It’s been a few weeks since we have stoked the “These Three Things” fires. But looking at this coming week, it occurs to me that there are great opportunities to hit hard on all three of our emphases in short order. To remind you, the T^3 to the third grid speaks of our heart and commitment to meaningful worship, young families – or not so young families with young children, and loving and serving St. Pete.
Sunday morning I will continue my Lenten series of “What to Do …”. This week’s focus is one that always seems to connect with people emotionally and spiritually: “What to Do When You’ve Been Hurt.” Thirty years of pastoring has taught me a lot – perhaps most clearly just how much hurt there is in our lives, and how poorly we tend to address it. Most of the pain, frustration, and depression I see has genesis in painful life experiences, particularly the ones where we have been wronged by others. I ask you to do two things. First, come with a heart open to a fresh word and a desire for the new perspective and hope God can give. Secondly, invite a friend. Someone you know carries that kind of burden. Beckon them to come along with you and let the Spirit do a good work there too.
Secondly – Aimee really – read REALLY – needs more help in the 10:30 hour. Last week we had 65 kids in preschool and children’s worship. It won’t take much if a handful of your will offer up an hour every few weeks. You will be blessed, the kids will benefit, families will find the Sunday morning experience more meaningful, and workers will be less apt to burn out as the load is shared. Hear me plainly. Most churches out there have little need to marshal these resources, because there is a great void of children to love and care. God is blessing us with amazing opportunities to do so. We MUST be a good steward of these ministry opportunities or we will find ourselves without that problem – and that’s a real problem.
Lastly, our loving on St. Pete has many faces. One of those is FAST, a social justice ministry who will hold their annual “Nehemiah Action” rally at the Trop this Monday. This work that we share in with other faith communities is transforming our community. Check it out. On the mercy side of ministry, our food pantry is growing in terms of need and delivery of services. Talk to Belinda Cotter about how you might share in in the dignified work of feeding folks in need.
There’s three great areas of ministry. Pick one or more this week as we see the church being the church.