Happy November, FCC! I hope you enjoyed your Reformation Day yesterday, and reminded your heart about the gospel of Jesus! If your conscience allows you, I also trust you enjoyed trick or treating last night. Halloween is such a great missional opportunity, with people walking happily around the neighborhoods graciously receiving candy from neighbors.
Thank you to all who helped make Reformapalooza such a big success. It was a great time together as a church. Visitors were welcomed, friends were encouraged, the Reformers were honored, and fun was had by all!
"As the Lord has forgiven you,
So you also must forgive."
Today we conclude our series on the four promises of forgiveness. Ken Sande reminds us that when we forgive another's sins against us, we are making promises to the offender. The fourth promise we make when we forgive another's sins is: “I will not let this incident stand between us or hinder our personal relationship.” This is the heart of forgiving sins against us, because sins break trust and relationship.
When we are sinned against, we are tempted to not having anything to do with the one who sinned against us. But with forgiving the sins, we do the work to fight against those temptations. We proactively seek to build the relationship and not let the sins committed against us hinder the growth of the relationship. This is true in friendship, in missional communities, in marriage and in parenting relationships. When we grant forgiveness, we promise to proactively build the relationship, even though the offending party has broken the trust.
This is forgiving just as we have been forgiven. Even though we have broken our relationship with God, God forgives us in Jesus, and God does not let our sins against him hinder our relationship with him. We have done all the damage, and God does all the work to restore and repair the relationship.
There is one caveat that Ken wisely makes with this last promise, and it has to do with abuse. Abuse can be forgiven, but with this last promise, because of the power and control and trauma dynamics in abuse, wise and good boundaries should be established for healing and safety. For more on this, I recommend reading Chris Moles The Heart of Domestic Abuse. Also, Holcomb's book Is It My Fault? Hope and Healing for Those Suffering Domestic Violence.
Tim Prince will be preaching this Sunday and next, taking us through 1 Kings 17-18. This series is called Faith In A Faithless World. I am excited to learn from him as he leads through the stories of Elijah.
Each month, people at FCC gather for Global Intercessory Prayer. On Sunday, they will meet at 9:00 a.m. in Rm. 14. The emphasis this month will be "Prayer for the Persecuted Church." LEARN MORE. For more information, please contact Jim and Medora (715) 386-3271.
AFTER BOTH SERVICES NEXT SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 5
At FCC, our mission is to make more and better disciples, and we want to follow Jesus’ example. We want to make disciples who make disciples. And, what we hear often is that people want to live out this mission. But they’re not sure if they’re qualified for discipleship or even where to start. The good news is that if you are a follower of Jesus, you are a disciple of Christ and you are a discipler.
We’re offering a workshop after both services next Sunday, Nov.5 to help equip FCC for discipleship. The workshop is called Bringing the Gospel Home, and will focus on how to bring the gospel into some of our closest relationships: relationships in the home with our families or roommates.
Pat Stream and Emily Graham will be sharing about how they apply the gospel to minister to their kids and spouses. They will share some practical tools that have helped them at home and there will be a time for Q&A. The panel will be facilitated by Diane Bennett.
So plan to be at the workshop next Sunday in the Refuge Room. The same workshop will be offered after both services next Sunday. AND there’s no cost for the workshop, and no need to register.
Baptism is an act commanded by the Lord Jesus Christ as an expression of faith and a symbol of our union with Christ, especially in his death and resurrection. We are planning for baptisms in the services on Sunday, November 19. Pick up a “Believer’s Baptism” brochure at the Info Center for more info or contact Becki at bhedstrom@fcchudson or 715.386.4070 by Sunday, November 12, if you are interested in being baptized.
Everyone is invited to a special worship service on the afternoon of Sunday, Nov. 19, from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. in the auditorium. We’ll be singing hymns from hymnals, and stories about the hymns will also be shared. Please invite your friends and neighbors, too!
Some topics are so crucial, current, debated and/or divisive, they require focused attention in addition to sermons. Faith Community introduced Faith Forums in 2015 as an additional way to offer biblical perspective on culturally relevant topics. Forums include a time of Q & A, and opportunities for respectful dialogue with other believers.
FCC will be hosting our next Faith Forum on “The Gospel and the Sanctity of Human Life,” on Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. We’ve invited Brian Gibson, a national leader in the pro-life movement, to speak. Since 1986, he has served as executive director of Pro-Life Action Ministries. Under Brian’s direction, Pro-Life Action Ministries has grown from a small activist group in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota into the nation’s largest and most organized sidewalk counseling ministry. Over the years, Pro-Life Action Ministries has documented more than 3,200 babies saved directly from abortion. Brian has led 40 Days for Life (a prayer movement to end abortion) in the Twin Cities since the first national Lenten campaign. Brian & his wife, Julie will celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary in October. They have two adult children.
With the Romans series, we have a schedule for memorizing key verses—together as a church—which are crucial for helping us preach the gospel to ourselves and encourage one another as we seek to live out the gospel in all of life. The verses all come from Romans, and correspond to the preaching schedule. Pick up a memory verse card this Sunday to help you memorize the verses each week:
MEMORY VERSE FOR THE WEEK OF OCT. 22
17 I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. (Romans 16:17)