February 19, 2019
Good morning Congregation,
For the past days we have been at the Flourishing Pastors Conference in Leesburg, Florida. It has been sunny and hot, with temps climbing into the 80’s each day. For some of you it sounds so exciting to have that kind of temps. For me, I think it’s hot, I have sweated and dreamed of cooler weather. It’s usually easy for us to find fault with the weather and wish it was warmer or cooler. What I can say is that this has been a great time here at the conference being challenged in personal growth; being encouraged in what it means to lead a congregation; and being challenged to share Christ in the community that we live in.
I have been reminded of the awesome congregation at North Clinton. Knowing the passion that we have to share Christ in our community and make a difference. Knowing how much so many of you care for the well-being of our community.
This coming Sunday we are formally installing Keegan as Associate Pastor with an emphasis on worship and our corporate times together. Our regional pastor Terry Diener will be with us. The day will culminate with communion being shared together at the end of each service and a carry-in meal. I want to encourage you to come and be a part of this special day. Communion is a time for us to reflect on what Jesus has done for us and the tremendous sacrifice that he gave for our souls. For each of us, he died on a cross and rose again so that we might be able to be forgiven for our sins and given the ability to live for him. It doesn’t mean we are perfect, it means that we are forgiven.
For the sermon on Sunday I will be sharing from Jeremiah 29. I know that we all love to quote verse 11; For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. But what we often miss is verse 7; Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” It is easy for us to live and forget to seek the peace and prosperity of our city. Do you regularly pray for our city, the people in it? That they would come to know Jesus? That our city would come to know and understand the fullness of Jesus Christ?
This weekend we are formally installing Keegan to serve on our staff. It is easy for us to expect our staff, our leaders… someone else besides me to be the one to share the peace of Christ with our city. But I have been reminded that it rests on “me.” It’s up to “me” to be the one that shares. No other person has the opportunities to share what I can share. So, as we bring Keegan onto our staff team, we need to remember that his responsibility is to help facilitate us in that area. But it doesn’t absolve any of us of our responsibly. We are all gifted in some area, and God wants us to use our giftedness to do the work he has called us to do.
I can say that I am honored to serve as your pastor and feel blessed to have the awesome staff we have in Audrey Rupp, Brad Faler, Dan Martin, Keegan McCarthy and Michelle Haase. Each of them is so gifted and talented. But what I believe is the most important part is their desire to honor God with their lives. But, we as a staff cannot do it all. We need each person to do their part. As a staff we desire to serve each of you, to facilitate in any way we can. As each of us uses the gifts and talents that God has given us, lives are changed, and a city will be changed. Thanks to each of you for using the gifts God has given you to make a difference.
I pray that you all have an awesome day!