A Reaffirmed Commitment
Posted on Feb 2, 2017 in Faith Updates
Faith Covenant, we are blessed to live in safe communities, largely sheltered from the headlines we read and see daily. This reality is both a blessing and a danger… a blessing to live safely and relatively freely, but a danger because an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality can cause us to huddle up and thank God for our sheltered lives while leaving the care of the oppressed to “someone else.” I am encouraged by Gary Walter (president of our denomination)’s appropriate and affirming response to recent challenges to loving and serving others… read below and be encouraged:
The Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC), which has been mobilizing resources for refugee resettlement amid the Syrian crisis, is assessing the rapidly changing developments regarding President Trump’s moratorium on refugees entering the United States from certain Middle Eastern countries.
The ECC and its local congregations have worked with partner organizations to serve refugees abroad as well as to resettle in the United States, and that work will continue, said Covenant president Gary Walter. The ECC is committed to living out the values of the kingdom by extending God’s compassion and mercy while pursuing biblical justice for everyone.
This fall, the Covenant Executive Board recognized the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) as a new mission region for the ECC’s Serve Globally mission priority. One impetus was the desire of ECC congregations to have better pathways to participate in refugee resettlement from the region, as well as support persecuted Christians in MENA, many of whom are seeking refugee status. Covenant churches have a long tradition of supporting refugee resettlement efforts as a biblical mandate.
“Now more than ever, we reaffirm our commitment to serve the refugee families and individuals who have been forced into often horrific situations,” said Walter. “World Relief leaders have said it well—we do indeed live in a dangerous world and it is right to take security seriously. But compassion and security do not have to be mutually exclusive.”
Walter added that the political divisions in the U.S. and around the globe should not distract the church from its focus on serving the most vulnerable. “Most refugees from the Middle East are women and children who have suffered terribly. We have the opportunity to provide safety to some of the world’s most oppressed and vulnerable families in Jesus’s name. It is crucial that we get going again as quickly as we can.”
Friends, please join me in praying for our denomination, for our community, and for our world as we seek to serve, in the name of Jesus.
See you Sunday!
Here’s What’s Happening at Faith
20s & 30s Winter Blues BBQ
Come and escape the cold with us on Sunday, February 12 at noon as we gather for a FREE BBQ lunch and indoor yard games. This event is open to all twenty and thirty-somethings and serves as an opportunity to connect, eat, and just have fun! Please come and bring a friend and your favorite yard game! We’ll take care of the rest! Please RSVP by February 5 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community Bible Study (CBS) is a national group that meets at Faith Covenant on Monday evenings at 7pm. They are beginning a new session February 6 on Daniel. All are welcome to join. Sign up online at burnsvilleeve.cbsclass.org.
Join us for a 7-week study of Hosea, unpacking how God’s “Unfailing Love changes Everything”. Cost: $13. Childcare available Tuesday by request only. Contact Deb at email@example.com or 952.432.2289. Study is Tuesdays 9:30-11:15am OR Wednesdays 6:15-7:45pm beginning January 24/25.
Small Group Launch
Looking to grow deeper in relationship with God and others? Small groups are an excellent way to do this, and we’re excited to launch several new groups this winter. Mark your calendars: Sunday, February 12 is Launch Day! You’ll have the opportunity to connect with group leaders and sign up to join a group that’s a good fit for you. Contact either Hal (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Dave (email@example.com) with questions.
Unidos en Cristo (UEC)
UEC is a short course in Christian living. It is an encounter with Grace. Experience a structured, three-day weekend that is designed to strengthen and renew the faith of Christian people and bring them to a new and more active awareness of living in God’s grace. It is for people at every stage of their journey with Christ. It is for married couples and for single men and women. It is for anyone wishing to deepen their relationship with Christ and those around them. Two weekend options here at Faith Covenant: February 16-19 for men and February 23-26 for women. For more information contact: Susan Lay, firstname.lastname@example.org or Al Kitagawa, email@example.com.
Feed My Starving Children Mobile Pack
FMSC is hosting a weeklong meal packing event, with the goal of packing 4 million meals to improve the lives of malnourished children throughout the world! This is a wonderful way to serve alongside others from our church family (minimum age: 5). To register click HERE. To join the packing group going on February 6, choose the 7:30-9:30pm group, Contact Char for questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prime Time Luncheon
If you’re 65+ and free for lunch, plan to join us Thursday, February 16 at 11:30am as Pastor Brad leads us in a discussion on how we might build a church now for our children/grandchildren! RSVP to Ellen at email@example.com by Monday, February 13.
Weekend to Remember
Every marriage requires intentional effort and attention and we are pleased to partner with FamilyLife MN to promote this retreat, March 3-5. Bob & Jaymie McNamara, longtime FCC members, recently attended one of these retreats and have agreed to serve as “hosts” for anyone at Faith who would like to attend. Bob & Jaymie will be in the lobby beginning January 29, with details and to answer any questions you might have. Registration will be offered Sundays, February 5 – 26
Acts of Kindness Cards
We are excited to share a concrete way that all of us at Faith Covenant can show God’s love to our community to remind people that God loves them. There is a Kindness Card available at the welcome desk that you can use as a first step conversation starter, or even anonymously, to bless someone you come across in your daily routine. Please take several of these and give them out when you bless others through an act of kindness, whether it be to pay for their cup of coffee or change a tire.