Our world has many divisions, as does our country. Politically, we are a divided people. We’re divided among our races, our styles, and our sports team allegiances. We’re divided over music, art, and pretty much every aspect of our culture. We’re divided over how to deal with the coronavirus. We’re divided over the role of government, the role of family, and the role of children. We are divided by age. We’re divided by the schools we or our children attend. We’re divided by gender and socio-economic status. Pretty much every area of life is categorized, and we often times feel compelled to either fit into one of those categories or become comfortable with being outliers.
But from the opening pages of the Bible in the Book of Genesis, it becomes obvious that such division was not part of God’s original design. Differences, yes. Particularity and differing gifts, yes. But not wholesale divide among the peoples of the earth. In the garden, there was no enmity between God and humans, humans and humans, humans and animals, and animals and animals. Eden is described as a place of harmony and balanced interest—an interest in the other over ourselves.
This Sunday I will be preaching on the topic of unity in Christ’s church, based on Paul’s words in Philippians 4:2-9. How are we as Christians to navigate differences in a way that honors the unity that are called to in Christ? I will offer five brief points from the text that aid us in maintaining unity while acknowledging divinely approved diversity within the church. As Pastor Carolyn takes a very well-deserved break, and as we celebrate the amazing tradition of our Golden Senior members at MLEPC, let’s pray that God send His Holy Spirit to us to enlighten the eyes of our hearts, and draw us deeply into the meaning of His Holy Word.
Yours in Christ,
~ AND A WORD FROM PASTOR LINDA ~
Dear MLEPC Members and Friends,
I’ve been asked to tag onto Pastor Steve’s wonderful letter with a note about Golden Senior Sunday. In my years on staff at MLEPC, I’ve celebrated seven Golden Senior Sundays, a Sunday in October every other year when we recognize those who have been members of MLEPC for 50 or more years. There are 42 people in this category that we celebrate this Sunday! Usually Golden Senior Sunday involves names in the church bulletin, special invites to church which sometimes involves extra effort to get our homebound members here, and then afterward, a luncheon for them and their families where they have the opportunity to sit around table and share MLEPC history. Unfortunately, we cannot do any of that this year. But we can acknowledge and celebrate this rich heritage, ever thankful for these lives of committed faith, and we will recognize two new Golden Seniors who are active in our church family.
Some statistics that you might find interesting . . . our longest member is also our oldest member, 100 years old, and she joined MLEPC in 1932, making her an 88-year member! Our list is made up of some husbands and wives and a brother and sister. And since our last celebration in 2018, 14 of our Golden Seniors were called to their eternal home.
Sunday’s music will feature some of the favorite hymns of our Golden Seniors. In years past, our programs for the luncheon have included golden (favorite) scriptures, memories, hymns, and one year, we included pictures of past events like weddings and socials. That year, our 100-year old member sent us the bulletin cover from Easter Sunday, 1932, when she joined church, something she held on to because it was so meaningful to her.
One of our Golden Seniors was called home recently, and her favorite scripture was consistent through the years, “So faith comes through hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17) Another one of our Golden Seniors has lived through much adversity yet holds on to Psalm 118:24, “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!” My challenge to all of us is to find a golden scripture and share it freely with others as a witness to your faith and commitment to our Lord.
Love, in Christ,
~ ANNOUNCEMENTS ~
Prayer Walk Saturday:
Please join us this Saturday, October 24, as we walk into the neighborhoods close to our church to pray for our neighbors, our local businesses, our first responders, and our local communities. We will be prayer walking from 10:00 a.m. to Noon and then gathering back at the Church at 12:15 p.m. to share our experiences. We plan to go out in small groups of three or four and we will be wearing masks and using social distancing to keep everyone safe. If you are unable to walk with us you are invited to remain in the drive-through to pray, or you can pray from home using this guide: Neighborhood Prayer Prompts.
Sanctuary Flower Dedication:
The flowers in the Sanctuary on Sunday are given in honor of our 42 “Golden Seniors” who have been members for 50 years or more.
Upcoming Communion Service:
We will be celebrating the Lord’s Supper in worship next Sunday, November 1.
Sermon/Small Group Study Series:
Next week is the final week of our Philippians series. We’ll begin a 3 week series on “Growing in Gratitude” beginning the week of November 8. This is a great time to join a Small Group, meeting on various days throughout the week. Contact Pastor Linda Pokrajac (412-531-3387 ext. 207 or firstname.lastname@example.org) to learn more and get connected.