We really enjoyed our time at the EFCER Pastors Conference in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I recommend it as a family friendly vacation destination.
We enjoy walking around the little town of Gatlinburg and the nearby nature trails. We rode our bikes on the Gatlinburg Trail.
The speakers we heard were great. Executive Director, Tom Crawford, reminisced on his 50 years of ministry by telling stories of miracles that he experienced. “Believe God and get out of the way!” Multiplication Team Leader, Rusty Savage, spoke on the life of missionary William Carey who went to India. He shared how Carey called himself a “plodder.” Just be faithful and God will use you. Malone University’s incoming President, Dr. Greg Miller, preached a rich sermon on looking at life through Christ’s soon coming. Students, have you considered Malone as a possible college?
The Keynote Speaker was Dr. John Bryan Smith, a Friends college professor and author. His specialty is spiritual formation, how we grow as Christians. He had a sweet spirit! Here are 3 quotes he shared:
The Wisdom of Dallas Willard for pastors (in Australia):
“You don’t have to make it happen.”
- That you would have a rich life of joy and power
- That in your work you would see supernatural results
- That your work be uniquely fitted to you
- That you would live with a constant clear vision of never-ending life in God’s world before you
- That you would understand the everlasting significance of your work each day
- That you would live a radiant life, and one day cross over to glory in a radiant death
“I am a rotten sinner”
“I am ugly”
“I am not enough”
“I don’t matter”
“I am a divinely designed, deeply loved, fully forgiven, fully alive, sacred person with a sacred story of grace and a sacred body. I was perfectly designed before the foundation of this world to do great works that give glory to God. I am an unceasing spiritual being with an eternal destiny in God’s great universe. I am one in whom Christ dwells and delights, and I live forever in the strong and unshakeable Kingdom of God” (James Bryan Smith, The Good and Beautiful you)
I quoted Francis McNutt on ministering to others. Here it is again.
“It is necessary that the minister be free of the need to prove anything, that he be free of any personal desire for achieving results. To be cast down when his prayers have failed to effect a cure means it is time to examine his motives to see how much of his own fear of failure is mixed into his ministry. I may think I am defending the honor of God by demanding faith; but perhaps what I am really defending is my own self-image as a minister of healing. I must call to mind over and over again that the gift of healing is a manifestation of God’s Spirit working through me. It is not “a thing” I have in my possession, which I can turn on or off at will, but a transient grace, a passing movement of God’s Spirit working through me to help someone else. In most healings three persons are involved: God, the sick person, and the minister of healing. My part, as the minister of healing, is to pray the prayer of faith and then to move out of the way. In fact, the sick person is capable of asking for God’s help himself without anyone else being with him at all. The key persons are God, who is Love, and the sick person, whose sickness elicits God’s loving compassion. I am simply the human channel of God’s love, and I should be humble about that. I feel very uncomfortable when someone calls me a healer. The connotation is much like putting on a label of certification, a kind of rank – a something which one possesses permanently and over which he has control. But that is not true. Sometimes God uses my prayers and touch in order to heal; at other times, he does not. Why this is, I do not know. What I do know is that this inability to control keeps me humble; it helps me realize where the healing power comes from. So, the minister is simply to pray as best he can and, above all, to love all the sick who come to him.”
Also, in observance of The National Day of Prayer, the Sanctuary will be open on Thursday, May 5, from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
I am basking in the afterglow of the wonderful times of fellowship together we had this past week. Maundy Thursday had the somberness of Christ’s illegal trial, scourging, and crucifixion and sharing communion together. Casey & Jeff put together an excellent egg hunt. Thanks to all who helped them! I love our sunrise service and the breakfast (thanks Jodi & Laura)! It was great to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection yesterday in worship. Let’s live each day in Christ’s resurrection power! (Eph. 1:19-20).
Cathy’s mom fell early morning Sunday and broke her hip. Would you please pray that she will have a successful rehab from surgery, which was just finished moments ago, and she said she feels better!
It’s Holy Week! There is so much to ponder this week: Jesus’ last supper with His disciples, His arrest & trial. His crucifixion, and of course His resurrection! I trust you will make time to read those texts and meditate on their realities.
Come worship together for the Maundy Thursday service at 6:30. We will take communion. Nursery care is available.
The sanctuary will be open from 9-2 on Good Friday if you want to pray there.
