Message from Pastor Diane Ford
In the middle of the trouble. That is where Christ is. Not hiding in a corner, not pretending he didn’t hear, not throwing up his hands in exasperation or choosing a substance to numb-out when the weight of life seems too much.
In the middle of the trouble. Being persistent, not giving up on the souls he sees raging and aching in front of him. Christ calls them by name, offers water and a warm meal. Christ speaks words of hope.
In the middle of trouble, and not putting any limits on God. He knows what God can do through humans who love him. “You are the light of the world,” he says, “the salt of the earth, and earthen vessels of the Holy Spirit.” These are not nice-sounding pep talks coming from Scripture. These point to the power of God who is “with us,” manifested throughout history in the world’s Trouble.
There is a lot of trouble. Some of it is kicked-up dust and background noise, and some of it is real broken people and systems, and clear messages that anyone of conscious cannot ignore. The election. Millions of displaced people. Hurricane survivors. Prejudice and stigma. Bullying and addiction. With Christ, we are called to face and engage trouble.
Listen anew for God’s Word to a troubled world.
The Hebrew Scriptures, our Old Testament, sets out the understanding, over hundreds of years, that we humans are God’s beloved. God acts throughout the generations as the One to restore unity of all creation. It is a grand cosmic story that has been sung about and taught. The connection of Human-and-Divine occurs in the ancient Tabernacle and then the Temple, so that the people of God would, in the “likeness of God,” care for fellow humans and the rest of creation. The followers of Jesus were familiar with the cosmic story, and awaited the fulfilment of history, when God’s reign of peace and unity would be established throughout the earth. This is the “new” that the Scriptures refer to. At the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper we hear the story again – as Jesus raises the cup he says, “This is the cup of the NEW covenant, sealed with my blood.” Forgiveness of sins and God’s NEW order was actually experienced in the Jesus-communities. Then they recalled and wrote what Jesus had said and done. Hear this difference. The New Testament was not something interested people wrote, memorized or examined deeply by going to theology school, and as a result finally received the gifts of the Spirit. No. It began with the gift of God’s spirit. They experienced new life, unity, and a power over “sin and death.” The experience is not something one buys or gains by reading about it. It happens in the trouble. The revelation that God provided in this Galilean named Jesus is the rescuing power of God among us – amidst the Trouble.
Deepen your roots into the good soil, church. Tend the soil with prayer, fellowship with believers, hands-on service and educating yourself about ways God is moving in our world. We are in this together. We, the risen Christ, and the indwelling Spirit.
Take out after fellowship with believers.
A gathering for all ages.
New and ancient readings, rituals, music and prayer.
Sunday, November 27, 7:00 PM
Hosted this time at LPC, co-led by LPC and a neighboring church – Holmdel Community.
Calico Cat Food Drive
A HUGE thank you to the entire congregation in participating in LPC’s recent food drive for Calico Cat. Together LPC members collected approximately 240 bags of food. Congregation members delivered the food to Calico Cat in a caravan of 5 cars after service on Sunday September 18th. It was such a wonderful sight to arrive at church that Sunday to see all the bags laid out in our Narthex awaiting delivery. Also a special thank you to the Lincroft Acme for allowing us to solicit at their doors on Saturday morning, September 17th, where we collected about 80 bags of food and $237 in cash donations.
The Outreach & Membership Committee
COG – Back-To-School Drive UPDATE
The LPC participated in the COG’s (Community Outreach Group) Annual Back-To-School Fund Raiser. This year we collected $340 that was sent directly to COG. That money will be used to buy clothing, shoes and backpacks to children that are in need within in our community. Thank you LPC for the support!!!
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