Dear First Pres,

  "You called my name, and I ran out of that grave, out of the darkness, into Your glorious day!"
   Those were the lyrics I was singing again and again on Sunday afternoon after a marvelous morning of worship at FPC for Easter 2018. I've heard many people say things like, "That was the best Easter service ever!" Or, "Wow, that was such a powerful service." Or, even, "I felt like dancing after that last song!" My response has been again and again, "Praise be to God."
   Surely, God anointed our time of worship this Easter. I sensed, throughout the entire service, that the Holy Spirit was moving in the hearts of those up front and stirring in the rest of us. Praise be to God. And praise be to God for the new believers in our midst! What a joy it is to see God work in such powerful ways.
   So, today, I'm grateful. I'm grateful to God. And I'm grateful to the many, many people who helped our Sunday morning experience be what it was. Thanks to our musicians, our ushers & greeters, our audio/visual technicians, our custodians, our office team, our Link Crew, our courtyard reception team, our staff, our elders, our prayer team, and every single person who helped be a host on Sunday morning. Way to go, team!
   Easter really is an important morning for our church. Not only is it an important and wonderful celebration for us as we remember again that Christ is risen (He is risen, indeed), but it's also one of the most important days of the year to be a church that is growing deep and wide. There are many unchurched or formerly churched folks who will come on Easter with an invitation, especially if they've come to experience your authentic faith through your friendship (Christmas Eve is the same way).
   A loving invitation is what Andrew received from Jesus in John 1. Jesus said, "Come and you will see." And, after Andrew spent time with Jesus, John 1:41-42 says, "The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, 'We have found the Messiah' (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus." Beloved, there is no greater joy than to bring someone to Jesus. May we all be eager to give loving invitations to the people in our lives who don't yet know the wonderful new birth of Easter (see 1 Peter 1:3).


P.S. Want to get more connected? Women, sign up for one of the Spring Six studies starting next week. Men, sign up for the Men of Legacy Conference on May 5. You'll find details for both below.