On Sunday, Vince gave everyone a copy of Clive Calver’s book Alive in the Spirit (if you didn’t get one and you’d like one, you can pick one up this Sunday as well). Clive is the senior pastor at Walnut Hill Church and the former president of World Relief and his book Alive in the Spirit is a very accessible and practical fifty-day devotional that will help us all better understand and better connect with the Holy Spirit.
As we read this book together, each week we’ll have some different people from the community share on the blog about what is interesting, challenging, or raising questions for them as they read. (If you’re interested in blogging, e-mail Emily: email@example.com)
Plans for Father’s Day?
Join us for our Father’s Day BBQ and Potluck after church.
And if you’re joining us, please click here to sign up and let us know if you’re bringing anything to share
On Saturday, we celebrated the baptism of one our newest members at St. Paul’s, Tiffany. As a public representation of the inward transformation that has happened in a believer’s life, baptism symbolizes our identification with Jesus’s death and resurrection. Being immersed in the water symbolizes how our old self has been buried with Jesus and being raised from the water symbolizes our new life in Christ.
Baptism is also an opportunity for a church community to formally welcome a believer into the body of Christ. So as we prayed for Tiffany on Saturday, please join us in praying:
Heavenly Father, we thank you that by water and the Holy
Spirit you have bestowed upon your servants the
forgiveness of sin, and have raised her to the new life of
grace. Sustain Tiffany, O Lord, in your Holy Spirit. Give her
an inquiring and discerning heart, the courage to will and to
persevere, a spirit to know and to love you, and the gift of joy
and wonder in all your works. Amen.
Thank you for celebrating Tiffany’s baptism with us. If anyone is interested in learning more about baptism or being baptized themselves, please e-mail Vince: firstname.lastname@example.org
Join us this coming Friday (April 18th) at 6 pm for our Good Friday services.
In the chapel, we will have a quiet, reflective service that gives us time to respond to the significance of Jesus’ death on the cross through scripture readings and stations for meditation.
In the kid’s room, Vince will lead a Good Friday service for children (ages 4-9) that walks them through the Easter story–starting with the Last Supper, commemorating Good Friday, and ending with the hope of Easter (and of course some Easter egg decorating!).
Please join us for these special services!
This Wednesday we mark the beginning of the Lenten season with Ash Wednesday. Which raises some great questions: what is Ash Wednesday and why do we observe it?
In the church calendar, Lent is the forty day period before Easter where the church focuses on fasting, repentance, prayer, and reflection. It is a season that reminds us of our own human fraility and mortality so that we can more fully celebrate the redemptive, life-giving work Jesus does at Easter.
Ash Wednesday begins the Lenten season by bringing believers together to corporately confess their sins and receive the mark of ashes on their forehead as a visible, public statement that as Christians our lives are forever marked by the cross.
Lisa Sharon Harper, a writer for Sojourners, describes the experience of Ash Wednesday this way:
Once a year the global body of Christ reveals itself to the world en masse. Foreheads marked with ashes, the global church moves through the first day of Lent with the sign of the cross in plain view for all to see. In the midst of the mundane, those ashes blend with sweat and soot and reveal to the world just who is a follower of Jesus in their midst.
It is a profound feeling to move through the streets of Washington, D.C., New York, Los Angeles, Cincinnati, or Huntsville, Ala., with your deepest beliefs marked on your forehead.
The Lenten mark of the cross, in tangible form, brings the church into solidarity with Jesus’ 40-day struggle in the wilderness — the place of desolation, the place of waiting and wandering, temptation, and confrontation with the limitations of our human-ness.
So please join us this Wednesday at 7pm in the chapel for a time of worship, prayer, and confession and to make a public, visible statement that your life has been marked by the cross.