently reside in Dormont, where Becca works remotely as a product marketing manager, and Andy as a daytime dad and UPS nighttime worker. Andy, Becca, and Ava are happy to be back in Western PA and to worship the Lord with you!
Neighborhood VBS 2021 ~ June 14-18 ~ 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. or 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
We are trusting in God as He's calling us outside of our church walls and into our neighborhoods. This is unlike any VBS we have ever led...and we can't wait to see what God has in store! Please be praying that God would be at work in this ministry. Here are a few of the ways you could volunteer:
Ambassador Team: Be at host sites to greet families at drop-off and pick-up
Bible Story Team: Deliver the Bible story and message to the children
Craft/Activity Team: Facilitate the craft or activity with the children
Driver: Drive any supplies, snacks or materials to the host sites
Flex Volunteer: Available during the VBS sessions to help in ways that are yet to be known
Games Team: Facilitate large and small group games for children
Music Team: Teach and practice VBS songs and motions with the children
Non-contact Volunteer: Volunteer in ways that are contact-free
Prayer Team: Pray for the leaders, children, and all activities involved in VBS
Site Host: Host a group of leaders, volunteers, and children for a backyard VBS experience
Skit Team: Participate in the theatrical skit during Neighborhood VBS
Snack Team: Purchase, organize and distribute snacks to the host sites
Youth Volunteer: 6th-8th graders who can volunteer for Neighborhood VBS!
Sermon/Study Series: Our Sermon/Study Series continues this week, using the book 5 Prayers God Loves to Answer, to grow in our understanding and practice of prayer. We would love you to become a part of a small group, even if it is only for the part of the study that goes through Lent. Go to mlepc.org/prayer-study to sign up. There are about 16 small groups meeting on Zoom throughout the week to select from. If you do not have the internet, please contact Pastor Linda to sign up for a group – firstname.lastname@example.org. The book, 5 Prayers God Loves to Answer, can be ordered on Amazon.
Sunday School: We are continuing to offer Sunday School online, with the Lamplighter Class at 11:30 a.m. Bruce Tenenbaum will be teaching for the next four weeks. Here's the link to join in: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/73248577267?pwd=ZGx0WWZTcngyVnFBRmNsV2tmNSs0QT09. If you would like to be on the email list for the adult class, please let us know at email@example.com The Youth and Children’s classes will remain online as well, so email us if you would like information about how to connect with those groups.
Sunday Hour of Prayer: A group of us gather on Zoom every Sunday at 7pm to pray together, and we would love to have you join us! Please use this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/92561964416?pwd=NmZoNDV3dDNqSVFubW82TEx0bll0Zz09 (for a computer, tablet, or mobile phone). You can also call in from a regular phone – dial 1-646-558-8656 and enter the Meeting ID - 925 6196 4416 and the password is 798565. For more info, contact Pat Gaudio at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, please let us know if there is any way we can support you or connect with you during this season. You can email us at email@example.com, with any needs, prayer requests, or just updates on how you are doing. And you are always welcome to call us at 412-531-3387.