Pastor’s Notes for April 26, 2021

Pastor’s Notes for April 26, 2021

What’s Happening @ Central

What changes a week can bring…

Last week I mentioned the progress that was being made toward beginning the restoration process within the church building. All that information I gave you was the best I had, at the moment. Now, some things have changed. Our insurance company was shocked by the dollar figure submitted by the restoration company in their estimate of remaining work to be accomplished. This led to the need for the adjustor to visit the church last Friday and do an inspection alongside the project manager from the restoration company. Late this afternoon I received an email from the project manager with the insurance company’s final decision regarding the estimate. They have denied the portion of the restoration estimate covering the carpet in the main hallway, the Sanctuary, the Fig Leaf rooms, and the two classrooms. This means they will only cover the replacement of the carpeting in the Fellowship Hall, the Nursery, and the flooring in the Ladies’ Restroom.

To say I am disappointed with this outcome is an understatement, as this goes against what the adjustor had said over the phone to me, before the on-site inspection of the facility. I will be working with the Advisory Board and Facility Board to draft a response to this and see if this decision cannot be changed. Please pray for wisdom for all concerned in this process.

If you were here yesterday (or were watching online) you may have heard Amy tell us about Lauren Giles and her grandmother passing away. If you would like to send a card to Lauren and her family, you can contact me and I will send you her address.

As the school year starts to wind down, we are looking for ways to begin in-person outreach events and programs this summer and fall. I still believe most of the COVID restrictions will be lifted by mid-summer, allowing us to resume our push into reaching into the community. The Advisory Board has begun discussing a return of Vacation Bible School for this summer. Our VBS has always been a high point for us, and we want to continue to make it a high point. One area that we would like to see addressed is how to attract more neighborhood children who don’t go to church somewhere. This needs to be our target audience. If we can reach these children, we can perhaps reach their parents, as well. Pray for the discussions and planning, as we move forward with ideas. As I mentioned last year, I believe God has positioned us to make a nearly fresh start. That isn’t a bad thing! We have tried to keep the core values of Central the same, while letting God drive changes that I believe will improve our life together as a body of believers. While there may be some more hiccups along the way, God is still in control!

Thought for the Day

Do you often get discouraged with the apparent lack of results in your life, spiritually speaking? I know I do if I am being honest. At times it seems like we are taking two steps backward with every step forward. Our recent experience with the water leak cold be viewed in this light. The leak set us back months from being able to do some of the things we wanted to do this spring, pushing things back into the summer. When things don’t go my way, I know it can be tempting to lash out at someone, anyone. The frustration builds, and the way I often choose to express that frustration is to look for a target.

There are two sides to this equation; one side is the injured party, and the other side is the one doing the injury. Let’s look at both sides for a moment.

For the injured party, when someone has said or done something that has hurt you, what should our response be? I see the answer clearly spelled out by Jesus when Peter approached and asked how many times he needed to forgive someone who had injured him (Matthew 18:21-35). The traditional teaching was three times, Peter tried to sound extra-spiritual by suggesting seven times; Jesus turned it upside down and gave a response so high that we would probably lose count. This doesn’t mean we become a doormat for someone to continuously abuse, but it means we forgive without keeping a record of how many times we have done so.

What about for the one who has caused the injury? There are two sides to this response, as well.

First, the one responsible must be made aware, by the injured party, of the offense (Matthew 18:15-17). The goal of this is not to shame or ridicule the offender, but to seek a reconciliation and restoration of the relationship. The offender then has the responsibility to make it right, seeking forgiveness from the injured party.

What if the one causing the injury is made aware in some other manner, how should they respond? They still have a responsibility to seek out the one they have hurt and seek to make it right (Matthew 5:23-24). The goal is always to keep our relationships as close as possible, and not let hurt feelings drive a wedge between us. The goal is always unity in purpose and thought among the community of disciples that calls Central their home. We can only achieve this when we follow what the Bible declares to be the proper path. After all, if you remember yesterday’s message, The sum of (His) word is truth (Psalm 119:160). We must not only know it, we must also practice it. Let’s all commit to following the path of reconciliation, especially during this time of increased stress and anxiety.