Where’s the Power?

July 27th, 2018 by
Living in Florida in the summer and in Orlando in particular (the lightning capital of the world), we know a little something about losing power. Then add in the hurricanes, I am sure you all remember that little gal named Irma. Many of you spent days without power. Sometimes when we look at the church as a whole or at our individual Christian lives, we and the world looking at us might ask, “Where’s the power?” In the lessons this week God wants to remind us that there is no shortage of power with him.

Through Elisha God invites the man from Baal-Shalishah to feed a hundred men with his small tithe of bread and grain when he really brought only enough for Elisha. This came with the promise that there would be some left over. According to the word of the Lord it happened just as Elisha spoke. Our God has the power to do exceeding abundantly beyond all we ask or imagine.

In the Gospel Philip basically says, “Really Lord?” “All we have is five loves and two fish from this little boys lunch.” Jesus thanks his father for them and feeds the multitude. Our God has the power to do exceeding abundantly beyond all we ask or imagine.

In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul speaks from prison to this church which he loves and who are afraid because of the persecution that has come on Paul, and they see that same persecution coming towards them. Paul in his prayer points them to God’s Spirit who lives within them and reminds them that our God has the power to do exceeding abundantly beyond all we ask or imagine.

Are you in a personal spiritual power outage? Are you skeptical about what God can do with who you are or with what you have to offer him? Are you afraid of what is coming down the pike? Paul in his prayer for the Ephesians identifies three aspects of God’s power that answer the question of, “Where’s the power?” for the follower of Jesus in their personal life and for their witness to the world. Come praise God this Sunday! He has the power to do exceeding abundantly beyond all we ask or imagine!

God bless,

Glenn Starr

Mission in the City

July 26th, 2018 by


If you were at New Covenant last week for any amount of time you noticed the sights, sounds and smells of middle school students – 24 of them to be exact. There were 10 high school and college leaders who were intern staff leading the middle school students. There were countless adults who filled all kinds of roles during the week, from donating equipment, driving a vehicle, being campus security, to contributing meals and desserts, leading a team of middle school students in the field, praying, and so much more. People from at least 8 different church’s made up Mission in the City last week.

Over 20 projects were completed at Meals on Wheels client homes, Indian Trails Middle School, Keeth Elementary School, Carillon Elementary School, Canterbury Retreat Center, Community United Methodist Church, University Baptist Church, Lutheran Haven, and New Covenant Church.

All for one purpose – to catch a glimpse of who God is as students served side by side from different churchs and schools to build God’s Kingdom right in their own backyard!

Here is the story of Mission in the City…

All stories were written down by middle school students after returning from their day’s work projects.

“Today, I was so glad to help Mr. Hans and the church, even though we got rained on and were stuck for a while. My clothes will never be dry again.”

“I saw God bless us today with golf balls, bungee cords, splash cymbals, coconuts, and starfruit. All were found in random places and all were awesome! My least favorite part was the way my stomach felt after the 3rd chicken patty (sandwich).”

 

“The best part of the day was when we sat inside the building type thing and did our devotional.”

 

“What I liked about today was working as a team, talking and laughing.”

 

“I see God in all of us, no matter what we do He is with us and we love Him. I saw God the first day I came to camp and that makes me happy. Thank you to all of the people who helped us.”

 

“I feel like I connected with people way more today.”

 

“I liked how we impacted two ladies with helping clean their yards.“

 

“The funniest part of the day was when I was pushing the wheelbarrow and it fell over. A God moment was the verses we read during the devotional, Luke 7:36-50, Psalm 139.”

 

“I really enjoyed cleaning up the school we went to and seeing how amazing it looked after we put new wood and spreading the mulch and rocks, especially because we got cookies after. Yum!”

“Godly moment was when we talked about Jesus is everywhere.”

 

“Something we did today was learn to gather like a family.”

See more pictures of the week on Mission in the City’s Facebook page! 

