The Power of Forgiveness
We live in dramatic times. Our current state has been referred to as “the age of alienation.” Nations, families, individuals, government agencies, corporations and others are alienated from one another. In fact, many are far beyond alienation to hostility, terrorism and open conflict – even armed conflict.
What can we do? How does forgiveness fit into the equation? What is forgiveness anyway? What can forgiveness accomplish? Is forgiveness a first step or a final step in some process?
For the next few weeks, the Coffee and Conversation group will be viewing and discussing a film by Martin Doblmeier entitled “The Power of Forgiveness.” The film features Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh and other well-known figures.
This film won an award as the Best Documentary in 2007, but it is every bit as relevant today, if not more so.
You will do yourself a favor by participating in this study. Besides, you will have fun despite the topic. We’ll throw in the hot beverages and goodies for free. Treat yourself.
Embracing Interfaith Cooperation
February 11 @ 9:30 AM
Did you ever hear the advice, diversify your portfolio? How about strength in diversity? Or perhaps you have heard someone remark how beautiful a certain garden is with all its different flowers. We know the truth of these observations instinctively. We know them from experience. We even know them from scripture. Paul repeatedly makes this point. For example, I Corinthians 10:12 (For just as the body has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body…); Romans 10:12 (For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek…); Galatians 3:28 (There is no longer Jew of Greek, there is no longer slave or free…); Colossians 3:11 (…no longer Greek or Jew … barbarian, Scythian, slave or free; but Christ is all and in all.)
What does this have to do with anything? The new series the Coffee and Conversation group will be studying concerns immigration in the United States. Can you think of a timelier topic? Each session will begin with a video after which we will think out loud together. The study video features Eboo Patel, who had presented at the TED conference, the Nobel Peace Prize Forum, and writes regularly for several major national newspapers. He is the founder of Interfaith Youth Core. This week looks at interfaith cooperation in American history. If you have a study guide, read pages 11-27. If you don’t have a study guide, you will have no problem at all being part of the discussion.
The hot beverages are on; the goodies are fresh (often warm); and the weather in Miller Hall is warm and sunny. Don’t be out in the cold.
Dear St. John’s Family-in-the-Faith:
The following is a Minute for Mission talk by Herb Willson shared in worship last weekend. We wanted to be sure you knew the good news, and encourage you to be at our Annual Congregational Meeting Sunday January 28 after 10:45 am worship – lunch is provided! We will be celebrating ministry and considering a new organ proposal.
I have some good news for you. Actually, I have great news. In fact, spectacular news! As a congregation, we are paying off our mortgage this month! Earlier than we expected!
Let me remind you once again, this was the mortgage that we incurred from a $738,000 building project that we began in the year 2000. This was an extensive project that addressed many issues that we had with this building and helped modernize our facilities here at St. John's.
On behalf of Pastor Richard, your congregation council, the original building committee, and all the members that participated in the 7 capital appeals that were conducted, I personally would like to thank everyone of you who contributed to the building fund to make this milestone a reality.
Here is some more good news! The council is planning a mortgage burning ceremony for sometime in the spring! A mortgage burning is an exciting time in a congregation's life! A time for celebration, a time for joy, a time to praise God, and a time to count our blessings!
I have even more exciting news! At our January 28th congregational meeting, we will be voting on a recommendation to purchase a new organ for our sanctuary.
If you attended the 10:45 service on January 7, you heard for yourself what is happening to our beloved organ. After 37 years of dependable service, it is starting to go. The technology that produces the music in that instrument is very outdated, and parts to repair it are becoming scarce or non existent.
That is why your Congregation Council is making the recommendation to purchase a new organ for our sanctuary!
So, the next question becomes - how do we pay for a new organ? Well, there is some money already set aside in an organ fund. But, once again, we will be voting at the January 28th meeting to conduct a congregation-wide 3 year capital appeal to pay for the new organ. This appeal is planned to kick off in February with all commitments being returned by March 3rd and 4th.
In the meantime, we are asking all of our members who supported the building fund to continue their faithful giving and to re-designate their offerings to the new organ. All of this will give us a head start or a jump on financing the new instrument.
For those members who may not have given to the building fund, here is your chance to become part of something special - a brand new organ with which to worship our God. Maybe, you became a member of this congregation long after the building project was completed, or maybe you didn't feel invested in the renovation of our building! Now is the time you could step forward and support our new worship instrument. We are definitely looking for musical organ donors!!!!
Once again, this appeal will remain separate and distinct from our current monthly expenses. To add this payment into our budget would put too much of a strain on current giving. Just ask your treasurer!
You will be hearing much more about the new organ proposal and congregational appeal in the next couple of weeks. It is a good reason to attend our congregational meeting 2 weeks from today!
In the meantime, please prayerfully consider being a musical organ donor!
Thank you for your time and faithfulness!
Timelines are not only for Facebook
Shrug off that cold. It is actually going to be warm enough this Sunday for you to get out, combat that cabin fever and get warm with friends over hot drinks and good conversation. We create our own sunshine. Perhaps that is why attendance has been so good in January.
This week Will is going to lead us in a conversation about and build out our church timeline as we start thinking about our purpose as a church. More nuggets from Gettysburg.
The pot is on; the vibes are good; the fellowship is real.