During our current sermon series focused on Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, we will publish weekly a set of small group questions for your Covenant to make use of should you desire to use them. Here are the questions for this week:
Below is copy of the board proposed bylaw changes. Please feel free to take a look and come to congregational meetings prepared to contribute to the discussion and vote.
On Sunday, JP Ouelette from the Conflict Resolution Center taught Sunday School. Below, you will find the workbook materials that accompany the Sunday school class.
On Sunday, JP Ouelette from the Conflict Resolution Center shared from the pulpit and then taught Sunday School afterwards as well. Below, you will find the workbook materials that accompany the Sunday school class.
Don't Forget: there will be one more Sunday school class taught by JP this week (April 24th) as well.
As many of you have heard, there was a fire in our church building last night and there has already been an awesome outpouring of love and concern from people both within and outside the congregation. Thank you all for your love and your prayers and your offers to help! Once we know how you can help, we will try to make that known.
We WILL worship at the church building on Sunday at 10am.
The Fire Inspector has finished up his investigation and we are in communication now with our insurance company regarding any additional investigating that may or may not need to be done. At this time, there are simply a lot of variables at play and it is difficult to answer many of the questions that are being asked because we simply do not have definitive answers yet.
It is very difficult to see beyond the next day or two, but in the meantime, as we continue to make plans and make decisions about the days and weeks ahead, I intend to continue to update this post with any pertinent information as it becomes clear.
Right now, here is what we know:
Again, thank you all for the generous outpouring of concern! Your prayers and willingness to help when the time comes is very much appreciated!
UPDATE (7:30pm Friday): It's amazing what can be done on one day! There have been so many professional people here working to clean up floors, remove water, board up windows, and so much more. We are grateful for the work that has already been done and it makes worshipping in the sanctuary on Sunday seem feasible.
We've learned a lot over the course of the day. It seems like it will take several months (maybe three?) to completely restore things but the folks who will be doing the majority of work are committed to keeping it available to us for regular use during this time (as opposed to shutting down all operations for 4-5 weeks). We consider this a blessing for sure!
To be sure, during reconstruction, the building will be less available than is normal. We will put together a calendar of regularly scheduled events for which access to the building is required, but we will ask that people try to stay out of the way of the work it is being done and only make plans to be here if you are here for a scheduled meeting or service or event.
Many people have asked how they can help. Here is one of the more immediate options. I could use some help Saturday evening between 6:30-8:00pm to reset up the sanctuary for worship. I would probably only take 45 minutes to an hour for a team of 5-6 people . We need to move some pews and other furniture and instruments around and test the sound system to see if it still works and if not, move the portable system in from the youth room. The Samoan church that rents our facility will be using the narthex at that time, but we can work freely in the sanctuary then. If you are available to help with that, text or call Phil Cannon.
Below are a few photos taken throughout the day.
UPDATE (Wednesday, December 23):
Things at the church facility continue to progress. The remediation phase has come to an end and now we are entering the reconstruction phase of things to get us back to where we were before the fire occurred. If you were here on Sunday, you saw that the stage ceiling had been covered over with plastic and that there was a support post installed to add strength to the trusses that were compromised while putting out the fire. In addition, there is a glue-lam support on the outside of the roof spanning three trusses to evenly share and distribute the weight of the roof. There is now drywall where most of that plastic was and you can see how things are coming along.
The whole project is being overseen by the same folks who recently assisted Community Covenant Church is Eagle River with their building damage and insurance claim associated with some pretty serious flooding that happened there. It is nice to work with people familiar with our carrier (it is the same carrier) and who have recently been through this process and who come with the recommendation of our sister church.
It is also nice to work with people who want to help us keep the building operable so that we are not displaced during the reconstruction and who are committed to our desire to be able to function here throughout the process.
Tomorrow night's Christmas Eve service is at 6PM and we'd be very glad to have you join us! Merry Christmas!
Below are the questions for Covenant Groups for the week of November 17, 2013.
There were three other passages that we looked at to help us understand what was meant when Jesus taught us to pray, "Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil".
1. Genesis 22:1 (and following) and the story for Abraham's faith being "tested".
2. Matthew 4:1 (and following) and Jesus being led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be "tempted" by Satan.
3. Matthew 26:39 and Jesus' prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane to "let this cup be taken from me".
Which if any of these passages was helpful for you in understanding this prayer? How did it help your understanding?
Was there anything new or enlightening about understanding the language behind the word "peirazo" (Greek for temptation)? Is it helpful to think that we might also understand that question as "Don't put us to the test"?
If we know that God does not seek to seduce us into situations where we will be led into sin, but rather allows us to be tempted and put to the test when it is for our own good, then how does that shape the way that we ought to pray when we face "trails of many kinds"?
Is it any consolation to you to know that while God may allow you to be put to the test, we have the reassurance that he will be there with us through it all and he will give us what we need to find victory through him? If so, how might you both pray and act the next time that you face difficult circumstances?
How has the study of this prayer shaped the way you understand prayer in general?
Share one thing, if you can, that you have really learned or appreciated from this particular study that has changed the way you see things or the way you pray or the way you live in relation to God.
Below are the questions for Covenant Groups during the week following November 10th:
Listening to your forgiveness story:
Listening to the biblical story:
Listening to Love’s Continuing Story:
Below are the questions for Covenant Groups for this week based off of Sunday's sermon (11/3/13)
Read Exodus 16:4-21
Read Matthew 6:11.
Below are the questions for Lord’s Prayer Series “Lord Teach Us To Pray: On Earth as it is in Heaven”
Read Matthew 6:10.
How do you understand heaven? How is God’s will done in heaven? In Matthew 6:19-34, Jesus talks about the treasures of earth and heaven. How do these contrast in our own day?
How does heaven define what the good life is? How is this different from what someone might describe the good life to be if they didn’t believe in heaven.
Most thought about heaven is directed to its importance as a destination for believers in some future day. Why does Jesus say we should pray that God’s will and kingdom come to earth as they are in heaven? How do we look to heaven to “get our bearings” now while we are on earth?
Read Revelation 21:1-7
Describe what John sees (also look at 3:12, Isaiah 60:11-22, Isaiah 65:17-19; 66:22). What kind of picture do you get of heaven. From Revelation 21, what is new (also look at Rev. 2:17, 3:12). In what ways (also look at 7:15-17)? Why?
Find all the expressions of God’s will (also look at Ezek. 37:27, Isaiah 25:8, Isaiah 35:10, 43:19, and 55:1).
Contrast the former things and the new things. What is new?
Do you think that the Disciple’s Prayer moves us to be satisfied with life here on earth, or does it move us to pray and work for things to be different, even before Jesus comes again? Why?
Bible Study Questions following the Sermon of 10/20/13
“your Kingdom come, your will be done”
We hope we'll have many contributors from our congregation. I imagine we will have regular and occasional contributors. If you'd like to contribute a poem, a photo, a devotion or anything that you believe enhances our life together, please contact Pastor Criss to learn about posting.