Pastor’s Notes for April 5, 2021

Pastor’s Notes for April 5, 2021

What’s Happening @ Central

Easter Sunday was a special day for Central. It was our first Easter together as a church family since 2019. It was the highest attendance we have recorded in over a year! While it wasn’t what we normally experience on Easter, it was a nice way to celebrate what is one of the best days.

We have had a lot of work done in the church this past week, with all of the sheetrock being replaced that was removed, the walls prepped and textured, awaiting painting. We will be seeing some new flooring and baseboards over the next few weeks as the restoration project continues to progress.

Speaking of the restoration project, that also ties into the re-modeling that the leadership team and I have been discussing. We may not be able to afford all of the extra projects that we wanted to get done, as the costs of the entire project are higher than what I expected. I will be working with the leadership team and the contractor to figure out what we can afford, and get those things done as quickly as possible.

As the year progresses, I am hoping that the COVID restrictions will lift, so we can continue returning to a more normal path as a church. We budgeted for a full slate of outreach events, hoping that the restrictions would begin to disappear and allow us to begin some serious push into the community. Until that happens, we can still be a very inviting church.

One of the things I learned at the Minster’s Retreat in March needs to be applied whenever we can; that is the need to serve our community in a meaningful way. One thing that attracts people to a church is a sense of helping with a cause. This needs to be a public way that we, as a church family, can help meet real needs in our community. The Fig Leaf is a great ministry, and that will continue, but we also need to seek out opportunities to “get our hands dirty” within the community.

I did just get word that as of April 9th, Jackson county will be lifting most restrictions! While masks and social distancing are still a requirement, all capacity restrictions will be lifted. However, as some of you saw on Sunday, in order to maintain some semblance of social distancing, there isn’t a lot of room left for more chairs in the Sanctuary. We can add a few more, and certainly there was room for more people this past Sunday, so don’t let the remaining restrictions keep you away from church!

Thought for the Day

How does it make you feel to know that the heart of God is directed toward you? In 1 John 3:1, the same writer of the Gospel of John that we just finished as our guide to our Journey to the Heart, wrote this:

1 John 3:1 (ESV) ~ See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

What kind of love the Father has given to us. It is one thing to tell someone you love them, it is another thing to then adopt them as your own children. That is the kind of love that God has for us, enough to not only restore us to a relationship, but making that relationship one where we are His children!

As we go through our day, I know I don’t often think about this (at least not as much as I should probably); that I am always in God’s view, and it is a view that is shaded with his undying, unfailing love for me. Knowing that is so important to having a healthy view of God. His love for me never goes away! His love for you never goes away! We should never doubt our value, our worth, our position within God’s heart, as His children.

Now, all children, when they are young, tend to emulate their parents. I know that a lot of who I am is a result of emulating my father. Now, I need to seek to emulate my heavenly Father more and more. I need to love like He loves, unconditionally. I need to sacrifice like He sacrificed, without hesitation. I need to serve like he served, willingly. Is that what you want, as a child of God?

We need to make sure that as we progress in our walk that we emulate the Lord more and more. A failure to do that means we are not growing, and lack of growth, spiritually speaking, is a symptom of spiritual sickness. Christians are supposed to be growing more like Jesus! So, what can you do this week to be more like Jesus in your family, to your neighbors, and within our community?