Posted on Aug 11, 2016 in Faith Updates
Like many of you, I have been enjoying watching the Olympics over the past few days. There is just something magical about this major event that makes me actually care about sports for two weeks of my life every four years. Being someone who has done martial arts for the majority of my life, I particularly enjoy watching events like tae-kwan-do, judo, and others like it (unfortunately those are hardly televised so I’m left to scour the internet in search of ways to watch them). When watching the Olympics, I have three favorite moments. The first, and most obvious, is when the United States wins another gold medal. The second is when a complete underdog from a country you can’t even pronounce correctly (like Djibouti – pronounced “ja-booty”) wins a gold medal. The third, and possibly most anticipated moments for me throughout the Olympics, are the fails. Perhaps it is the cynic within me, but there is just something about the missed hurdle on the track or the belly flop in the diving competition that brings me a teeny-tiny bit of joy…and I know I’m not alone in that.
I think one of the reasons why we find joy in other people’s failures is because we often try to justify their failure as greater than ours, which makes us feel better about our failure. Mentally we may say things like, “I may have left dinner in the oven for too long and burned it, but at least I didn’t run straight into a hurdle at the Olympics.”
At other times, however it isn’t so much about finding joy in other people’s failures, but rather we try to justify other people’s failures as having a much greater impact than ours. As Christians, we often do this more times that we would care to admit.
I remember an instance when I was in junior high where an acquaintance at school said to me, “I hear you go to church. Why? Church is dumb.” In that moment my self-conscious junior high school mouth spouted out, “Because my parents make me.”
In that moment I remember feeling like the apostle Peter. Here I was given a perfect opportunity to witness to somebody and I failed about as hard as one possibly could in this circumstance. However I specifically remember trying to justify my failure by thinking, “Well Peter’s failure was much worse, because he was in the Bible” (that was about as sound as my logic could get at that point. I should also note that I eventually had a follow-up conversation with this individual a few years after this instance and he began attending church with me and still attends church regularly).
The point of this story is that we are all failures – every single one of us. Maybe your failure doesn’t happen on a worldwide stage in front of millions of viewers, but yours may happen in a harsh word, a harmful action, or the quietness of your heart. However, when we fail, God doesn’t laugh at us from the comfort of his couch in front of the TV, he instead extends his long arm of grace to us to lift us out from our sin. God’s love for us is greater and stronger than any of our sins, any of our mistakes, and any of our failures.
In that Grace,
Here’s What’s Happening at Faith
CBE Leader Orientation
This fall, Faith Covenant (and the entire Covenant denomination!) will go on an 8-week journey through the New Testament, reading and discussing it in a fresh (chronological) way. We’re boldly asking all to journey with us, preferably in community via a small group. To that end, we’re offering two orientation nights for small group leaders, current and brand-new. All leaders should plan to attend on Wednesday August 31 or September 7, 6:30-7:30pm. Please RSVP to SmallGroups@faithcovenant.org. Also to note, new small groups will be forming in September for those not currently in one.
Men’s Camping Opportunity
Looking for an adventurous 3-night getaway with other guys from Faith? The Men of Faith are heading to the BWCA September 8-11, and there are still FIVE spots open. Experienced guides, no prior experience necessary, and guaranteed great fellowship, all while enjoying the beauty of “God’s great Northwoods.” Contact Joe at 952.297.6984 (call or text) if you’re interested.
Small Group Survey
If Faith Covenant is your church “home,” then we’re assuming you’re committed to lifelong growth, both in relationship to GOD and in relationship to OTHERS. As Covenanters, we believe that growth happens most effectively when it occurs in the context of relationship, and for this reason we strongly encourage all of our attendees to participate in a small group. Toward that end, we plan to launch some new small groups this fall, and we need your help. We know that many of you are already in a group, and we praise God for that! However, we also know that many of you aren’t currently in a group (or perhaps have never been part of this type of community), and we are excited for you to experience this type of “life together.” You’ll soon receive a “Small Group Survey” via the Faith Update and Sunday morning worship services. We are asking ALL attendees to take one minute to complete this. Your participation is vital to us as we make plans to ensure that there is a place for everyone!
Twin Cities 6K for Water
Did you know that the average distance children walk for water in Africa is 6K (3.72miles)? Join our Faith Kids at 9am on August 27 as they help bring children like these clean water. To register, go to www.teamworldvision.org/team/FaithCovenantKids and click “Join our Team.” (For inviter, put Vicki Newendorp or a Faith TWV team member you know). If the registration fee is a hardship to your participation, please let us know. For more info, contact Vicki at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are looking to bless others by serving, consider volunteering on the kitchen team for events like the All-Church picnic or our monthly senior luncheons. There are opportunities to prep food, serve meals or clean up. Please contact Sally at email@example.com.
Paid Childcare Workers
We are looking for several people to be paid childcare workers for the occasional church meeting or Bible study. You must be 18 and willing to have a background check performed. The biggest requirement is an enjoyment of kids and the desire to share God’s love with them. Please contact Lynn in the office if you are interested, 952.890.3110 or firstname.lastname@example.org.