February 22, 2017
In our individualistic American culture, Christians often believe that Scripture is a private love letter directly from God to them. Nothing could be further from the truth. Scripture was not written to you or me but to them and us. Psalms is not a collection of private prayers and hymns that the Jews could use in their own personal devotions; it was Israel’s hymnbook. The books of the Bible were all written to and for the members of a community, the church.
Because the Bible is written to groups of people, the church; its primary use is public not personal. I know this is not the way the average Christian or the average Church seems to think here in America. Even when you read the Bible personally, which I would encourage you to do, we are expected to submit to other Christians to we can check our interpretation for accuracy and guard against heresy.
Matthew 18:20 (NIV) “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Jesus uses this passage in the context of Church discipline but it is actually a quote from Jewish teaching describing the reading and the study of the Scripture. When two or more gather together for Torah (Bible) study. Prayer is a natural part of Bible study, but the focus is on actual Torah learning. When “the words pass between them” the very presence of God is there. His first century audience would have known very well what he meant.
As we kick off this church-wide campaign to read through the New Testament on Sunday, my prayer is that the glory of God would join us and speak to us in a fresh new way during the next 40 days. I pray this would be a great opportunity for you to invite your “Oikos” to join you in reading and meeting to discuss God’s Word. May God use this campaign for His glory.
· Averie is 1 Year Old
Everyone is invited to celebrate Averie’s 1st Birthday at the Fellowship Hall this Saturday, February 25th at 2PM. Feel free to stop by and enjoy a piece of birthday cake and get a smile from Averie.
· New Paint and Carpet in Basement and Office Classroom
Richard and Dalia Vargas painted the church basement hallway and help get the new carpet installed last week. Thanks Dalia for your work keeping our Sunday school area looking good.
· Kick-Off Campaign and Church Dinner
On Sunday February 26th we will have a church dinner following the morning worship service. We are asking everyone to bring a main dish along with a side or dessert to share with your family and any guest we may have.
If you have not picked up a copy of the Bible we are reading together be sure and get on Sunday. The key to allowing God to work is to also join a group to discuss together what we read each week. We have several groups that meet during the week as well as two groups that will be discussing the reading on Sunday.
- Sunday at 9:45am - Muriel Murray and Pastor Andy Shimko lead separate Sunday school class
- Monday 7pm – Spanish group led by Claudia Romero
- Tuesday 7pm - Young Adult led by Dalia Vargas
- Wednesday 7pm - Spanish group meeting at Carmen Angulo’s home
- Thursday 6pm – Todd Hunter leads a group at Rosy Garcia’s home
- Friday 7 pm - Youth group led by Tim Bertrand
On Sunday February 26th we will receive our Alabaster Offering. This offering provides funds for property and buildings around the world. While we understand the church consists of the people of God, buildings erected for the purpose of ministry help provide a sense of permanence, functionally enhance ministry efforts, and convey an attitude that the Church of the Nazarene intends to "put down roots." Alabaster funds help provide for many Work & Witness projects, and the entire Alabaster Offering goes toward the purchase of land and construction of churches, schools, medical facilities, and homes for missionaries and national workers.
· Favorite Quotes of the Week
“Jesus didn’t come to make bad people good but to make dead people live!” - Ravi Zacharias
“Everyone thinks forgiveness is a lovely idea until they have something to forgive.” – C. S. Lewis
"The aim of the prayer meeting is to get heaven open and the glory down." - P.F. Bresee
“The Bible is a book that reads us even as we read it. It's an uncommon sort of book that requires an uncommon sort of read.” - Eugene Peterson