I am writing on the plane flying home from the ECO National Gathering in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It was a very joyful time of worship and connecting with ECO pastors and elders from around the country. We heard from Richard Stearns, the recently retired Executive Director of World Vision, about how showing the love of Jesus leads people to the cross of Jesus. We heard from Nate Stratman, pastor of Hope Community Church in Wilmington, NC. He spoke about how ECO churches around the country sent money for disaster assistance in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. That money, including the offering we took up as a congregation, has given their church plant an incredible platform to show the community the love of Jesus. A highlight was hearing Dana Allin share a bold vision for our ECO Presbyterian denomination, now seven years old. I have invited Dana to be with us on February 24th to preach in both services so that you can hear more about our growing denomination. By far, the best part of the gathering was answering the question about how God is at work in you. Over and over again, I got to share the GRACE story – and how God is at work in you!
I can’t wait for Sunday to worship with you.
I don’t know what your title at work is, or your birth position in your family, or even your place in your friend group. When things happen — good and bad, expected and unexpected… Who’s In Charge?
This week, we launch a new series called In Charge: The Life Story of Joseph. In prison or in Pharaoh’s palace, Joseph is always the one put in charge. But if you look a little closer, you see a bigger picture. God is at work. God’s story is being written through the day to day happenings and heartaches in Joseph’s life. Only God could bring them together for good. Only God could orchestrate it. Only He could be truly in charge.
As we read Joseph’s story, we can’t help but think about our own. In the moment, we may barely see it. But, God is at work in every high and low in your life. He is at work in every high and low in our church. Come Sunday, as we begin to hone our vision for that work and ask God to show it to us! On Sunday we will also take communion and introduce new members at both services.
As you know, this Sunday is Superbowl Sunday. I’ll give you my pick for my favorite commercial – since I’m more excited about the commercials than the game. After service, our students will take their annual “Souper bowl offering” to partner with those in our community trying to end hunger.
Finally, I need a favor from you. You may be noticing that we have new people visiting us every Sunday. How exciting! This is our mission – to invite people to find and follow Jesus. And worship is often the first step for a person on that journey. While we have a large auditorium that can accommodate over 1000 people in a service, we have limitations because of our parking. Those who study growing churches say that once a parking lot is over 80% full, guests are less likely to attend. We are evaluating the possibility of expanding to 3 services on Sunday morning as well as making a designated parking area for our guests. It will be a great help to get input on your worship experience. You can fill out the short survey by clicking here.
Healthy churches are growing churches. I hope in addition to filling out the survey, you will invite a neighbor or a family member to join you this week. We have a life-changing message to share.
I look forward to shaking your hand on Sunday… I know you will be glad you came.
Your pastor and friend,
Dr. Marnie Crumpler
Senior Pastor