Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As I am completing my first full week as your new pastor, I am profoundly grateful to God and to all of you for the opportunity to serve Christ Covenant OPC in this way! Anlle and I are delighted to be here, and we have been overjoyed by the caring, warm, and thoughtful welcome we have received from all of you: from Mike Gilbert’s help unloading our van as we arrived on Friday evening August 23, exhausted and weary after a 12 hour trip – to the stalwart aid of Bob Roaten and Glenn Orr in getting our house set up by lugging and tugging lots of big, heavy stuff, and for hooking up our washer and dryer and stereo in record time! – to the #CRAZY GOOD #ToDieFor! brownies from GeeGee – to the generous and very heartwarming POUNDING from all of you – our time here has been a genuine demonstration of the time-worn yet true adage that you all indeed have been the “hands and feet” of our Savior who is ministering His love and care to us every moment of every day!
Attached please find the order of worship for tomorrow; please use it to prepare your hearts for worship. We will be starting a series on the Old Testament book of Malachi (no, he’s not really “the Italian prophet”!), the final OT book written in which we find both stunning examples of human corruption and equally amazing promises of Divine intervention by one “Messenger of the Covenant” who will come to “purify the sons of Levi, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.” Who might this Messenger of the Covenant be? Hmmm…stay tuned!
Here is a list of upcoming events. Feel free to let me know if anything else needs to be added here…after all, I am the new kid on the block!
· September 7 – Retirement Party for Pastor Mark, 3-7pm at Josh & Lacey Melton’s
· September 8 – Lord’s Day Worship, 10:15am
· September 8 – Fellowship Meal after service
· September 15 – Lord’s Day Worship, 10:15am
· September 15 – Young Adults / West Side Fellowship group, 6pm at Worley’s
· September 18 – Session meeting, 7pm
· September 22 – Lord’s Day Worship, 10:15am
· September 22 – Neighborhood Fellowship, 3pm
· September 29 – Lord’s Day Worship, 10:15am
· September 29 – Hymn / Psalm sing at the church building, 6pm
From Ronald S. Wallace’s, Calvin’s Doctrine of the Christian Life. This book is an outstanding, rich devotional book in which the author meticulously quotes Calvin’s own words to demonstrate Calvin’s view of the Christian life. Wallace here, in his section on Calvin’s view of Loyalty to the Visible Church, explains Calvin’s view that, far from leading us to complacency regarding evangelism, a lack of compasssion for the lost, or even an arrogant pride, our election by Christ and placement into the assembly of the saints leads to outreach, mercy, and a humble acknowledgment that “…there, but by the grace of God, go I”!
“Our adherence to the visible Church, and our separation from the world is bound to involve us in an obligation, along with the whole Church, to witness to and to serve all men in the name of Jesus Christ. We are elected and separated within the Church, not merely for the purpose of our own individual sanctification and salvation, but in order that we might be witnesses. [Here Wallace quotes Calvin. TLM]
‘We are called by the Lord on this condition, that everyone should afterwards strive to lead others to the truth, to restore the wandering to the right way, to extend a helping hand to the fallen, to win over those that are without.’
Therefore our separation from the world should in no way make us proud in our isolation or our privilege, but should make us tireless in toiling to share our faith with others. We should have our arms extended as our Heavenly Father has, towards those outside. The Christian who is indebted to God’s mercy is bound to become, like the psalmist, “the loud herald of the grace of God” to all men.”
See you Sunday!
In Christ’s Service,