Pastor Kip's Email
April 20, 2018
Happy Friday! I pray that you are well as you have opened this week's email and are preparing for a great Sunday morning.
This Sunday will have several folks joining the church at the 8:00 and 9:30 services. As we typically do, I'll invite the folks to join me in the front of the church, introduce them to you, ask them the traditional questions of faith, and then invite you to stand and welcome them. Also please remember that you are welcomed to come stand with them during this time so they do not feel too alone. It is always a wonderful blessing to have people join our congregation, so we will rejoice together.
Our scripture for this week is John 10:11-18. Now I know that as soon as you hear John 10 that the first thing that comes to your mind is the "Good Shepherd" passage. And sure enough we will be addressing a portion of this passage.
In the very first verse we hear why this text is part of the Lectionary reading for this 4th Sunday of the Easter Season. In the first verse Jesus says; "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." So immediately there is a reference to the crucifixion. He goes on from there to address the hired hand, who is not the good shepherd. In fact the hired hand cares nothing for the sheep, and runs when the wolf comes around, leaving the sheep on their own.
In the following verses Jesus then talks about the sheep and includes sheep of another sheep pen. These other sheep would be the Gentiles, or us. He then goes on to address the giving of his life, in that no one takes his life from him, but that he lies it down of his own desire. He mentions that he has the authority to lay it down and to take it back up again.
When I was in seminary, I had one preaching class with the famous Dr. Fred Craddick. I never liked his class. He basically read from the preaching book which he had written. He never heard us preach a word, all the grading was done by doctorial students. However, there was one thing that I took from his class; always look into the story or event from various angles. Look into it from the various people involved or whatever other way you could see the event or story, so you could obtain a better rounded perspective.
Why am I telling you this? Good question. I am going to do just what Dr. Craddick taught, to help add another dimension to what Jesus is saying. We will look at the story from the sheep's perspective. So when you read this text, focus on the sheep. Imagine what they are hearing and how it will impact their lives. This is what we will do this Sunday.
As many of you already know, Sharon Cooley will be leaving the middle of June. This means that we are seeking an Audio/Visual technician to fill her place. So if you know of someone with the skills to fill this position, please have them contact the church office.
Well, that is all from me, so I'll turn this over to Donna...
God Bless-Pastor Kip
Our new Pastor is going to have a LOT of names to try to remember so let's make it a little easier for him by wearing our nametags on a regular basis whenever we are at the church. I am sure he would appreciate that as he maneuvers his way through this maze. We may not see our church's size as intimidating, but try to think back to when it was still unfamiliar to you. That was another story, I am sure. I know, because when we hold our new member class they are amazed at the size and scope of our campus. That being said, if you have misplaced or lost your nametag and need us to order a new one, please call the office or leave a note at the welcome desk with your name LEGIBLY PRINTED requesting a new one. And FYI, if we have already issued you a name tag, then any additional ones are $6.00 each. You can leave a check or cash in one of the green tithing envelopes that you will find in the pews with your name on it and please write NEW NAMETAG on the outside of the envelope, so the counters will know where to apply those funds.
If you would like to send a card of welcome and good wishes to our soon to be new Pastor Chris, here is his mailing addresses: Pastor Chris Kirk, 6502 Grazing Lane, Odessa FL 33556. If you would prefer to email him, his email address is email@example.com.
The Finance Committee would like to thank the congregation for supporting the "Extra Mortgage Payment" fund drive again this year. To date we have raised $19,513.00 and this amount has been applied directly to principal. Your generosity is awesome! Bill Murray, Chairman
In case you haven't heard yet (since Mary Lee Millikin is the one who normally takes care of the prayer chain), she fell and broke her hip Wednesday morning. Last I heard from her was Wednesday afternoon and Seven Rivers Hospital was preparing to transport her to Bayfront Hospital in St. Pete. She originally thought she had broken her left hip, but then she said after consultation with the doctors and seeing her X-Rays that she had actually suffered a "complex fracture of her pelvis", so I don't honestly know what to report at this time. Suffice to say we need to be praying for a quick recovery for her and prayers for her doctors, surgeons, nurses and therapists as she climbs this hill of recovery and therapy which will surely follow. We will keep you updated as we hear from her or her visitors. Please keep all involved in your prayers as they put our friend and family member back in one piece. She is a tough ol' bird, but our prayers are definitely needed at this time.
As much as it pains me to report this, our church has lost a very dear, sweet Christian man this week. Jack Schrock passed away Wednesday, April 18th surrounded by his loving family. He was a larger than life man with a perpetual smile on his face and a contagious love for our Lord. He will be missed by so very many. A celebration of his life has been scheduled for Saturday, April 28th at 10am in the Sanctuary with a lunch reception to immediately follow in fellowship hall. Please keep his family in your prayers.
Donna Munsen, Administrator