Easter Sunday worship begins at 6:30 a.m. with a sunrise service, hopefully outside, weather permitting. Join us for a continental breakfast at 7:15. Please let us know if you are coming to that. The rest of the morning is our regular schedule: Prayer group at 8:30, Sunday School at 9:15 and worship at 10:30. I am looking forward to these worship times with you. I also encourage you to invite a neighbor or friend.
“The angel said to the women, Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.” Matthew 28:5-6
I have really enjoyed the 2 revival meetings so far! I hope you have, too. Join us tonight and tomorrow night at 6:30.
Men, remember to sign up for the shoot & fish outing on Saturday, April 2nd from 10-3 p.m. at David Vaughan’s, 2198 Old Church Road, Mechanicsville. We’ll have brats for lunch. The cost is a donation for lunch & pay the cost of whatever ammo you may use from another shooter.
You’re probably aware the ACLU is suing the Hanover County School Board over the transgender issue. I have included parts of 2 emails from a member of the Family Foundation for your information, prayer support and action.
“Hello Friends! Thought I would throw everyone on the same email so we’re looped in on efforts to have a strong showing for Parental Rights at the HC Board of Supervisors meeting this coming Wednesday night. I spoke with Bill and Kim today and most others were at the SUH meeting last night.”
NEED OUR SUPPORTERS AT THIS MEETING. We’re asking as many of our Hanover supporters (and beyond) as we can to attend and visibly show their support for Parental Rights at this meeting, as represented by the HC School Board in recent months, around the Transgender Policy issue. It is confirmed that LGBTQ activists are planning to send a large contingent to this meeting with new shirts and signs to demand that HC Supervisors pressure their appointed School Board members to go along with their agenda. Not sure how early people should arrive but 4:30 sounds like a solid bet, given the crowd expected. Meeting starts at 6pm, 3/23, at the Hanover County Courthouse.
NATIONAL STAGE. Hanover is one of the most conservative counties in VA, but is in close proximity to Richmond. All eyes in the state are on Hanover County, to see how the School Board, representing a very conservative Parental base, handles this pressure. If they do not stand strong against this minority view in their community, albeit intimidating opposition, it is believed that other VA school boards will follow and not fight. Hanover County even made FOX NEWS yesterday, regarding this issue and the ACLU’s lawsuit. Our own Kim Thurston was cited in the article, showing her support for HCSB’s engagement of Alliance Defending Freedom. Read the article here: https://www.foxnews.com/us/virginia-aclu-uses-splc-hate-group-claim-to-condemn-school-board-investigation-on-transgender-policy. The BOS meeting is expected to get media time across the state and nationally, and we need our side to be strongly visible on the TV screen with our signs. We need our Supervisors to see and feel our strong support.
As info, a couple of us listened in to a public zoom call held by LGBTQ activists this past Wednesday evening and took notes on their current initiatives. 164 participants called in representing Hanover County and others outside the county that are watching to see what Hanover does. Their supporters are well organized, angry at HC School Board’s decision to engage ADF, and ready to full-court-press both the Board of Supervisors and School Board members (as they are linked by appointment). They want to know who, specifically, engaged the ADF and have submitted a FOIA request to understand how this was established. They are committed to pushing LGBTQ acceptance on the community at large by scheduling events, education, training, to “normalize” it. They are pushing their own petition to get school board members elected and not appointed in HC (by hoping to have this item added to the ballot). They want universal support with policy change from the top of the education system down.
Also, wanted to share a great resource on why Parental Rights matter, for your reference, linked here: https://www.familyfoundation.org/blog/conversationtips-parentalrights
Finally, please keep the Supervisors and School Board Members in your steadfast prayers. They are in the center of a spiritual battle and need our prayers and encouragement to stand strong. We give all the glory to God for the great things He hath done and will do, for His Truths, with our faithful service. Please be encouraged by the scripture shared by Candi in her email below and remember that this battle is the Lord’s!
We need your help!
If you are a current Hanover County resident, please join us by signing the petition linked below TODAY! A majority of Hanoverians stand behind the Hanover County School Board and its November vote against adopting the most concerning portions of the state’s model transgender policies. Sadly, in response, the ACLU has filed a lawsuit against the HCSB. We cannot allow outside groups to threaten local communities with legal action just because they don’t agree with the local decision made!
We know Hanover support is strong on this position and we want to quantify it for our local and state leaders as soon as possible. Please stand with us by taking the following two actions TODAY:
- Click the link below and sign the petition, showing your steadfast support for Hanover’s decision on this very important issue!
