Pastor’s Letter — August & September, 2016

Dear Friends,
The book of James in the Bible tells us in 2:14-17: What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.  But I also believe that works without faith is dead as well. When we place our faith in Christ as the Bible in 2 Corinthians 5:7 tells us: This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! In faith we are called to a new way of life. Jesus’ teaches us to reach out to all in need. The story of the Good Samaritan is profound in the way in which Jesus calls the lawyer (and us as well) with whom he is speaking to live a life of compassion to anyone in need.

The way that Jesus chooses not to judge Mark 7:25-30, but rather be compassionate to the Syrophoenician woman who of a different faith should be an example to us as well. And Jesus teaches us in Luke 10:27 that the most important law of the Bible is: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Clearly works grow out of a strong faith. As a church we are the body of Christ on earth today. The way we choose to live our lives speaks loudly of our faith.

Over 22 members of our congregation are preparing to head to Maine for our mission trip through M.A.T.E.’s (Mission At The Eastward) Housing Ministry in Farmington Maine. Over the next week they will repair houses, paint steps, clean basements, have time together, take time for devotionals, and get to know new people. Their service motivated by their faith will be a powerful witness of God’s love for our world. Perhaps our world needs this kind of witness more than ever before. The news of our world can be dreadful with things happening in communities here in America and across the world that can bring tears to one’s eyes. We can’t all go to Maine to do mission
projects, but we can all live our lives in the love of Jesus Christ. We can reach out to our neighbors; we can help out someone in need, or simply give a friendly word of support to those around us. This week I would ask that you keep all those who are headed to Maine in your prayers!

God bless, and thank you!
Pastor Eric