You sign up to here to bless an African family with a Christmas gift. Names, gender, and ages of each child have been provided for an age appropriate gift. Gifts must be given no later than December 20. If have any questions, please contact Sheryl Shaw at 407-699-0202
As a family was walking out the front doors of the church at the close of Sunday’s service, one of the children said something like, “I never hear from God or see anything like others do.” Just then he looked up and saw what’s below and took a picture of it. His father came to get me and said, “Fr. Carl, you have to see this!” It was gone by the time I got outside. But then, it wasn’t for me.
“I am going to send what my Father has promised, but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
These were the last instructions Jesus gave his disciples before he ascended into heaven. The disciples went to Jerusalem and waited.
In my sermon Sunday I explored briefly how do we respond to the question of Jesus, “Do you love me?”
Do we mean what sing, “You are my everything, and I will adore you.” In Luke 14.33 Jesus says, “In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.” NIV.
To reminisce means: to indulge in enjoyable recollection of past events. Just remembering then, I surmise, can be enjoyable or not. Even the bad times, moments, events, decisions, etc. now after 23 years on April Fool’s Day, can evoke a smile from me.
I am so thankful.
So I reminisce.
Thank you for praying for our 4th-6th graders as they went on their retreat last Saturday!
The JC456 leaders, Thom Shaw, Kris Taff and Jane Trnka, planned a great day where students learned more about who God is through Daniel’s story. Lee Grady, one of the missionaries that New Covenant supports, also came out and spoke to the students about his work. He invited them to see how they are a part of God’s mission in the world. They seemed so encouraged to spend time with one of the missionaries from our church, who they consistently write cards to and pray for.
So often, we struggle to determine what can we do to help with a situation. How can we make a difference? Well, here you go…
When life falls apart you can do one of two things. You can waste some of the little energy you have left keeping up the pretense that everything is okay, or you can save it for what really matters and stop putting on a mask. And after all, who do you think you’re kidding, anyway?
We might think we’re doing a pretty good job of looking like we have it all together, but actually it’s usually fairly obvious to everyone else that something’s off. We’re walking around in our best suit, thinking we look great, unaware that our collar is all messed up in the back and our shirt-tail is hanging out.
It was about a dozen years ago that the wheels came off in my life. The engine dropped out, too. Lots of smoke and singeing. More out of resignation than determination, I decided that I had nothing left to lose in dropping the false front and letting some people see the real me. I’d spent much of four decades trying to work out how to do this man thing on my own and that had not gone too well, so what was there to lose?
I began meeting for coffee with a couple of other guys and we tentatively let each other in, a bit at a time. We talked football, films, family, food, and then risked broaching the other f-word: feelings. Like, admitting that we had them, didn’t always understand them, and certainly did not know what to do with or about them.
Since then we have met on probably more than four hundred occasions.
Sometimes we set the world right. Sometimes we talk sports or movies. Sometimes we read the Bible together. Sometimes goof off. Sometimes we pray together. Sometimes we laugh. Sometimes we cry. Sometimes we encourage each other. Sometimes we tick each other off. Sometimes we get in each other’s faces a bit.
Only my wife knows more about me than these guys. I carry some of their deepest secrets, too. If trust were currency, we’d be wealthy. And I am richer because of them.
We have learned a lot about each other, we have learned a lot about ourselves, and we have learned a lot about God. Mostly we have learned that none of us really know, or have on our own, what it takes to be a man as God intended.
We have not been alone in discovering this at New Covenant. Others have the same kind of friendships. Some guys meet in the sanctuary weekly on Wednesday mornings to pray for the men of the church. Some guys get together at the monthly men’s breakfast.
The ways in which they connect may be different, but there’s a shared, common core: the recognition that we need each other, and something special can happen when we acknowledge that. (Ladies, you have known this about yourselves for a long time; thanks for being patient with us).
This interdependence runs counter to much of contemporary culture, of course. The rugged, independent, self-made man, always confident, always in control, always capable.
Thing is, though, we can reject that secular version and replace it with a spiritualized one. Smile big, quote a Bible verse, and try to look holy. The result can be just as miserable.
Some of the men of New Covenant have a sense, a stirring, that God wants and has more for us. They are not exactly sure what that means or what it will look like, but they have experienced enough in community with other guys to want to find out.
That’s what the men’s gathering on Saturday, September 12, is all about. The men of New Covenant coming together to find out more—about what God may have in mind, about each other, and about ourselves.
You won’t be made to bear your soul or beat a drum—though you will probably be free to do either or both, if you want to.
You don’t have to wait until you are desperate, like I was, to start being real with other men and about yourself. You could save yourself a lot of grief, and experience a lot more joy instead, by starting now.
SUMMER ADULT LEARNING SERIES (w/CHILDREN’S BIBLE TIME)
Sunday, August 23, Peter Buffington will continue his discussion of marriage, focusing on resolving conflict (appreciating our differences) and the power of forgiveness. Each class is a stand-alone topic. Even if you missed previous classes, it is worth your time and effort. Also note a Sunday school lesson for children is offered at the same time as the adult class. Stay for the service and your child will cover a different lesson as well.
ANGLICAN MORNING PRAYER
Wednesday–Friday at 7:30 am in the sanctuary. Using the Book of Common Prayer we open ourselves to God’s shaping through time-honored prayer patterns.
Will be held in Jacksonville, FL on October 3, 2015. We have secured group rates. All can register as individuals and then place “CAP2015” for the coupon code. Click any other box and the registration fee should change to $75. We can register up until two days before the event.
Dawn Strobeck and her team have been developing a program to aid in the healing of the emotional wounds caused by Human Trafficking. On September 24, 2015 they are holding a Masquerade Gala to heighten awareness and raise money for the treatment of human trafficking victims. <CLICK> Bit.ly/masqueradeball2015 for details.
FALL SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHERS’ MEETING
Plan on attending a meeting this Sunday, August 23, 2015 in the church office from 9:00-9:45 am if you are interested in teaching our children the faith. Questions? Contact Father Christopher at 407-462-8885.
FALL SUNDAY SCHOOL STARTS SEPTEMBER 6
September 6 will be the first day of Fall Sunday School. Check out our curriculum for 9:00 am and 10:00 am. SUNDAY SCHOOL CURRICULUM
Also get a head start on Sunday School by learning the books of the Bible now.
BOOKS OF THE BIBLE VIDEO.
In our 10 weeks together we will pray with words that have been passed down through the ages. Prayers of people from whom we have gained so much knowledge and our Christian insight. From St. Julian of Norwich, St. Augustine and Mother Mary, we will be guided towards the Advent season. Come and be rekindled by the words of the ancients while moving in worship to the Ancient One. It begins, September 14 at 7:30 pm in the Sanctuary. Questions? Contact Marci Strickland via text or email at 407.921.4848 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
MEN SAVE THE DATE
September 12 at 8 am we are asking all men to attend a time of learning and discernment as we discuss the role of men in the congregation, the nation and the world, seeking to better understand His leading. Though breakfast will be served this time together is no substitute for the Men’s Breakfast that will still be held on the final Saturday of the month. Rather it is a time to assess where we are as Christian men in out ever-changing society. Questions? Contact Father Clint Kandle at 407-699-0202 or 407-312-3095.