Lay Hands, Not Chains
Our series on The Body continued this past Sunday as we examined The Body, Sex, and Truth. In his sermon, Pastor Brad outlined what the Bible says about grace and truth. Without grace within relationships, truth has a hard time resonating within us. Jesus knew this, which is why He came in grace and truth to share the Good News with us. John 1:14 says,
“We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
This does not mean we stray from the truth of God’s word. Pastor Brad, Pastor Char, and Kavan made it clear in the sermon and Q&A during the service, that we affirm the Covenant denomination’s biblical interpretation of celibacy in singleness, sex within heterosexual marriage.
While upholding the truth of the Bible, we as the church, still have a lot of work to do in terms of all people feeling welcome within our church communities. Unfortunately, we in the church as a whole have had a history of laying chains or more specifically, shame on people in the LGBTQ+ community instead of laying hands. If we want people to know and believe in the Good News of Jesus, we cannot divorce grace and truth. This is how Jesus related to others and how we must imitate him as Christ Ones in order to reach ALL communities.
Kavan, during his testimony, explained this so beautifully:
Often in church, we practice the laying on of hands, a symbol of blessing, love, healing, and peace. I have experienced that in the church in so many ways, even with those who know I’m gay. I’ve also experienced the laying on of chains. It’s often unintended, and it’s often not stemming from any real malice, but it’s been a laying on of chains nonetheless. I want to challenge you to think about this today – have you practiced the laying of hands on LGBTQ people, or have you practiced the laying of chains? I beg you to ask yourself that, to ask God that.
So how do we as a church lay hands instead of chains? I think we need to listen more. I think we need to build authentic relationships with others who do not act, think, or look like us. I think we need to continuously ask ourselves the question Pastor Brad asked us this past Sunday, “who’s on the throne of your life?” If it’s Jesus, we will be a people who lay hands, not chains when it comes to our LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters, so His grace-filled truth would shine through us.
In His Grace and Truth,
Here’s What’s Happening at Faith
Summer Salad Social
Women of all ages, plan to join us on August 13 at 6:30pm for our second annual Summer Salad Social! This is a wonderful evening of food and fellowship with the women of FCC! We’re also super excited about the upcoming year in Women’s Ministry and want to tell you all about it! Bring your appetite, bring a friend, and be sure to RSVP to Pastor Char at firstname.lastname@example.org so we know how much food to prepare! We look forward to seeing you there! (address will be given upon RSVP)
All Church Retreat
Registration is now open for the Faith Covenant All-Church Retreat at Covenant Pines Bible Camp, August 23-25. All are invited to join us! This is a wonderful weekend to gather as a church family, grow closer to Jesus as we learn how to love our Muslim neighbors, and just plain have fun! Speaker will be Kim Gustafson. Once again we will hold a lake baptism service for those interested. Accommodations and activities are available for all ages/seasons of life. Register on Realm.
When you receive an email notice containing a Realm post it is best to click on “View this post on Realm Connect.” This will take you to Realm and allow you to see all the other replies to that post as well as give you the ability to reply to the post. If you click on “REPLY to this email to comment,” then only the sender sees that reply and we sometimes end up with confusion, especially when it’s a post regarding volunteers.
Realm-Get Connected, Stay Connected
Do you know that by using Realm, our Faith family can connect and fellowship outside of our church walls, without staff assistance? Congregants and Lay Leaders may post news and prayer requests, can communicate publicly or privately with individuals or with team/group members, and can access shared personal information through the church directory. It is a safe, invite only space for our Faith family! Reminder: To sign into Realm go to onrealm.org. If you have not signed up for Realm, please call or email the church office at 952.890.3110 or email@example.com.
M.O.M.S. Food Pantry Box
The M.O.M.S. Program food pantry box is back upstairs next to the Information Desk. Donations of non-perishable food items, laundry detergent, paper products, and hygiene items are greatly appreciated. Thank you for supporting the M.O.M.S. Program Food Pantry.
Bible Memorization Challenge
Pastor Brad issued a challenge to our Faith Family in 2017 and would like us to take this challenge once again: to memorize 52 Bible verses in 52 weeks for 2019. These verses will be posted each week in this Faith Update blog and will be in the worship folder each Sunday. To see a full list of verses so you can practice adding a new one each week while keeping up with those you have already learned, click HERE. The verse for the week is this: So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10