Dear CCGR Family,
Pastor Terry shared in his last week’s sermon that “At the heart of Christianity, there is a mystery, but not one of intellectual appreciation. It’s the mystery of salvation. We cannot control our faith like we can other areas of our lives. When it comes to our faith, some things cannot be fully explained.” https://www.
In John 3:1-17, read to us by Caroline White, we hear about Nicodemus, a wealthy Pharisee leader of the supreme court for Jews (the Sanhedrin) who, unlike his hypocritical peers who wanted to eliminate Jesus, was inquisitive about Jesus and had a deep desire to know more about Him, and had many questions he wanted to ask of Him. He arranged to speak with Jesus when he would not be seen by the other Pharisees (at night), and had many questions for Him. He wanted to speak directly with Him, rather than base his thinking on rumors. He learned from Jesus that He was indeed the Messiah, and that he (Nicodemus), like all of us, are each given the opportunity to have a personal relationship with Him and will want to share what they feel, and know, in their hearts.
“God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but, in order that the world might be saved thru Him.”
Jesus reassured Nicodemus that the Kingdom would be ruled by God, restored on earth, and would include God’s people only — those who were ‘born again’ (‘born anew’) and ‘of water and spirit’. Perplexed by this phrase, Nicodemus learned from Jesus that being ‘born again’ was not a literal birth ‘again’ of yourself by your mother, but is in the hearts of those who repent and are born of the Spirit. Jesus explained the importance of a spiritual rebirth — that people don’t enter the kingdom of God by necessarily living a better life, but by being spiritually reborn. It means to put our trust and confidence in Him that He alone can save us, putting Christ in charge of now and always and promising us of everlasting life.
Jesus’ resurrection has offered the gift of salvation to all people. Once He ascended into Heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit to be offered to all on earth the choice to believe. “Although we cannot see the Holy Spririt, we can hear the sound, but do not know where it comes from or where it goes.” Faith is born of the Spirit. And we are to trust the Spirit to carry us through life, leaving our old habits behind.”
As scripture reads, “No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven — the Son of Man. And, as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life.” In conclusion, as Pastor Terry emphasizes … “the very nature of our spirituality requires the willingness or acceptance to believe something or someone that cannot be proven or seen. This is why it’s called ‘Faith’.”
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Thank you for this message of encouragement to us all, and for the blessings of Janet, Jodi and Boyd once again, for their beautiful musical and technical talents!!
As we continue to remain in our homes during this time — or take precautions when we do venture out — we ask that you continue to keep each other in prayer.
Please continue to pray for our church members, families, and those close to us who have shared a special part of our lives — the Allen Family; the Bird-Bennett Family; Jean Franklin; the Janssen Family; the Gilligan Family (The family continues to request that no phone calls be made at the present time to Terry G. at her home; however, sending notes and cards are appreciated); Connie Sinkway and the Sinkway/Emery Family; the Zucchino Family; & the Ruth Rankin Leaper Family; for Beryl Ferrari; for Bob & Doris Van Ostenbridge & for Rev. Jerry Wright and his family.
Confidential prayer requests that you would like the small group Prayer Chain to pray for may be emailed to Candy Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org
and Donna Nihen at email@example.com, and of course, Pastor Terry at pastor@communitychurchgr. com. (These requests will be shared only with the church small group Prayer Chain.)
Church School News (Reminder) —
It’s the season for graduations and moving up from another class, celebrating the unofficial beginning of summer. Well deserved for hard-working students and teachers, and especially this year when the school year faced a lockdown due to the viral situation and classes went online with parents working extra hard pinch-hitting to fill in the gaps with homeschooling, which is not an easy task!
At this time, we ask our church family to keep our Class of 2020 graduates in prayer, to include our elementary, middle, high school, and college graduates.
Praying that God will give these children and youth wisdom and direction in making decisions, and in all situations as they move forward in a new and exciting chapter of their lives. Stay tuned for more in the weeks to come as we, as a church family, hope to recognize these students.
Please reach out to Candy (firstname.lastname@example.org) regarding more details on Church School News.
Please continue to show your support to CCGR —
Though we cannot be together in person, we continue to be together spiritually as we face this health crisis together. We are gifted with our weekly virtual services and continue to pray for each other. If you’re able during this unprecendented time, please remember supporting Community Church in your time of giving.