Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Bell Duet

Warming up for worship on July 21. It was beautiful music!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Flea Market - Yard Sale - Craft Fair, 1

Thanks to Tammy for coordinating this July 20 event! The weather was wonderful, the fellowship fun, and it was a great opportunity to welcome our neighbors.

Friday, July 26, 2013

The 4th of July Lilies

The flowers have finished blooming now, but on the 4th of July they were in their prime!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Food and Fellowship on the Lawn

Thanks to all those who prepare and offer the food for our weekly summer fellowship time, each Sunday between the worship services. See you soon!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Faith Risks (FaithWorks 2)

Prayer, Psalm 56
Children, Joshua 2 (Rahab)
Message, Hebrews 11.8-22
Review, on Hebrews:
            a sermon/message
            written to remind people facing a time of trial that
                        we are people of faith ... and faith endures
            faith is substantial, it has objective content because it ties us to God
                        and all God’s promises
            “The righteous will live by faith” (quoting Habakkuk)
            Abraham’s story, 3 specific episodes of faith, how it took on substance
            all 3 involve risk
1. Departure
            Dad: Do not let your past/present keep you from your future
            Abraham’s more difficult calling: to leave what was GOOD
                        Our move here ... but we got to arrive, Abe did not!
                        He remained a stranger, an outsider for life
            Do not romanticize: urban dweller to tent dweller, nomad
                        looking for a “CITY with foundations”
                        life of RISK
            Future driven
                        city and country were well beyond his life time & he knew it
                        Looking forward, with our children
                                                      I just want to be around to see my son graduate. 
                                    I just want to be here for my granddaughter’s wedding.
                        Jacques Ellul: Christian calling
                                    “understand and dominate the present from pov future ...”

Tech for Tanzania

From one of our mission partners in the Susquehanna Conference: Mission Central.

Anne and I have been here visiting the schools and hospitals that we shipped to last year and again this June. Material being packed at Mission Central:
Notice that the computer pictures I have attached show the computers being used in offices where there are also furniture pieces from Mission Central...desks and filing cabinets.   
Material shipped from Mission Central in use: 
Everything is a blessing.  Thanks to all who continue to help and pray. Thanks and blessings from brothers and sisters in Tanzania.
Randy Barr

Friday, July 19, 2013

Meet and Greets, 2

Thanks again to our marvelous hosts for some wonderful meals and great fellowship!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Faith Commended (FaithWorks 1)

Prayer, Psalm 116 Children, Genesis 5.21-24
Message, Hebrews 11.1-7, 32-40

Background of the book
Hebrews, anonymous (tradition: Paul or one of Paul’s disciples)
Placed among the letters, but more of a sermon or
"Word of exhortation", 13.22, etc.
"I have written to you briefly" (13.22), 45 minutes to read aloud!

Original readers (10.32-39)
"Earlier days" of persecution, imprisonment, confiscation of property
Now, a new trial ... "you need endurance"
Quote Habbakuk, "my righteous one will live by faith"

"But we are not among those who shrink back and are destroyed, but among those who believe and are saved" (10.39)

"Then they had been bold for Jesus Christ; now they appear to have become timid. Then they had stood their ground; now they appear to be in retreat. Then they had regarded their property as expendable; now they are emotionally unprepared to risk the loss of property of life" (William Lane, 145).

Us as readersSleeping on a board
Does the flame of our faith gutter, at risk of going out?
Does the blaze of our hope flicker, at risk of being lost?
Does the fire of our love cool, at risk of burning out?

Virtues, not emotions
Objective content, substantial, not simply subjective

Faith: In the marvelous 2012 film Safety Not Guaranteed, a team of reporters attempts to find and profile the person who places the following classified ad: "Wanted: Somebody to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. You’ll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. Safety not guaranteed. I have only done this once before."

It becomes obvious in the film that the man who placed the ad believes that he has traveled in time. But, does "believing make it so"? (Craddock, 131). (Prayers) No.

Yet: "Now, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the pragmatic proof of things not seen" (Heb 11.1, personal translation).

