This Sunday, Tony Campbell offered us a sermon titled, "Service thru Hope; Hope thru Service." Tony is the associate General Secretary for the Reformed Church in America. He has pastored churches in South Carolina, Houston, and Washington, DC. He worked for Colin Powell during George W. Bush's presidency. And the night prior to joining us for worship, he was returning from a trip to England where he meet with the Archbishop of Canterbury and worked with members of the United States State Department to discuss how religious leaders can promote peace. It was a joy to welcome him!
Rev. Campbell's sermon moved thoughtfully from story to story exploring both the incredible lows of the human experience and the improbable highs that are a result of the hope that we have in the God that can create life out of death. Rev. Campbell told personal stories about family's he had walked with in the throes of grief, and how the ultimate hope of Jesus as the resurrection and the life gave them courage to move forward.
He encouraged us to live lives of service-and suggested that it was in serving others that we experience the hope of Christ. He told stories of people who, at their lowest moments, had chosen to find someone else to serve. In their serving others, they found hope. This is a model for the church as well. When we focus on ourselves and live insular lives, we find ourselves dragging, fearful, and without hope. But when we look at what we can give and choose to live lives of generous service, we experience the hope of Christ.
We pray for all those in our church and our world who struggle with depression and anxiety. We pray that your loving presence would provide comfort and lift spirits. We pray that you would help all those struggling to find the support networks and treatments that can help them live well and enjoy life.
God please hear the cries of the innocents in Syria and other war torn parts of the world. Please pour out your Holy Spirit so that violence will cease to consume the lives of so many. Please make your church faithful to work within every avenue we have available to us to foster the things that make for peace.
Almighty God, we give you thanks for the global and local mission teams from the Reformed Church in America. In all the ways we reach out as a denomination to those hungry for the gospel we give thanks. From creative localpartnerships to the partners around the globe we ask that your Holy Spirit would continue to move us as a collection of churches to embrace your mission and seek the hurting and lost in the world.
O Christ Jesus, who reveals God's desire to bless and care for the world, we pray that your Holy Spirit would stir up our hearts to desire peace and reconciliation with loved ones and enemies alike.
- This Sunday after service, Nettelhorst Elementary School is hosting a fun Halloween themed event. Kids from Grace are welcome to participate. We will provide a light lunch so that kids can stick around for the fun.
- There is NO Men's Meetup this Thursday!
- Each week at Grace we pray for "The Prayers of the People." You can submit a prayer to the leadership either to be prayed for privately or for the entire church to lift up on Sundays. Simply send your request to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- RSVP for our lecture series on November 5th. Dr. Kristen Johnson will be with us and will help us think through the cross sections