Dear First Pres,

   I don't know about you, but I was so encouraged to hear the testimonies of our high school seniors on Sunday. Some of them have been around FPC for much (if not all) of their lives. Others have only been part of our community for a few years, or a few months. And, when we're at our best, that is the way it should always be. Not only do we pray and work to raise up our own kids to become Jesus following disciple makers, but we pray and work to bring other kids into that stream of living water. That's one of the reasons I was so encouraged on Sunday - because this group of high school seniors is a wonderful example of what it means to be a Great Commission Church. Praise the Lord! And, may every graduating class of high school students reflect that same reality.

   Of course, the only way we can participate or engage together effectively in Christ's work of making disciples is through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the one, at work in every believer, who empowers us to live our lives on mission with Jesus; the Holy Spirit is the one who makes us into Jesus following disciple makers. And this Sunday we remember and celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church at Pentecost. That means, of course, that you are encouraged to wear something red to worship this week. Why wear red? Well, red is the color that marks Pentecost on the Christian calendar (purple marks Lent and Advent, white marks Easter, etc.) So, we wear red on Pentecost to help create an environment of celebration, to remind ourselves of the tongues of fire that seemed to settle above the believers as a sign of the Spirit's presence, and to encourage one another to live as Spirit-filled believers. Paul wrote to the Galatian church (Galatians 5:16), "So I say, walk by the Spirit." Wearing red and remembering Pentecost in our worship is one way we encourage one another to do the same.

   I can't wait to see you on Sunday, but may each of us walk by the Spirit today.