Deeper in the Bible, Deeper into Prayer, Deeper into Community
The PC(USA) remains mostly White, highly educated, and among the wealthiest Christian denominations in the United States. We tend to be comfortable. We tend to live in safe neighborhoods. We worship and fellowship with people who are also White (97%), highly educated, wealthy, comfortable and safe. Such gifts and resources provide much for serving Christ and the Kingdom of God. There is, however, the inevitable downside of being in such a homogeneous tribe. We have very little understanding of how the majority of our world and great spans of our country experience God and every-day life. There is another consequence of our privileged status, which Presbyterian preachers are painfully aware of. Preachers are tempted to hold back the hard-hitting messages of Jesus that can make a typical Presbyterian uncomfortable.
In the spring of 2018 I introduced LPC’s congregation to a short book, “Surprise the World,” by Michael Frost. It is relevant to any small congregation, with advice, based in sound scholarship, of how to maximize our impact in the world for the sake of Christ and the Kingdom of God. One of the 5 suggestions of Frost is to learn the message of Jesus deeply. The more we read the Gospels, the clearer it becomes that Christianity has roots in turning things up-side-down. It’s a disruptive, counter-cultural message.
This fall we will dive deeply into the writings of Luke and Acts to focus on the “disruptive” teachings and actions of Jesus in the gospel, and to explore aspects of and wisdom around evangelism in the book of Acts. In other words, we will explore 1) the Gospel Message and 2) Sharing that Message.
There is a third aspect of the Christian walk that is even more important: our deep communion with God. Frost encourages the habit of listening for God while in prayer. Each of us can tap into the layers and dimensions of Christ’s ongoing work within us.
In Luke 5, fishermen had been working all night, catching nothing. In the morning Jesus came to teach along the shore. He said to them, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Going deeper into the Bible, deeper in our prayer and deeper out into the community is where Jesus calls us to go. Simon Peter was afraid when he saw that his nets became so full of fish that they filled two boats which began to sink. Jesus said to him, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.”
Why do you suppose Simon Peter was afraid when he saw the power of Christ’s presence among them? The point of the story is that the power was surprising, overwhelming, awesome, and even fear-invoking. This is the power that few Christians speak of, and perhaps that is because few go into such deep waters. The church today cannot afford staying in the comfortable shallows.
The evangelist writes in Ephesians 3:18-29, “I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now, to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen..
In Faith with You,
LPC – Calico Cat: Food Drive
LPC is again planning to conduct a food drive for the benefit of Calico Cat in Middletown. Like last year, we will provide bags for congregation members to obtain food donations. We will have the bags available for you to take following our worship service on September 9th, for you to distribute to friends and neighbors, and ask that they fill them with food and leave them in front of their homes by 4:00 PM Saturday Sept. 15th. Your task will be to collect their bags of donated food and bring them to church before 10:00 AM on Sunday morning, Sept. 16th. Last year we collected 293 bags of food for Calico Cat.
This is a wonderful way to join with our friends and neighbors for a good cause and to provide an opportunity to make a difference locally.
—– Frank Munn, Theresa Neher, Sue O’Brien
—– Outreach & Membership
Family Promise @ Lincroft Presbyterian Church
October 7 – 14, 2018
Lincroft Presbyterian Church will host Family Promise guests the week of October 7 through 14, 2018. This is our opportunity to stand in solidarity with local homeless families as they work through a very challenging time.
Please volunteer! Pick your spot at http://signup.com/go/wDxEtDx, or contact Kathy Noah, 732.768.3247 or Dave Reichard, 732.972.3242. Our guests will arrive Sunday evening for dinner. Each night the following week two volunteers will prepare dinner, two will spend the early evening hours with the guests, and two will sleep overnight in the church. (Families can volunteer to provide dinner or to be the evening hosts.)
Visit us at: 270 Everett Rd, Lincroft NJ 07738
Send mail to: PO Box 328, Lincroft NJ 07738
Send package deliveries to: 270 Everett Rd, Lincroft NJ 07738
Contact us by email