The Lighthouse - March 16, 2015
If there is one thing I have learned about Port Church over the last nine months, it is that we certainly know how to dream big - a VBS three times as big (counting kids and volunteers) as our Sunday morning worship, a free meal for the community twenty times a year, supplying many of the extra needs at South River Elementary, and offering a quarter yard sale to help folks out with the necessities of clothing to name just a few. In fact, our dreams are often bigger than we are, and so we have to rely on the help of others to help us see them through. This is exactly what we do with VBS as we invite folks from other churches and our community to be a part of what God is doing here.
This is the point, though. These dreams are bigger than us because they're not just about us. There's more to our dreams than keeping our doors open and making ourselves comfortable so that our church will survive just as it is. These dreams are about reaching out beyond our building and spreading the good news of Jesus Christ in a bold way so that our church will serve and thrive just as God wants it to become. These dreams are bigger than we are because they are God's dream for our church and our community, and God has great plans for us all - plans greater than anything we could dream on our own.
While it is exciting to be a part of such a large dream as God has given us, it can also be daunting. How can we possibly find enough resources - people, time, money, talents, gifts - to fulfill God's vision and keep everything going? How can we think about growing our ministry when there is always an unexpected maintenance cost around the corner, not enough volunteers to do all the tasks we already have, and so little spare time as it is? Many days, these questions fill my thoughts. I have come to believe that the answer lies in faithfulness - both our faithfulness to God and the big dreams entrusted to us and God's faithfulness to us. Through God's power and our faithfulness, we can continue to live into the vision God has set before us.
May the Spirit continue to challenge and strengthen each of us to fulfill God's dream that is bigger than us all! Dare to dream big!
Blessings on the journey,
Worship This Week: Unforgivable
We finish up our Lenten series "Sin" this Sunday by looking at whether we really can be forgiven of everything we do wrong. Is there anything that is unforgivable? What does Jesus mean when he said that it is unforgivable to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit? If I've ever said something against God, especially the Spirit, can I ever be forgiven? Join us as we explore whether there are limits to how far God will go to forgive us.
Faith Facts: What's in a Name? Part 2
In 1968, the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren joined to form The United Methodist Church. Over two hundred years before, in 1767, a Mennonite farmer named Martin Boehm was preaching at a revival at a Pennsylvania farm. Phillip Otterbein, a Reformed minister who was in attendance, heard his message and recognized a kindred heart and spirit. Although the men were of different denominational and theological backgrounds, Otterbein approached Boehm, shook his hand, and declared in German, "Wir sind Bruder!" - that is, "We are brethren!" The two men began to work together and eventually became friends with Francis Asbury, one of the first Methodist bishops. In 1800, Otterbein and Boehm formed the United Brethren in Christ, a forerunner of the Evangelical United Brethren based on an adaptation of the Methodist theology and church structure. The "United" in The United Methodist Church comes from that sense of unity and brotherhood that Otterbein and Boehm felt despite their differences. May we always live up to the spirit of their unity no matter what differences we may have.
Living in Community
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8525 Water Street
PO Box 116
Port Republic, VA 24471