Come and See!
Invite people to church. Tell them about Jesus. Lead folks to Christ. When we think of the word evangelism, these are often the kinds of things that come to mind. As Christians, we know that we are called to share the good news, but the kind of things listed above can be tough to actually do. In our relationships, we often choose to make light of any talk about God or to just avoid the topic of God altogether rather than to do the uncomfortable things that we think of as evangelism.
But what if there is more to evangelism than simply trying to get more people in worship on Sunday? What if sharing the good news doesn't require being a Biblical scholar or having life all figured out? What if "leading" folks to Christ us more about joining them on the journey as we look for God together?
In our new worship series that begins this Sunday, we will be exploring these questions and simple ways that we can share the good news so that we along with others can all grow in God's love. Come and see what it means to share the good news of God's love. "Come and See!"
Blessings on the journey, Jim
Sunday's Sermon Snippet
A Life-Changing Gift: Saying Grace (2 Corinthians 9:10-15)
What is grace? If a dancer moves in a beautiful way, they have grace. If someone is kind and generous in their relationships, they have social graces. Saying grace is how we give thanks to God before a meal. Grace - whether from God or someone else in our lives - is an undeserved gift or act of forgiveness, especially one we every reason to believe we would never receive. Grace means many things. This is true of our English word and the Greek word behind it - "charis" - as well. In fact, charis is used in 2 Corinthians 8-9 ten times although it is translated as grace only a few times. At other times, it is translated as privilege, generous undertaking, thanks, and gift (depending on the translation, of course). This variety of ways it is translated reflects the richness of the word but hides how prevalent it is in Paul's thought as he considers the act of giving. If we look more closely at how Paul uses charis in these two chapters, including here in his conclusion, we find that he speaks of grace as being given in all kinds of relationships. We normally think of grace as a gift we receive from God and that we might pass on to those who are less fortunate. Yet Paul speaks of the recipient of a gift giving grace to both the giver and to God. Likewise the giver gives grace to God in thanksgiving as well. Grace is not a "trickle-down" kind of thing but rather something that flows all around us where it chooses to go like the wind. The opportunity to give is a gift from God - a gift that can change our lives forever! When we choose to accept that gift, when we give, we let grace loose to flow throughout the world in amazing ways, connecting us to God and one another in new ways. Charis be to God for this indescribable gift!
Sunday Morning Book Study
If you are interested in or have questions about our book study on "Love Does" during Sunday School, please let Pastor Jim know. This book is a collection of 31 short stories about living a secretly extraordinary life in an ordinary world. Join us as we discover how to unleash the power of love to do amazing things in our lives.
Seeing Our Blessings through the Eyes of Others
Dinah shared this story with us in worship on Sunday about how a member of another church helped her see the blessings we have here at Port Church that we often take for granted:
Setting: It's the last day of RENEW Camp and we're going to Massanutten Water Park to celebrate. It's 240 teenagers, 60 adult chaperones, and a LOT of food and drinks for everyone. We load our blue Port Church bus up with food. As we're unloading at Massanutten a RENEW chaperone approaches me. She's a 40 year old woman who attends a 'large' church with about an average attendance of 600 at one service. They have multiple services.
Other lady: "Is that your church bus?"
Other lady looks confused: "But you go to the church in Port Republic, right?"
Other lady: "What do you use the bus for?"
Me: "Various things. like VBS, our Wednesday night program, sunshine senior trips, and we pick-up kids on Sundays."
Other lady looking more confused : "Didn't you say that was a small church of about 100 people?"
Other lady: "Wow, I can't believe it."
Other lady: "Do you know how unusual it is for a church your size to have such a nice bus?"
Me: "Ummm, no"
Other lady: "Our congregation is 6 times as big as yours and we haven't been able to make this happen. Good for y'all."
Our giving can become an inspiration to others, and their eyes can help us to see the blessings that we take for granted.
Living in Community
Thank you, Chris, Meg, and Davida, for helping to serve communion this week!
Thank you, Dinah, for sharing your witness to how blessed we are as a congregation!
Thank you, Courtney, for sharing a new song with us!
Please remember all who grieve and struggle in your prayers this week,
especially those is Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico, and Las Vegas.
This Week at Port Church
Monday, October 2
9:30 - 11:45 am - John Bible Study at Dianna's
Tuesday, October 3
7:00 - 8:15 pm - John Bible Study at Dianna's
Wednesday, October 4
9:00 - 11:45 am - Office Hours
6:00 pm - Wednesday at the Port
Thursday, October 5
9:00 - 11:45 am - Office Hours
Sunday, October 8
9:30 am - Worship - "Come and See: Show Up"
11:00 am - Sunday School
6:30 - 8:00 pm - Financial Peace University Class
Chili Cookoff & Silent Auction in support of Youth Missions - October 14th - 11:00-1:30!
Harvest Table for the Food Pantry – November 6th thru November 27th
Charge Conference - November 29th
News and Updates
Find out what is going on at Port Republic UMC this week and in weeks to come!