- Share this petition with others you know that also support HCSB’s November vote!
Please sign the petition here: https://familyfoundation.salsalabs.org/protectlocalcontrol-hanover/index.html
We are stronger when we speak together. Thank you!
I’m excited as we approach this coming weekend. Are you in the Word daily? Use the Lenten readings in your bulletin if not.
I’m also excited for the Leadership Training event on Saturday from 2:30-5:30. If you’re coming and haven’t signed up, call the church today.
Sunday begins the revival! You’ll love Dave Mercandante! He’s energetic and is a solid Evangelical believer. Invite a friend next Sunday a.m. & Sunday – Tuesday evenings at 6:30 p.m.
- HERE is the link to this week’s chat.
- Speak-Up Hanover will be meeting tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. here at church. Please make every effort to attend this meeting. There are time-sensitive updates on recent efforts by the ACLU & Equality Virginia to pressure the Hanover County School Board to comply with extreme transgender-issue policies and punish it for listening to the parents. (see this latest news coverage: https://richmond.com/aclu-of-virginia-threatens-hanover-school-board-with-federal-lawsuit/article_50a61b93-7d02-51ba-ae7f-1843e6c7cc86.html?utm_campaign=blox&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&fbclid=IwAR3deEjd-8v-KKdxVv4vISdn89dQhpw9y-2VrnXeja3gKjx2FJND86wjxqA ). Please come for time sensitive updates on how the team can support the board and how we can all support George Sutton. Please see the attached agenda on this and other key items we’ll be covering as a team.
- A fellow EFCER pastor, Dan Cale could use some help today around 6:00 p.m. Dan pastors a Friends Church in PA and is the son-in-law of George & Pat Sutton. His father lived in Mechanicsville and just recently died. He needs to move a couple of pieces of furniture into a trailer. If you can help, would you let the church office know, (804) 730-9512, before 3 p.m. Report directly to 6626 Cold Harbor Road near Creighton Rd.
Some exciting things are happening at HEFC! The Launch, our young adults ministry, met for lunch this past Sunday for the first time and have agreed to meet regularly on Sundays! Thank you to John and Melissa Schmutte for answering God’s call to start this ministry. Invite a young adult to this.
Grief Share begins this Saturday. Susan Haynes has put together a great team to assist her. Be praying that grieving individuals in our church and community can find this ministry and be encouraged. Who can you invite?
The denomination is hosting a Leadership Training event on Saturday the 19th from 2:30-5:30, then dinner will be served. If you are a leader or prospective leader, come. You can sign up on the bulletin board in the hallway.
Dave Mercandante, our denomination’s Leadership Team Director, will be preaching a revival on Sunday morning, March 20th and the next three evenings, March 20, 21, 22 at 6:30 p.m. Come and be refreshed and bring a friend.
I am hosting a New Members Class on Saturday, March 26th from 9-Noon. If you are interested in finding out more about our church, please come.
A men’s shooting & fishing outing is planned for Saturday, April 2nd 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. We’ll have lunch, too! More info to follow.
Please be praying for peace in Ukraine. THIS article, written by a missionary there, describes their heart of identifying with the people staying in the country to minister to those who didn’t leave. I think it is a great example for us in having courage for the cause of Christ.
I hope you will attend at least some of the upcoming revival March 20-22. Invite a friend! There is a denominational sponsored training event Saturday March 19th from 2:30-5:30 with dinner to follow. There is no cost. If you are a leader at HEFC I’d like you to come. If you are a future leader, come! Sign up on the bulletin board.
We are hosting a community meeting tomorrow evening for our neighbors to ask questions and raise concerns about the sale of some of our land to Stein Investments to build high end storage units. Please pray that the meeting goes well (is uneventful!) Also pray for our upcoming revival with the Leadership Development Director of EFCER, Dave Mercadante on March 20-22. I’m praying you will be revived!
I just got back from visiting Bobby Hare at the hospital. He was hungry and talkative, so you can tell that he is doing well. He looked great and should be home by the end of the weekend.
Our denomination has asked me to be a coach for pastors/leaders. There’s a new skillset for doing that versus pastoring that I need to learn. I need to “practice” on a few people. If you have some personal goals that you’re trying to accomplish, but need some encouragement and accountability, I can help you. Let me know and we’ll talk.