One 10:30 Service During Renovations

Our church sanctuary is getting a face lift:  new carpeting and a new ceiling!  So this Sunday, July 30th (and perhaps the following Sunday, August 6th), we will worship in our Family Life Center – just one combined service at 10:30 a.m.   We will resume our two service worship schedule (8:45 and 11:00 a.m.) when the renovations are complete.

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“Let Us Pray” – St. Patrick’s Breastplate

Patrick is the beloved patron saint of Ireland. While it’s uncertain if this prayer was written by Patrick himself, it’s well over 1200 years old, and has been set to music on many occasions. This prayer is often called St. Patrick’s “Breastplate,” referring to the shield of protection he seeks from God. There are various versions of this prayer, and what we see below is actually just a small portion of its entirety.
This prayer is powerful in a couple of ways. First, the words remind us of the salvation we have in Jesus, and that he never abandons us. Second, the prayer is our challenge to see Christ always surrounding us. As you ponder this prayer for yourself, wonder how your life might be impacted if you truly believe that Christ is “with, before, behind, in, beneath, and above” you at all times; in “every heart thinking of you, every mouth speaking to you, every eye seeing you, and every ear hearing you”? Let us pray:
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ where I lie, Christ where I sit, Christ where I arise,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every one who speaks to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
Salvation is of the Lord. Salvation is of the Christ.
May your salvation, Lord, be ever with us. Amen.
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“Let Us Pray” – Disturb Us, Lord

Dear Christ Family,

I started a new sermon series this past Sunday in which I’m looking at some of my favorite prayers written over the centuries.  There are so many that I can’t preach about them all, so I want to share a few with you via email this summer.  I hope you’ll take a few moments and pray these for yourself.  Perhaps you may even come to love some of these so much that they become part of your regular prayer life.

One of the first things I was taught in seminary was that the duty of a Christian is:  “To comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable.”  In other words, Christ’s people are to be a pastoral presence for those who are hurting and suffering; but to also be a prophetic voice in the world, moving people out of complacency and into living more Spirit-filled lives.  Today’s prayer falls into the latter category.  This prayer has been attributed to Sir Francis Drake, the 16th-century English sea captain.  Let us pray:

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Disturb us, Lord,
When we are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true because we dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord,
When, with the abundance of things we possess,
We have lost our thirst for the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life, we have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision of the new heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord,
To dare more boldly,
To venture on wilder seas, where storms will show your mastery;
Where losing sight of land, we shall find the stars.
We ask you to push back the horizons of our hopes;
And to push back the future in strength, courage, hope, and love.  Amen.

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Lenten Lunch Worship

For the past several years, we have partnered with our cluster churches during the season of Lent for a lunch worship series.  We will do the same this year, as we gather at 12:00 noon each of the next 5 Wednesdays at Garden Memorial Presbyterian Church (2324 Sam Wilson Rd.).  Our worship services are 30 minutes in length, followed by a time of lunch and fellowship.  We keep our worship time brief so that folks can get back to work in an hour or so.  Though our worship isn’t long, we hope this time helps us grow in our commitment to keep a holy Lent.

This year’s Lenten Lunch Series theme is “Experiencing God Through Prayer.” Each of our times of worship will explore different methods of prayer; some of which are ancient, though may be new to us.  Here is a quick glimpse:
March 8 – Group Prayer
March 15 – Prayer through Music
March 22 – Testimonial Prayer
March 29 – Lectio Divina
April 5 – Walking the Prayer Labyrinth
I hope to see you the next 5 Wednesdays (beginning tomorrow).  God bless you!
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“Theology on Tap” – April 6

Our Theology on Tap group continues to have warm and enlightening discussions each month, and we’d love for you to join us.  Our next gathering will be Thursday, April 6th at 6:00 pm at Heirloom restaurant.  Our conversation in April will center around the new book entitled Why I Left, Why I Stayed, co-authored by Tony and Bart Campolo.  This book explores the relationship between a father (Tony, a well-known leader and speaker in the Christian community), and his son (Bart, who decided as an adult to leave the Christian faith). The book is a conversation between the two, modeling how people of differing perspectives can learn to love one another despite their opposing world views.  In our ever-growing divisive culture, we hope this honest book might help us bridge gaps and tear down walls between the ways we communicate with one another.  We hope you can join us on April 6th!  God bless you all.
Jim
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