Dear First Pres,
This past Saturday, our FPC Symposium, "A Church that Heals," was a great success. Praise be to God! Let me paraphrase some of the feedback that was shared at the meeting. One person said, "This is the first time I've really talked about my experience." Another person said, "I'm so grateful that the symposium provided a safe place for us to talk about this." Another said, "This really helped me realize that I'm not alone in my feelings." And another said, "I was really anxious about being here, but I'm so glad I came." The Lord clearly worked in our gathering to help us grow in our capacity to be a church that heals together. I'm deeply grateful for each of you who participated in the Symposium. I hope you'll share with others how it impacted you. And, if you weren't there, be on the lookout for some next step opportunities for us to pursue the wholeness of Christ together.
Then on Sunday we heard some wonderful testimony from Chris and Lisa Popadich about the way they are intentionally extending the love of Christ to their neighbors. I hope you were as inspired as I was. (You can watch/listen here.) More importantly, I hope you find some way to step toward your neighbors this week. Remember, your neighbors are the people that God puts in your path. That includes the people that live right around you (even if you never see them), but it also includes your co-workers, family members, and non-church friends. It also includes the people around you who aren't like you (don't forget all the social barriers the Samaritan crossed to be a good neighbor to the Jewish man who laid half-dead in the road). God has called us to love our neighbors in tangible ways. As we receive His incredible love for us, we are empowered by the Holy Spirit to love our neighbors in the name of Christ Jesus. May it be so in us this week.
Finally, please check out the rest of this email for information about important upcoming events. God is at work among us, friends. I'm confident He will continue to do His work in these upcoming events:
Membership at FPC class 3pm this Sunday afternoon
Ash Wednesday Service 7pm Wednesday, March 6 (that's this upcoming Wednesday)
Wednesday Night Lenten Series for men and women, 6:30 - 8pm starting March 1
Men's Conference, March 29-30 (on campus)