For those of you who contributed in any way – THANK YOU. We simply could not have done this work without all of you. I hope that you caught a glimpse of how God worked in, around and through these students last week!

What do you see?

July 13th, 2018 by

The prophet Amos is shown a string in our passage for Sunday. More exactly, a plumb line.

God shows him this instrument used by skilled builders; held above and weighted below.

A simple tool with powerful diagnostic potential.

There is much more to the prophet Amos and the book that collects his ministry-long span of messages and visions. You can see a brief overview of the book here that may help put his message in context.

Overview of Amos

Our readings for Sunday cover both ends of the string. Ephesians chapter 1 exults in the plan of God that began long ago and high above us. Mark 6 recounts the grisly machinations that led to the murder of John the Baptist and Herod’s later reflections of Jesus’ current ministry after John’s death. The sky above and the ground below.

Each of us are most comfortable somewhere along the string, either preferring our faith to be towards the summarized side or the granular specifics.

Amos saw that God’s plan was for Israel (and us) to see that heaven and earth were already linked together. Even Herod recognized (without intention) that Jesus held a similar view. But this doesn’t just lead to recognition, but to repentance. And repentance leads to the other end of the string.

After church on Sunday, join us for CityServe. We will leave the church at 1220 to join others as we share a meal with neighbors in our community who are currently homeless. More details are in our upcoming events email and in the Sunday bulletin.

Pray for Mission in the City this coming week as middle-schoolers gather on our campus for service projects, worship and time together. There is a team of adults and interns who are guiding this week of ministry, but there are still opportunities to help fuel this week of cooperative ministry among churches in our community.

See you Sunday,
Christopher+

Friday Epistle for July 6, 2018

July 6th, 2018 by
The Tenacity of Our Father
One early fall day, while rounding a corner by the football stadium at William & Mary, I heard Marv Levi, the coach, yelling, “Be tenacious men, be tenacious!” When I returned to my dorm, I looked it up. And I have thought since then, that our God is like that, determined, determined to reach his children and he wants us to be as well. And so, in Sunday’s gospel he sends us out to proclaim the Kingdom and to set the captives free.
While thinking and praying of these Thailand soccer players trapped in a cave, I remembered a story told by Scott Hahn in his book, A Father Who Keeps His Promises: God’s Covenant Love in Scripture. It reminded me of God’s tenacity — and ours. Will we keep looking for his children?
******
Following an 8.2 earthquake in Armenia, a distressed father remembered what he had said to his son so many times, “No matter what happens, Armand, I’ll always be there.”
He reached the site where the school had been, but saw only a pile of rubble. He just stood there at first, fighting back tears, and then took off, stumbling over debris, toward the east corner where he knew his son’s classroom has been.
With nothing but his bare hands, he started to dig. He was desperately pulling up bricks and pieces of wall plaster, while others stood by watching in forlorn disbelief. He heard someone growl,” Forget it, mister. They’re all dead.”
He looked up, flustered, and replied, “You can grumble, or you can help me lift these bricks.” Only a few pitched in, and most of them gave up once their muscles began to ache. But the man couldn’t stop thinking about his son.
He kept digging and digging – for hours… 12 hours… 18 hours… 24 hours… 36 hours….   Finally, into the 38th hour, he heard a muffled groan from under a piece of wallboard.
He seized the board, pulled it back, and cried,” ARMAND!” From the darkness came a slight shaking voice,” Papa…!”
Armand & his Papa

Other weak voices began calling out, as the young survivors stirred beneath the still uncleared rubble. Gasps and shouts of bewildered relief came from the few onlookers and parents who remained. They found 14 of the 33 students still alive.

When Armand finally emerged, he tried to help dig, until all his surviving classmates were out. Everybody standing there heard him as he turned to his friends and said, “See, I told you my father wouldn’t forget us.”
That’s the kind of faith we need because that’s the kind of Father we have.
Let’s go get them,