Dear Friends,

 

The pattern of my days has taken on a new shape. Fall has begun, and with it a new routine that incorporates the programs that have started back up after a season of summer rest. That means more of my week is now spent in lesson preparation for Confirmation classes and Bible Studies. I have been researching curriculum, recommending materials, and studying and reading so that I am prepared to teach. It is time consuming, but also inspiring work to dig in and study. I consider it one of the most important things we do as your pastors!

 

The heart of a growing life of faith is discipleship: learning and growing together in faith. Discipleship is what makes church membership more than just membership in a social club or civic organization. Discipleship is a commitment, as people in Christ, to grow more Christlike together. So how do we do that? How do we learn to shape our lives to the shape of Christ’s love and grace?

 

A life of discipleship is a 4-legged stool.

 

The first leg of the stool is regular worship attendance. Now, I’m not going to tell you what regular means. You get to define that for yourself. But it should be frequent enough that it helps you feel connected to your church. Worship attendance is the primary place where you connect with your family of faith; it is also the primary place where you hear God’s word and get grounded in what it means to live a life of faith. But worship attendance alone is not enough to establish the kind of Christ centered practices and biblical literacy that are required to shape our lives of faith.

 

The second leg of the stool is Bible Study. A sermon is a great teaching tool, but it doesn’t allow space to ask questions or have a conversation about what a difficult passage might mean for your life. Being involved in a small group Bible Study or Sunday School Class allows us to dig deeper into God’s word and explore how our lives fit in God’s story. If we want to live as Christ’s people in the world, we need to know what the Bible actually teaches us about living as God’s people, not just what we think or have heard it teaches about God’s word.

 

The third leg of the stool is fellowship: having fun together! We need each other. When we surround ourselves with others who are trying to grow in the same way we are trying to grow – more like Jesus – we find the accountability and encouragement we need to continue the journey. In our fellowship with each other we discover the acceptance we might not find in the rest of the world. We discover the joy of laughing together and knowing there are people we can count on to share the good times and the trying times, and love us unconditionally.

 

The fourth leg of the stool is Service. God gave the great commandment to love God and love our neighbors as ourselves. An essential part of a life of discipleship is a commitment to serving others in Christ’s name. Out of gratitude for the blessings we have received we endeavor to bless others. We can serve within the church by engaging in activities like, volunteering to teach a class, mentor a confirmand, working on a committee, or visiting the sick. We can serve as an outreach of this congregation hosting meals at Ridgewater, packing clean-up kits for United Community Action or Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, or delivering Meals on Wheels. We can, in our own ways, serve as faithful volunteers in the community with organizations like the Red Cross, Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, Family Promise or Hospice.

 

A balanced life of intentional discipleship includes all of these elements. If any one element is missing we are losing an opportunity to grow and be nurtured in our lives of faith. So, right now, how many legs is your stool standing on? If it is balancing on worship alone it might be difficult to recognize faith as a grounding, stabilizing factor in your life. If you haven’t cracked open a Bible for your own personal devotional reading since you were confirmed it will be challenging to apply God’s teaching to your life. If you don’t spend time with your church family you will miss out on knowing just how much you are loved and accepted.

 

My challenge to you this fall is to make an intentional decision to engage in activities that represent all four legs of the discipleship stool. Commit to regular worship attendance. Join a Bible Study weekly, monthly, quarterly – at church or hosted in your home. Spend time enjoying the company of your church family. Give of your time and your talents to serve others – in small, simple ways, or in large ones.

 

Please know that Scott and I would love nothing more than to help you discover how to make all four legs of the stool part of your life. We are available to answer questions and brainstorm ideas with you anytime. It is our greatest privilege to help you grow into the person God created you to be.

 

In Peace,

Pastor Leanne

 

 

 

 
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Annual Stewardship Hog Roast                


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News and Events

THIS WEEK AT FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

Thursday, October 18th
6:30pm            Music Team

Thursday, October 18th-Friday, October 19th
OFFICE CLOSED
DUE TO MEA BREAK


Sunday, October 21st
8:45am        Adult Ed
10:00am      Worship
11:00am      Fellowship

Tuesday, October 23rd 
7:00am          Men's Bible Study

Wednesday, October 24th
7:00am           Women's Bible Study
6:00pm           Gospel Rock/ Confirmation
7:30pm           Youth Group

Thursday, October 25th
6:00pm           Music Team
6:30pm           Session

Sunday, October 28th
8:45am           Adult Ed
9:00am           Sunday School
10:00am        Worship
11:00am        Stewardship Hog Roast

 

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