August 2017

Dear Church Family,

      Summer is a wonderful season of sun and fun when we can relax, recharge, and refocus on the things God is calling us to be and do. It also allows our church family to refocus on God’s vision before we kick-off our fall activities.

     Therefore, your staff ministers and I would like to invite you to attend Sundaes on Sunday, a church-wide leadership meeting on Sunday, August 27th, at 2:30 p.m. We will enjoy ice cream sundaes, cast vision, share the direction we feel God is leading us, and listen to your thoughts, too. Anyone in a leadership/service position is strongly encouraged to attend, but everyone is welcome.

     While we have many victories worth celebrating, I believe the Lord has much more in store for our Shiloh Terrace family. Paul reminds us how our God “20 … is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen!” (Ephesians 3:20-21). God’s power is working through us to connect people to Christ, but I believe the Lord is about to do more if we will seek His face.

     Vince Lombardi told the Green Bay Packers in his first meeting with them as head coach, “We will never be perfect. But in the process of pursuing perfection we will catch excellence.” I ask you to prioritize this vital meeting, continue to pray for your staff and church, and urge others to participate as we seek to be and do our best for Him.

Your servant in Christ 

Pastor Craig

 

July 2017

     Freedom is a precious gift bought and paid for by the sacrifices of others.  This July 4th, we focus on the freedoms we enjoy as Americans:  the free exercise of religion; free speech and free press; the freedom to protest against the government; the right to keep and bear arms.  Although these freedoms, and many others, are guaranteed by the Constitution, they must be intentionally defended and preserved.

     In particular, the freedom of religious speech is under attack in our nation. Forces are at work to redefine and restrict religious liberty as the right to worship. “Say what you like behind the four walls of the church, but do not share your offensive views in public.” We are even witnessing an increase in violent protests against speech deemed out of the mainstream. Is the day soon coming when Christians will no longer be able to knock on doors or stand in the public square and share the Gospel?  Will calling someone a “sinner” be labeled as hate speech and banned from public discourse?

     Religious freedom is about a whole lot more than the right to worship. It includes the right to share our faith in public. We are all “sinners” in need of a Savior. The message may be a “stumbling block” to some and “foolishness” to others (1 Cor. 1:23), but by this truth people are saved to eternal life. This July 4th, let’s do more than think about our freedoms, let’s exercise them by sharing the Gospel. It is a precious freedom bought and paid for by Him.

 

Your servant in Christ,

Pastor Craig

 

June 2017

Dear Church Family,

      As I reflect on my daughter’s graduation from high school this year, I think about all of life’s transitions. Growing up, we move from one stage of life to the next—never staying too long in one place. We transition from dependence to independence, from school to career, from family to community. On a grand scale, we even transition from earth to heaven for those who love Jesus.

     Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13, “May the Master pour on the love so it fills your lives and splashes over on everyone around you, just as it does from us to you. May you be infused with strength and purity, filled with confidence in the presence of God our Father when our Master Jesus arrives with all his followers” (The Message).

     We never really “graduate” or complete all that God has planned for us; for our lives are on an eternal journey. We pass through stages and experience transitions, but the one constant is the Master’s love that overflows our hearts and, hopefully, “splashes over on everyone around you” as we wait together for our returning Master.

     Is your life in transition? Join the club! But know that we love you, and He loves you. And we must stick together to let that love splash on one another as we move forward with Him!

Your servant in Christ,

Pastor Craig

 

May 2017

Dear Church Family,

     May is the month for making memories!  From Mothers’ Day (May 14) to our high school senior recognition service (May 21) to Memorial Day weekend (May 28), we will be honoring those who have enriched our lives in special ways.  I hope you attend each Sunday in May to help us honor them.

     May is also a month of service.  As the weather becomes warmer, we will be doing service projects for our church family on May 6th.  We also celebrate the completion of our second season of Upward Soccer on May 20th with a hot dog lunch, awards ceremony, and special guest speaker.

     Finally, we continue our sermon series on “God Questions” as we dig deeper into some of the most common questions people are asking about God.  Topics in May include “Is the Bible true?”, “How can a good God allow suffering?”, “Don’t all roads lead to heaven?”, and “What happens when I die?” 

     What memories will you make this month?  Worship with your church family each Sunday, and the Lord will bless you with a growing faith and lasting memories that honor Him.

 

Your servant in Christ,

Pastor Craig