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Youth on Mission

Four of the five young folks headed out, with youth ministry director Joanne, on a week of Hurricane Sandy clean up! Our thanks and prayers go with you!

Meet & Greets, 1

Thanks to all our hosts!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Reflections on Race

I did not get the news of the Zimmerman verdict until after Sunday morning. Remarkably, I thought, I included in the message a quote from a letter by John Wesley to William Wilberforce, written only a week before Wesley's death. Wesley was urging Wilberforce to remain strong in the battle to abolish slavery and offered up even larger questions of civil rights on February 24, 1791. The quote below is from Albert Outler's wonderful compendium John Wesley, page 86:
O be not weary of well doing! Go on, in the name of God and in the power of his might, till even American slavery (the vilest that ever saw the sun) shall vanish away before it. ... I was particularly struck by that circumstance that a man who has a black skin, being wronged or outraged by a white man, can have no redress; it being a "law" in all our colonies that the oath of a black against a white goes for nothing. What villany is this?

Some well-written and more current reflections on race and religion in our nation that are worth reading are linked below. They start from the verdict in the Zimmerman case and reflect from there. It is worth prayer and self-reflection, particularly by those of us in a position of privilege.

When Your Church Is Silent, by Enuma Okoro
Lament from a White Father, by Jim Wallis
Robbers, Lawyers, and Neighbors, by D.L. Mayfield

Welcome Picnic, 2

Thanks to the men's group and the hospitality team for organizing the event! It was a lot of fun - including soccer and the climactic sponge battle! (Sorry, no pics of that one!)

Welcome Picnic

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Party Prep

Thanks to the guys and Hunter for cleaning out the picnic shelter (July 6) in preparation for the welcome event. And thanks to Robin for the pizza!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

I Saw the Lord

2013/07/07 Christ Church, with Holy Communion
Children, Luke 5.1-11
Message, Isaiah 6.1-8
            read as a guide to worship order
                        source for the first response of the Great Thanksgiving
            read as a personal call story
                        John 12.41, “Isaiah ... saw [Jesus’] glory and spoke about him”
The Encounter
God meets us where we are
            in our grief – hem of the robe, “extremity of his train”
            in our sin – “unclean lips”, coal to his lips
God meets us
            seraphim (fire serpents)
                        2 wings cover face – before the glory of the Lord (Ex 33.18-23)
                        2 wings cover feet – before the holiness of the Lord (Ex 3.5)
                        2 wings fly – to obey the word of the Lord (Ps 104.4)
            John Chrysostom:
Do you desire to learn how the powers above pronounce that name; with what awe, with what terror, with what wonder? ... But you, in your prayers and supplications, call upon him with much listlessness (Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, OT X, Isaiah 1-39)

Friday, July 5, 2013

Independence Day Parade

Thanks to all who have served our nation and our dream, a dream that continues to draw people from all over the world. Thanks to Carrie and team for organizing our hospitality with our neighbors. It was a great parade!

"Sabbath" Walk

Last Sunday afternoon, taking some "Sabbath" time, we walked through our neighborhood and enjoyed the beauty. "Sabbath", literally meaning "stop", is so important in our lives that typically rush from one thing to the next and fill up all the transition time with sound.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Bible School, Sunday program

Thanks to the kids and families who came on Sunday to share their Bible verses - in sign language - and to sing the theme song. It was a fantastic week. Thanks again to our directors and staff!

Monday, July 1, 2013

First Day

Today is my first official day as the pastor of Christ Church!  We have been richly blessed by your hospitality and welcome (a blessing that the newest folks at Christ Church have likewise experienced).  Thank you!

I began today in prayer and the Scriptures and was reminded that the pursuit of success is an idol that keeps us from the pursuit of God and God alone.  I read in Judges about Israel’s struggle with Baal – a fertility (success) god.  And I was praying in the psalms:
            “You mortals, how long will you dishonor my glory;
            How long will you worship dumb idols
            And run after false gods?” (Psalm 4.2)
While God does give “the increase” (Psalm 67.6) and “prosper the work of our hands” (Psalm 90.17), it is only as we trust ourselves fully to the One who made and redeemed us.
I am excited to be following Jesus with you!

Bible School, Program, more