Faith Evangelical Church
Friday, May 22, 2015
Developing Dedicated Followers of Jesus Christ

Not Far From the Kingdom
Mark 12:28-34
May 17, 2015~ Pastor Andy Rice

Weekly Update

May Memory Verse:

Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.  Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. O LORD, you preserve both man and beast."  - Psalm 36:5-6 



     As you may know, over the past several months the Official Board has been discussing the benefits of relocating the church parsonage from Lynn to Melrose.  Since mentioning this at the Annual Meeting in January and committing to keep the congregation informed of our progress, the Board has continued discussions and has made several significant steps forward.  The purpose of this note is to provide an update on the Board’s progress and to let you know how you can help. 

      First, the Board has identified several benefits of having our church parsonage in the Melrose area, including the following:
  • As a church, it would ensure that our pastor was more closely connected to the community we serve, while providing more opportunities for involvement and outreach.
  • For the pastor and his family, it would provide access to a better school system and social/recreational opportunities within the church community (e.g., Melrose sports programs, local events), as well as more day-to-day interaction with local families.
  • Logistically, it would benefit the pastor by reducing travel times between his home and the church for services, daily work and nightly meetings – allowing him to spend more time with his family.
  • Financially, it would seem to be a good long-term investment for the church, given the increasing value of the Melrose housing market.
      Second, the Board has established two committees - one to determine what features we should look for in a parsonage and to review the local housing market, and another to discuss financial issues (e.g., available/potential sources of funds).  Both of these committees have met and begun to work through their respective issues.  The Housing Market committee continues to keep a close eye on the current market and has been helpful in identifying an estimated cost to purchase a home in Melrose.  The Finance Committee has evaluated our financial condition and is working toward answering questions related to financing.  There is much work to be done on both fronts, but we are grateful for their efforts so far. 

     Third, the Board has established a “New Parsonage Fund” that will be used only for the purchase of a new parsonage, subject to a future vote and approval by the church membership.  There will be a significant difference between the proceeds of the sale of the Lynn parsonage and the purchase price of a Melrose parsonage, with early estimates pointing toward a gap of up to $150,000.  The Finance Committee has set a goal of raising a total of $100,000 to offset this gap, with an initial target of $50,000. 

      So how can you help?  The recurring theme from each of the meetings that have been held so far is our desperate need for prayer.  At a recent meeting the question was asked, “So who is praying for this?”  The truth is, several people have been praying about this issue for a couple of years now, and that was the response given.  Then the person asked again, “But who is really committed to praying for this?”  That’s where you come in.  We recognize that right now the most important step we can take is to commit ourselves to regular, intentional, and fervent prayer for this need. We don’t want to take one more step if the Lord is not leading us in this direction, and we cannot move forward if the Lord doesn’t provide for us in every way.


     More than anything else we are asking for you to pray.  To that end, we are forming a “Parsonage Relocation Prayer Team” – a group of people who will commit to praying for this issue on a specific day of the week so as to have each day covered, both morning and evening.  If you’d like to sign-up for one (or more) of these 14 slots, you can go to this page on our website:, or speak to Pastor Andy.  The initial prayer requests are threefold:  1) Wisdom for every decision that comes before us. 2) A clear sense of the way God is leading us and of His timing.  3) God’s provision for the significant funding gap that will exist.  For those that sign-up for the Prayer Team we will send more specific prayer requests on a regular basis and as they come up. 

      In addition to praying, we are looking for help in other ways.  If you have helpful information for us – or know of someone who might be of assistance in this process (e.g. in real estate or finance) – please let us know.  Additionally, if are aware of any Melrose-area houses that are on the market (or soon will be), please let Jean Squire or Judy Avery know.  And finally, if you feel led to help financially with this effort, you can make a special gift to the “New Parsonage Fund.”
     Thank you for joining us in prayer on this important issue. The road ahead is daunting in many ways, and yet we’re confident that where God guides He will provide.   
Pastor Andy 
(On Behalf of the Official Board)


Wednesday, 7:00pm Prayer Meeting 
Friday, 10:00am
Servant's Heart Food Pantry
Community Group Gathering (see below)
Sunday, 9:30am
Prayer Group in the Prayer Room
Worship Service
Shepherding Meeting 

PRAYER MEETING:   Tonight, 7pm

Our weekly prayer gathering continues each Wednesday at 7:00pm in the Prayer Room. Please feel free to join us in studying Scripture and in praying for the needs of our church family.   There is also a group gathering for prayer each Sunday before the service at 9:30am.    



As a follow-up to the Community Groups Informational Gathering that we had in April, we are inviting any who are interested to join us for an initial gathering at Pastor Andy and Carrie's home this Friday, May 22 from 6:30-8:00pm.  In this initial gathering (and subsequent ones like it) our aim is simply to gather in fellowship with one another informally as we gauge interest and continue to explore what it would look like to pursue biblical fellowship with one another in Community Groups.  If you plan to come, let us know!  Also, if you're interested in coming but cannot come at that day/time, please let us know that too.  (We're planning another gathering for Friday, June 5 at the same time.)  For a fuller explanation about Community Groups, go here



It's that time of year already!  This Sunday, May 24, will be your last chance to contribute to our monthly missions collection which will go this month toward Camp Scholarships for students in or connected to our church family who are attending Christian summer camps.  Please prayerfully consider how you might contribute to this valuable opportunity.  Also, if you need a camp scholarship form please speak to Pastor Joshua.  The forms will be due by the end of May.    



On Sunday, May 31 at 6:00pm we'll be gathering as a church family to spend time  praying  and praising the Lord together in song. This will be an informal gathering and an excellent opportunity to worship our Lord together, thank Him for all He's done for us, and seek Him for all our needs.  There will be no pressure to share or to pray out loud if you don't want to.  Please plan to join us for this special time together!



Since March we have been collecting our annual offering for "Penny Crusade", which goes entirely to support the missions work of our denomination.  In the results below you'll see that Team K-Z came from behind to edge out Team A-J (which means that Team A-J is responsible to bring dessert at our church picnic in June).  But more importantly, you'll see that we exceeded our 2015 collection goal by over $800!  Thank to all who contributed to this important collection.
Team A-J Team K-Z Total % of Goal
$2,665.40 $3,177.42 $5,842.82 117%


Each month from now until November we'll be highlighting the items needed for the shoeboxes we'll pack for Operation Christmas Child.  The items collected will help us pack shoeboxes for our OCC Carnival Night.  You can place your donations in the box at the back of the sanctuary.  For the month of May, we are collecting: Sunglasses, flashlights (w/ batteries), jump ropes, and yo-yo’s. In prior months we've been collecting: hairbrushes, combs, girls hair accessories, boys/girls socks, wash cloths, boys/girls underwear, toothbrushes, toothbrush covers, toothpaste, bar soap, and travel-size tissues.




Shepherding Meeting (Elders/Diaconate):  May 24
Prayer & Praise Gathering:  May 31
Youth Sunday & Picnic:  June 7
Sean Donnelly Speaking & 3rd Sunday Mission Offering:  June 21
Sports and Music Camp:  June 28 - July 3


Interested in a copy of the message from Sunday?  Email the church office at and we will see that you get a copy.  Past sermons are available at



Not Far From the Kingdom
Mark 12:28-34
May 17, 2015~ Pastor Andy Rice