Summer Memory Verse:
"Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you." ~ Psalm 33:20-22
FROM THE PASTOR:
It’s been a while since you’ve heard from me in this medium, but so it goes in the midst of the busyness of summer. In light of that here are a few quick hits for this week:
- Enjoying summer to the glory of God. The Sundays I’ve been here over the past 6 weeks (which has been 4) have been a stark reminder of the change of pace summer brings for our church family. The short list of announcements and the empty seats both serve both point to a busy season of travel and a slow season of formal ministry opportunities. So I think we would all do well to be reminded of this exhortation: don't waste your summer. By that I simply mean that we need to be careful to make the most of every opportunity God gives us this summer to glorify him. One way of doing that is finding ways to use your summer plans (vacation, weekend trips, etc.) to minister to others. Another way is to make sure that your vacation doesn’t mean a vacation from your relationship with the Lord. The bottom line is that we should be intentional about our relationship with Christ, and our call to make disciples, even during the summer months. Take some time this week to think and pray about how you can make the most of your summer to the glory of God.
- Encouraging others. You may never know the needs of those around you. This is something I’ve come to learn in recent months. People all around us – in our church, in our neighborhoods, in our community – are suffering in many different ways, and many times it goes unmentioned and unnoticed. There are some situations too personal or sensitive to share with others, yet a person is left to suffer privately and alone. With that in mind, have you considered how God might use you to be an encouragement to someone like this? It’s easy to encourage those that we know are suffering (and we should!), but have you considered praying that the Lord would bring someone to mind that you might be an encouragement to? If the Spirit brings someone to your mind don’t hesitate to pray for them – and then let them know you’re praying for them. You never know what difference a kind word, an encouraging note or phone call, or a genuine prayer offered on another’s behalf might make for someone who is suffering silently.
- Ministry Opportunities. Throughout the summer there are two ongoing ministry opportunities through our food pantry. You can read about both here in this Weekly Update. If you have a Thursday evening or Friday morning free, consider serving in one of these ways. It’s a great way to make sure you’re not wasting your summer!
- Community Groups. Some of you may recall hearing about the vision we’ve had for Community Groups that has been percolating over the past two years. This summer we’re moving forward with the next step toward implementing this framework for discipleship by gathering together anyone who has interest for a time of considering, praying, and establishing the “DNA” of these new groups. The group begins meeting tonight (7/23), but it’s not too late to join if you think you might be interested (please speak to Pastor Andy or reply to this email). But even if you’re not part of this group we would love to have you pray for this new and developing aspect of ministry, and pray for fruit in the months ahead as we strive to make disciples in obedience to the Great Commission.
- Camp Faithful. My family and I are leaving after church this Sunday to minister for a week at Camp Faithful in Southington, CT. While there I’ll preaching 8 times to those who gather for the nightly service, which mainly consists of believers from local Advent Christian churches as well as those who are attending their teen camp. As I’ve been preparing for this ministry opportunity I’ve sensed the need to have people from our church praying for the services each night. If you’re willing to commit to praying for the evening services taking place each night from Sunday to Saturday, and then Sunday morning, please don’t hesitate to let me know. I would love to know who specifically is bringing me and this ministry before the Lord.
Thank you for your commitment to the Lord and to one another here at Faith Church.
THIS WEEK AT FAITH:
Servant's Heart Food Pantry
Prayer Group in the Prayer Room
No Youth Group
PRAYER MEETING: Resumes in the Fall
Our weekly prayer gathering on Wednesday nights has stopped for the remainder of the summer, but will resume in the fall. There will still be a group gathering for prayer each Sunday before the service at 9:30am. Please feel free to join us tonight in praying for the needs of our church family.
FOOD PANTRY SERVICE OPPORTUNITY:
Throughout the summer months we are providing cold water and donuts to the people who wait outside before our food pantry opens on Friday mornings. If you'd like to help us do this (setting up, passing out water, being available to talk with people, and tearing down), and are available between 8:00 and 10:00am on a Friday, please speak to Carolyn Smith. You can also call the church or reply to this email, if interested.
FOOD PANTRY HELP NEEDED:
Our food pantry receives donations of fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the summer from both the Farm Co-Op and Farmers Market in Melrose. We need help on Thursday evenings throughout the summer picking up this food and delivering it to the church. If you can help in a given week please sign-up at the back of the sanctuary.
PASTORS AWAY: July 28-August 3
Beginning on Sunday afternoon, July 27, both Pastor Andy and Pastor Joshua will be away. If you have an immediate need during this time please contact either Pastor Dave Squire or Ken Houghton. Pastor Andy will have limited access to email and his cell phone during the week.
LOCAL VACATION BIBLE SCHOOLS:
There are several local churches hosting Vacation Bible Schools this summer, so as we learn of the details we will be posting them here. They are occurring on different weeks throughout the summer, so if you or someone you know is interested in attending make sure you contact the local churches for more information. The next opportunity will be hosted by the Wellspring Church in Stoneham from July 28-31 (details available here
). First Baptist Church in Melrose will also host a VBS on August 18-22 (details here
SAVE THE DATE
Rev. Ray Penney Speaking: August 3
Sunday Scoops Giveaway (tentative): September 14
Ladies Retreat (Alton Bay, NH): September 19-21
Interested in a copy of the message from Sunday? Email the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will see that you get a copy. Past sermons are available at www.faithchurchac.org/sermons.