Happy 2024! Here are some words from Matthew's Gospel for us on this first Friday of another new year...
"Do not worry about how or what you should speak;
for it will be given you in that hour what you
should speak." (Matthew 10:19 NKJV)
What an honor it is to be used to voice the heart of God. Not only do we want our words to be pleasing to God and bring encouragement to others, but we also want to teach and preach with authority, even to prophesy. These are the gifts with which God has equipped the Church to edify and build up herself. We are called as Christians, every one of us, to be examples, mentors and teachers. God urges us to study the Word and to accurately handle the word of truth, preparing ourselves to give an answer to anyone who asks. (See 2 Timothy 2:15 and 1 Peter 3:15)
Look for occasions to share the hope you have in Christ and to shine the light of the Gospel on a world bound in oppression to sin. Share the knowledge you have of the Truth that sets us free -- for "how beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news" (Romans 10:15). Look around you; the fields are ripe for harvest. Go and make disciples (which means "students") of all those around you for faith comes by hearing -- and how will they hear if there is no teacher? (See Romans 10: 14,17)
Maybe you could join me in my prayer, Lord, Speak through me, when you see people in need or find yourself leading. So when you feel God gives you the nudge to say something, pray..... Lord, Speak through me. Amen.
+++ This Sunday we celebrate Epiphany at both the 8:30am and 10:00am worship services. As we listen to the story from Matthew's Gospel account, we will think about the journey of the Wise Men to the baby Jesus. In my message, "Wise People Still Seek Him" I am thinking about how, over 2000 years later, the seeking still goes on for each of us. We will also celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Communion together and welcome back our musicians from a couple of weeks of R & R. If you can't be here in person, join us on the church's Facebook page for our live-stream at 10:00am. Or you can join us for the recorded worship service on YouTube after the service is completed. You have many ways to worship this week and we hope to "see" you on Sunday!
+++ Following worship on Sunday, our meal delivery drivers will head out with meals for our shut-ins in the first meal ministry event of 2024! Thanks to Sam, Marilyn and all those who are a part of this exciting ministry to our shut-ins!
+++ Next Sunday is our monthly 2nd Sunday Luncheon! Please make sure you sign up this week so we know how many people to prepare for! And thanks to our Fellowship Team who works so hard on this luncheon each month!
+++ Next week is our meeting week here at Immanuel! Our Finance Team and SPRC meet on Tuesday night, 1/9 at 6:00pm and then our Administrative Council meets at 6:45pm that same evening. Then our Trustees meet the next day, Wednesday, 1/10 at 4:00pm. Thanks to all who serve on our ministry teams here at Immanuel!
+++ Next Sunday, 1/14 is our Human Relations Day general offering. This church-wide offering is dedicated to working on improving human relations in communities large and small across our United Methodist Church. Look for special offering envelopes in the Narthex next Sunday.
+++ On Sunday our Trustees will tell us about the replacement of our current sign with a brand new electronic sign that will really help us improve communications with our neighbors driving by on Kasson Road! The new sign has been ordered, is being constructed now and we hope it will be installed sometime this spring! Come and listen to the exciting details of this project and see an early picture of what the new sign will look like. Thanks to those who have already committed to help make this project a reality!
+++ All of our Team and ministry leaders are requested to provide the office with an Annual Report of your group's ministry efforts in 2023, by 1/31/24. We will be preparing our Annual Report book the first week in February to help everyone know all the ministry opportunities that are offered here at Immanuel!
Make this day a great day and always remember to pray, Lord, speak through me. Amen.
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