Every Life Save a Life
In June of 2014, Bishop Cho challenged the churches of the Virginia Conference to raise $1 million for Imagine No Malaria - enough to save 100,000 lives from this preventable, treatable disease. He called this effort "Every Life Save a Life!" This past week, our conference surpassed its goal - a mere fifteen months after this lofty challenge was put before us. Here at Port Church, our kids led our efforts with our Spring Confirmation class taking this on as a mission project. Through their lemonade stand, they raised over $250 saving 25 lives. Later in the summer, our VBS adopted this as their mission, and they raised an amazing $1,500 to save another 150 lives.
I am proud of our church for the part we have played in making such an incredible difference in the world! Thank you to everyone who helped our kids do such a wonderful thing in the name of Jesus Christ, and thank you especially to all the kids who helped lead us along the way! I cannot wait to see what wonderful work God has in store for us next!
Blessings on the journey, Jim
This past Sunday, we kicked off our new sermon series on stewardship - "Free Checking: The Rewards of Learning How to Give Well!" Over the next few weeks, we are going to learn how to give well so that our giving to God through the church can be the joy that God intends it to be in our lives. These lessons will come to us from 2 Corinthians 8-9 in which Paul writes to the church in Corinth about how they should take up the collection to support the poor in Jerusalem.
A Vision Larger than Our Giving (2 Cor. 8:1-6)
In encouraging the Corinthians to continue collecting an offering for the poor in Jerusalem, Paul lifts up for them the example of the Macedonian churches whose "overwhelming joy and extreme poverty welled up" in a generous offering. In fact, these churches had begged for the grace to be allowed to collect this offering. Today, when giving to the church - even talking about money at all in church - so often creates feelings of guilt over needing to give more or resentment of being asked to give so much, the example of these churches is amazing. They begged for the opportunity to take up offering and to give to something that mattered. But this is the point - the vision of the work to be done was big enough to inspire them to beg for the grace to be able to give. The first step to giving well is to first beg God for a mission worthy of giving to. When we ask for this, God gives us a vision that is bigger than our giving. Such a large vision means that whatever we gives makes a difference for God's kingdom - something we can take joy in and calls us to grow and stretch ourselves spiritually in our giving. Too often today, our churches have visions too small to bring us joy in our giving - paying the bills, keeping the doors open, etc. When God gives us a vision for ministry that actually makes a difference in the world, giving - even going above and beyond - is not something that makes us feel guilty or resentful but instead something that brings us true joy.
This Week's Challenge
Ask the Spirit for the grace to see the vision for the ministry that God wants done here in our church. Is the vision you see worth giving to? Is the vision we have - The Village Church with a Mission to the World! - and the ministries we do large enough to bring us joy in giving? If not, pray for God to show us a large vision that will stretch us and bring us joy.
When we see a deep need in the world that touches our hearts or an exciting new ministry that ignites our souls, it's easy to get motivated to give well. We want to make a difference and so we make a commitment. But over time, the heartfelt concern dulls and the fire dwindles down, and it is hard to stay motivated to meeting the commitment we once made. So, how do we continue to give well over the long haul when the newness wears off? Join us this Sunday as we learn how God can give us A Passion Greater than Our Commitment!
October 11 - A Passion Greater than Our Commitment - 2 Corinthians 8:7-15
October 18 - A Joy Deeper than Our Giving - 2 Corinthians 9:1-9
October 25 - A Harvest Bigger than Our Sowing - 2 Corinthians 9:9-15
Party in the Park!
Saturday, October 10, 4-9 pm
Bradburn Park in Port Republic
Chili Cook-off (4-6 pm) - Help us choose the People's Choice Award!
Cornhole Cake Toss (4-6 pm) - Win your dessert!
Silent Auction (4-6:30 pm) - Bid on over 80 awesome items!
Dancing Across the Decades (6:30-9 pm) - Music and dancing for all ages!
Have fun, eat good food, and support our RENEW Youth Mission Team!
Invite your friends and neighbors!
Living in Community
This Week at Port Church
Tuesday, October 6
7 pm - PPR Meeting
Wednesday, October 7
9:30 am - 2 pm - Office Hours
6 pm - Wednesday at the Port
Thursday, October 8
9:30 am - 12 pm - Office Hours
10:30 am - Prayer Time
Saturday, October 10
4 pm - Party in the Park Chili Cook-off and Silent Auction
6:30 pm - Silent Auction ends/ Dancing
Sunday, October 11
9:30 am - Worship
"Free Checking: A Commitment Greater than Our Passion"
11 am - Sunday School
News and Updates
Find out what is going on at Port Republic UMC this week and in weeks to come!