From the Rector

From the Rector

May 2024

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As I write, we’re coming to the end of our series on the book of Hebrews from which we’ve been answering the central question: “Who is Jesus?”

As we’ve seen, Hebrews seeks to demonstrate how he is like everything the original Jewish audience knew, only bigger. He is the ultimate temple, priest and sacrifice, inaugurating, and maintaining a new covenant of grace by his blood. This gives us confidence for today, even when times are hard, and confidence for the day when he returns or calls us home to be judged, because we know we have been made holy by his work on our behalf and ready to meet him face to face.

We’ll come back to many of these themes in Advent, but our next study will be from Matthew chapters five and six as we study the first half of the Sermon on the Mount.

It’s a great series for the Summer when people travel because you don’t need to follow every idea in sequence as you do in a long discourse like Hebrews. That said, in his sermon on the mount, Jesus does develop a consistent idea: that we need God to change us first, and then to live out of that changed behavior second. When we understand the Christian faith this way, it becomes neither a string of dos and donts nor a license to live life our own way, but a calling up and into who God wants us to be.

I’ve been working at this church for ten years now, and so it’s a good year to reflect on it. I’ve really grown to love it here. One of the best things I noticed about our church when I arrived was how gracious it is. It has always been a place where people are more likely to find forgiveness and love than judgment and disapproval. But I think to that wonderful charism has been added a growing seriousness about our faith, increasing biblical literacy, and certainly an increasing desire to rely on each other more. I really love our small groups and service teams as these are the places where our members grow the most.

I’m especially excited to see the new Prayer Team launch. The core team spent several years praying about this ministry and now several months training people to listen and pray confidentially after service which is a time where many of us are most open to what the Lord might be doing.

I’m also thrilled with the youth ministry program which has been great for both of our children. The Middle School Bible Study and Mere Discipleship Cohort for upper(ish) classmen have proved to be essential components in leading our younger members into maturity and preparing them to live life as growing disciples on their own. All the research shows that it is very rare for a young person to drift into maturity without really well-planned discipleship. That makes complete sense, because it is exactly the same for adults.

So if you are looking to grow further in your faith, I recommend seeking prayer ministry after service whenever you need it, and making sure that you’re in a small group and serving regularly too as you live out the point Christ makes in Matthew five and six.

Love in Christ,
Rev’d Alex

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