Dear First Pres,

   Maximize your influence! That's the rallying cry of the Global Leadership Summit, a webinar that brings leaders together from around the world to be equipped and inspired for continuing growth in their local contexts. First Pres will have almost 20 people attending this Thursday and Friday, some congregants, some elders, many of our staff and pastors. Our attendees include folks in every age group from college on up -- that's exciting! What's certain is that each of us is called to 'maximize our influence' wherever God has placed us. Influencing people doesn't always mean it's your job to tell them what to do; influence can come through many kinds of interactions with those around us. Who are the people in your sphere of influence right now, and how might you encourage them to follow in Jesus' footsteps? As you are asking yourselves that question, we'll be doing the same while we're at the GLS. Can I ask you please to pray for us as we go? Not only that we would learn, but that we will then put into practice some of the skills and information we'll gain. I have good hope that there will be some real "aha moments" among those who attend. We will do our best to share some of those testimonies with you all very soon. 
   We often think of a testimony as to the story of how someone came to know Jesus. But as believers, we also have the joy of giving testimony in another way -- by attesting to, or confirming, what we have seen God do. We get to tell how God has changed our lives, or restored broken relationships, or done a work of healing. The possibilities are endless because we serve the almighty eternal God who is always at work for the good of his people and the world! Testifying to God's work and goodness is powerful, encouraging and bringing joy to both those who share and those who hear. This Sunday as we resume our Education hour between services, come hear and be edified by the first of several testimonies from First Pres members who have experienced God's love, power, and provision first-hand. God is alive and active among his people today!

The Lord Bless And Keep You,

Pastor Lana