NEWS & NOTES
Beginning today, a group of 16 members from our church are embarking on a year-long spiritual formation cohort. We'll be participating in four weekend retreats that will include worship, learning, sharing, and times of extended prayer and solitude. We'll also be taking up a daily practice of reading and meditation, seeking to receive more of what God has given us in Christ.
Please pray for our group this weekend as we engage in the first retreat. Pray that God would stir up the tender places of our hearts, break down our walls, and invade our souls with love.
That is the purpose of this cohort, to grow more open to receiving the love of God. There is nothing more vulnerable than being loved. Because to be loved requires that we be seen. And to be seen requires that we come out of hiding -- hiding from others, from ourselves, and from God.
Our hope is that after walking through this year together, some members of our group would be willing to facilitate future retreats for more people throughout our congregation. There is no more transformative power in the world than people who are filled with the love of God. And if our church were to overflow with such people, dramatic, unpredictable, glorious fruit would surely follow.
So again, would you pray? The calluses of the human heart, formed through this life of pain, do not split open easily. We all have learned to protect our wounds, even to forget that they exist. God's loves must break through for healing and new life to begin.
- Pastor Mark
THIS COMING SUNDAY
WISDOM MAKES PEACE
Pastor Mark Bergin
Every Christian can mature in Christ to a place where they are able to teach and lead others in the faith. But that process of maturation does not happen overnight. The signs of maturity emerge over time as the Christian receives all that Christ is. Chief among these signs, according to James, is the work to make peace. Those who harbor bitterness or are quick to compare status lack the wisdom that comes from the heavens. More maturation is needed in order that they might come to know the things that make for peace -- gentleness, openness, mercy, impartiality, sincerity. Wisdom is not a series of mastered ideas. It is the way of being Christ in the world. And the journey into his way often follows the path of pain.