Cleric's Column - He is Risen!
By: Pastor Eric Smith
He is Risen! He is Risen, indeed!
Our two worship celebrations at Foothills and the sunrise service on top of Mt. Helix were beautiful, powerful, meaningful, and (from my perspective) immensely satisfying. That’s how Easter is supposed to be… (and really great when it is).
I want to share with you (and it’s not just pastoral hype) how good I am feeling about Foothills. It seems to me that we have moved through the pastoral transition time (it takes awhile) and we now enjoy spiritual embrace.
I have several other things I want to mention:
It’s a New Day was the title of the Easter sermon. The theme carries forward over the next three weeks with these sermons: Why Church Still Matters; Science and Faith; Heaven and Hell. You know me, I’ll give you something to think about in each of them.
Bible 101 is the first in a series of three-week Bible classes that I will teach. This offering is an introduction to the Bible. We’re going to look at the whole Bible – what it is, what it isn’t, where it came from, who wrote it, and ways that we can think about it. In three weeks. Big picture stuff. The class will be in King Hall. We will have time to ask questions in class; I’m also exploring how we can access an online location for questions and discussion about issues that we don’t get to or that arise for you between sessions.
Wednesday, April 15, is our first session. If you are planning to attend, please be on time (arrive 10 minutes early) so that we can start at 7:00 pm. We’ll be in the King Hall Connection Center. Childcare is provided.
Visioning. It’s what we need to do this year. It should happen in a number of ways, in differing expressions. The Administrative Council will call together several congregation-wide visioning discussions. Our Focus group process will be re-employed to look from other angles. I hope that our fellowship groups (whether that is the description of a group you meet with or not) will begin talking about the future of the church, too. We need a lot of discussion and a lot of agreement about where we are going and how we will get there. Congregational wisdom – that’s what we need. We can have a stimulating and thoroughly enjoyable time in this process – that’s our plan!
Stewardship is something for us to work on continually. We are learning to be a congregation that lives generously and gives generously. We need to learn how to live into God’s blessing of generosity… we have a pretty good model of generosity in Jesus.
Years ago I was on a mission trip in Maua, Kenya. My roommate was Romeo Del Rosario. He was then a missionary to Palestine, who came to work on this mission in Kenya for his vacation. One long hot day we gathered for devotions feeling hot, tired, hungry and on the front edge of discouraged. His benediction, which I’ve never forgotten was this… Proceed with Joy!
Blessings to you –