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  • Sunday May 29, 2016

    From the Associate Pastor . . .

    Suddenly It's Summer!

        At 4:30 every Wednesday afternoon for the past nine months, our Gathering Space has teemed with laughing, chattering children playing around, sprawling on the floor at Kids Central.

         It was strangely quiet when I walked through the Gathering Space this Wednesday; the only things playing on the carpet were beams of sunlight from the atrium window. For a moment, I missed the happy commotion of all those kids- but only for a moment! It’s been a busy, wonderful church year and we are all tired; church staff and congregation alike. It’s time to slow down and rest from our impossibly hectic lives during the school year. It’s time for a “Summer Sabbath”.

         Theologian Marva Dawn writes that Sabbath is about ceasing “…not only from work itself, but also from the need to accomplish and be productive, from the worry and tension that accompany our modern criterion of efficiency, from our efforts to be in control of our lives as if we were God, from our possessiveness and our enculturation, and, finally, from the humdrum and meaninglessness that result when life is pursued without the Lord at the center of it all.” There is a “…great healing that can take place in our lives when we get into the rhythm of setting aside every seventh day all of our efforts to provide for ourselves and make our way in the world. A great benefit of Sabbath keeping is that we learn to let God take care of us- not by becoming passive and lazy, but in the freedom of giving up our feeble attempts to be God in our own lives.”

           A “Summer Sabbath” isn’t about ceasing work for three months - most of us can’t cease work for even one day a week! Technology keeps us “at work” 24/7; there are lawns, laundry, groceries, kids’ activities, caring for relatives, paying bills, homework and on and on. In this crazy, nonstop world it’s easy to believe that we are in control- and if we stop everything will collapse. Perhaps on some level we really are trying to be God rather than putting the Lord at the center of it all.

           “Summer Sabbath” is about slowing down long enough to see the ways in which God is already at work in us, to rest and allow God to take care of us. It’s about learning to put the Lord at the center of our lives and, in so doing, experience such a great healing that we will observe a weekly Sabbath in the fall because we know that we can’t truly live without it.

           So this summer’s Sabbath Day will help you and your family put the Lord at the center of your life with combined Sunday School for children K- 8th grade. Sam and I will teach the adult class that includes High Schoolers. Here’s the Adult Class Schedule:
    June 5- July 3: Half Truths: God Helps Those Who Help Themselves and Other Things the Bible Doesn’t Say by Adam Hamilton. In this DVD and discussion study, Adam Hamilton takes a look at familiar phrases that sound like they come from the Bible- but don’t. Each has an element of truth but misses the point in important ways.Using Scripture, stories and practical application, Hamilton reveals what is- and isn’t-Biblical.
    July 10- August 14: The Jesus I Never Knew- Philip Yancey. Philip Yancey contrasts portraits of Jesus found in popular films with the Jesus of Scripture to challenge us to see Christ in new and different ways. DVD and discussion format.
    August 21: The Wired Word
    August 28: Rally Day

    So slow down, rest, and see the ways in which God is at work in your life. Join us for early, informal worship at 8:30, Sunday School for all ages at 9:30 and regular worship at 10:30. It’s time for “Summer Sabbath”!

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