Pastor's Bible Study
Every Wednesday morning during the school year, Dr. Furr teaches adults on a wide variety of topics with discussion – often a book of the Bible or some aspect of the Christian life or doctrine. All you need is a Bible and an inquisitive mind! Occasionally, a particular book is ordered for everyone who wants to purchase a copy. This group meets on Wednesday mornings from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Adult Seminar Room across from the Library. Find current topics under Latest News. Please join in.
many members, one body
january 2, 2018
To My Dear Church,
I have spent much time over this holiday, prayerful, thinking, listening for the Lord’s leadership for me and for us in this new year. There is something so wonderful about turning the calendar over, even though it is purely in the mind. That we do it all together is the opportunity. It is a chance to start afresh, even though that moment is always available from the Lord.
In my reflections, it occurred to me that this was our 25th Christmas together. I came here in 1993 to a church that had split into three over its identity. It was a time we devoted together to rebuilding, loving, growing and repairing this fellowship. I went back over the holiday to discover what I had written during that time, and I found these words from that first Advent, when the church was still bruised, wounded, recovering.
Dr. Robert Baker in his book Tell the Generations Following reports that the early years at Southwestern Seminary were wretched. Dr. Carroll, the President, was driven to send a letter appealing for help to pastors and friends. It was to the point: “I am up a tree. Can you and your fine men help me?"
One pastor wrote back, “I’m in a hole. I must call my men together to raise $14,000 to pay on a pressing debt on our building. How can a man in a hole help a man up in a tree?” Dr. Carroll answered, “When you come up the tree to help me down, you will be out of your hole.” Amen.
Modern life gives us the luxury of denying what is obvious when we think clearly: we need each other. A cooperative spirit is one that can mark differences without being distracted by them. Cooperative ministry and missions means that the Lordship of Jesus Christ draws us into common venture, common vulnerability and common risk for the cause of the Kingdom and for the sake of others.
Those were good words then. And it occurs to me that they are good words now for me and for us. I have been reflecting on those words and their relevance for now. This new year, I want to lead us to look for the Lord’s leadership together in worship, witness and work. I want us to focus, as we move toward the daylong retreat together the last Sunday of January and throughout this year, on the work of “many members, one body.”
New sermon series: "Moving Closer to Jesus"
I hope you will join me as we seek this year to grow in depth of knowledge of the scriptures, in prayer, in ministry and fellowship. Robert Mulhollland’s book Invitation to a Journey defines Christian discipleship (he uses the word “formation”) this way: “The process of being conformed to the image of Christ for the sake of others.”
That last part strikes home to me. If I don’t eventually help you out of your tree, I may not get out of the hole I’m in. I need you. We need one another. And Jesus will help us do the work. Help kick off a year of spiritual health and wellness together. Let one of your resolutions be to get on the journey together this January toward a deeper and more loving fellowship together.