A Holy Week
What a week it was this past Holy Week leading up to Easter! We had some powerful worship services as we gathered to remember both Jesus' death and his Resurrection. I am thankful to everyone who came out to one of worship services, especially to those who gathered on Friday afternoon to walk through and pray over our village. We spent over an hour and half walking and praying for the needs of our community! I am also grateful to all who set up our worship space, read Scriptures, and led music in our services, especially to our awesome group of kids who worked many weeks to learn their song for Easter service. It was a great week to join in worship together, and we have much to be thankful for.
In addition to our times of worship, last week was also powerful because of the called meeting of our council to discuss the purchase of a new bus, the repair of a stained glass window, and the replacement of our treasurer's computer. We met for about two hours to discuss these important matters. Presentations were made on each issue, questions were asked, options were considered, and, in the end, each was approved overwhelmingly. I am thankful all the folks who worked so hard to prepare for this meeting - the New Bus Team, the Trustees, and the Finance Committee - and for the Council that faced important decisions with diligence, humor, and joy.
We are moving forward with the purchase of a bus from Kingmor; after they finish maintenance on it and paint it for us, we should have the bus in the next month or so in time for us to use it for VBS this year! The bus will cost us roughly $16,000 - a great deal on a lower mileage bus. We have had donations and pledges for the bus totaling $4,000 from you. Last fall, the finance committee recommended using roughly $12,000 of our reserves as a potential down payment on a bus. Combining these two, we have the $16,000 we need for our new bus. God has a way of making things works out! I am thankful to all who have already contributed in support of our bus ministry. Please continue to support your pledge throughout the year if you made one, or if you feel led to make a contribution at this time, that would help us to meet any additional incidental cost in the course of the purchase.
This week, we will begin the process of having the window over the red front door of the sanctuary repaired. It will be removed, taken apart, pieced back together, and put back in place over the course of the next couple of months. This repair will cost us about $3,800. In receiving bids for this work, we have also realized that we will have a lot of repair work to do on our beautiful windows in the next decade and beyond. Our large window will likely be the next to need our attention. Keeping our windows in good shape will be a large task and will require a good deal of funding in both the short term and the long term. If you enjoy our stained-glass windows, please consider making a contribution toward their upkeep this year and in the years to come.
We have made some important decisions over the past week - to enable us to grow our bus ministry and to ensure that our windows will be an inspiration to the generations to come. We have much to be thankful for - the faithfulness of God and your generosity in making the work of Christ come to life here at Port Church! Thanks be to God for a Holy Week filled with power and for the privilege of the work that lies ahead! May we remain faithful to the work to which God has called us in the name of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Blessings on the journey,
Faith Facts: The Gospels
Our Bible has four books that we call gospels - Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. So what is a gospel anyway? The word "gospel" simply means "good news." For us, the stories these four books tell about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus are indeed good news that gives us hope for redemption, salvation, and eternal life. The first three gospels - Matthew, Mark, and Luke - are known as the Synoptic Gospels because they largely contain the same stories told in similar ways. Each of these three have a few stories that the others do not include, and each focuses on different aspects of Jesus' ministry. For instance, each gospel begins the story of Jesus at a different spot - Matthew with the genealogy of Jesus, Mark with Jesus' baptism, and Luke with the promise of John the Baptist's birth to Zechariah and Elizabeth. Yet these gospels are very similar for the most part, sharing many of the same miracles, teachings, and parables. The last gospel, John, however, is very different from the other three. It skips over many of the stories that the others tell while including stories that the others do not have. John's story focuses more on who Jesus is rather than what Jesus did. Together these four gospels tell us of the good news that Jesus came to live, die, and be raised that we have eternal life and that abundantly.
Do you have a question about why we do the things we do in church, where we come from, or what we believe? Email your questions to Pastor Jim, and look for an answer in a future Faith Facts.
Living in Community
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Find out what is going on at Port Republic UMC this week and in weeks to come!
8525 Water Street
Port Republic, VA 24471