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From the Pastor's Desk,

February is shaping up to be an exciting month. Many of us are going on a mission trip to Van Buren, Missouri. If you're not going, you can still be a part of the excitement. The tentative plan is to leave on February 18 right after the morning worship service. That means everyone in worship can be a part of the sendoff!

We will have the van loaded prior to worship. Immediately after the service, we'll invite everyone outside (or in the Narthex if the weather is bad) and we'll share a prayer and blessing on the group. Then those leaving on the mission trip will load and depart and everyone else will be able to head to the fellowship hall for refreshments. The return will also be an inclusive event with the mission group giving their insights and experiences almost immediately after returning on February 25. We're hoping that you'll be a part of both, gathering to rejoice in the work that God is doing. We’ll also be having a potluck on February 25 after Sunday School.

Also in February we will begin our Sunday evening Lenten services. These are wonderful times of worship where we can gather as a whole community in one church as we worship one God. This year we will have our normal dramas, but we will also incorporate something new, too. Pastor Kyle from St. James is working on a special addition that incorporates both music and scripture, so we'll have something for all tastes. I encourage you to come out and experience all these additional services.

The drama this year centers on the disciples of Jesus. As they have conversations with each other, they will share with us “How to be a Disciple” (the drama's name.) We'd especially like our men to take the roles of the disciples, but there are other parts as well. You won't need to memorize your lines, and basically you'd only be needed for the night of your actual production and the Sunday night before so you can practice. Please contact me if you’re willing, otherwise I'll be contacting you.

The last thing I want to mention is a reminder that our goals for last year can also be good goals for this year. I had someone comment that they missed reading the bible passage each day because they were done with our challenge to read the One Year Bible. Challenge yourself! Read through the bible again. Can you imagine what would happen if we all read through the bible on a regular basis? Our spiritual understanding would skyrocket! Our connection with God would increase! Our ability to encourage and support each other based on scriptural understanding would multiply!

I encourage you to go back and pick up the One Year Bible and start again. You can start on any day that you want and you'll get right back into the cycle. I'd also encourage you to read the chapters each week for the Believe series. Both are forms of God's word and we need God's word to maintain our spiritual lives.

Would you bring your car to a mechanic that studied how to work on cars from the 1950s and then never did any continuing ed since then? Of course not. They need to know about the electronics and the computers. They need to know everything from the basics of how an engine runs to all the intricate relays that cause those alarms to go off.

So why do you think that your spiritual health will be maintained without keeping up with God's word? It is living and active. Because of that, it always has potential for a new message. Don't take better care of your car than your spiritual life. You can always trade off your car if you need a new one, but you only have one life in which you can walk with your Savior.

In His Service,

Pastor Gary

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