Pastor’s Preview for June 19, 2016

Hi Friends,

This week is a big week for our denomination. Fuller Ave. Church is one of roughly 1,100 churches across both the United States and Canada that make up the Christian Reformed denomination and this week people representing every corner of the denomination are gathering here in Grand Rapids for a yearly meeting called Synod. Over this week a number of important conversations are being held. Conversations about same-sex marriage, racial reconciliation, and several core beliefs held by the church dominate the headlines – some rightly so.

As they meet it’s important that we as people of the church, as members of Christ’s body re-commit ourselves to at least 3 key tenants:

  • God reminds us that we are called to be members of one body, the Church. Together we make up one unit and even in our differences of thought, desire, and belief we are still one. Division is not an option that is available to us because God makes us one. We are his church. You are his church. All of us are his church whether we are male, female, young, old, gay, straight, racially diverse or white as can be. We are his church. And the Church is the bride of Christ whom he loves.
  • God reminds us that we are called to give him glory. We’re called by the writer of the Psalms to praise the Lord with all that we have and all that we are. This Sunday we’ll have an opportunity to do that together as a community, and I also hope you can express that praise throughout your week. If you need to hear that call to praise God – see Psalms 144-150.
  • God reminds us that we are called to go and make disciples. Together we are called both to gather for worship and to scatter on mission. As the church we are both people who come together to praise our God and he then entrusts us with the good news to share. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…” – Matthew 28:19. We are a gathered and a scattered people. Gathered for his glory and scattered with his gospel.

Sometimes we can lose sight of these truths of our faith and so we need reminding. Please keep this gathering in your prayers.

This Sunday we’ll continue in our series I Heart Worship as we look at how we arrive at a place to confess our sins to God and hear his words of forgiveness. Often in our worship as we move out of a time of praising God, as the songs show us just how amazing he is, we recognize that we are broken people. As God’s greatness is contrasted with our brokenness we are driven to confess our sin to him. On Sunday we’ll look at Psalm 32 and uncover the impact of our sin, the power found in confession, and the hope that arrives with forgiveness. I’m looking forward to walking through it together.

Also two quick reminders:

  • A group will be gathering for prayer at 9:00am on Sunday morning before the worship service. Join us as we lift up the needs of our church, our neighborhood, and our world.
  • Following the morning worship service this Sunday we’ll hold a very brief congregational meeting in which we’ll have the opportunity to hear from Rev. Matt Postma as he highlights his new position as an Associate Chaplain at Calvin College and you’ll have the opportunity to extend a call of ministry to my wife, Rev. Samantha DeJong McCarron for her new role with the denomination as the Vocational Ministry Assessment. Here’s a link for more information on this new position.

Looking forward to seeing you on Sunday.

 

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Nate

 

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