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4/18/18

TheUpDate Weekly Newsletter - April 18, 2018

Happy Wednesday, FCC! This is the day the Lord has made! Let's rejoice and be glad in it! I missed being with you all last Sunday. I love gathering with you all, and I was sad to cancel services. But now I am even more eager to meet together for worship! We are starting a new series, and we are celebrating the Lord's supper together. Can't wait to see you!

STRATEGIC PLAN UPDATES

Our mission is to make more and better disciples of Jesus. The theme for our strategic plan is to create a culture of discipleship with an evangelistic ethos. One of our goals is for everyone to be discipled and making disciples. In the last Update, I introduced the discipleship pyramid. This pyramid clarifies biblical principles that Jesus lived and handed on to his disciples, so that we would live them out as well. The chief principle or reality, that Jesus taught his disciples, is that he isn't just some guru, who can teach us what God is like. No, Jesus is the Son of God, the Lord, and he has come to rescue us. Let me introduce to you the foundation of discipleship!

DISCIPLESHIP PYRAMID

Foundation: Submission to the Supremacy and Lordship of Jesus Christ[1]

The foundation upon which all true discipleship is built and to which all disciples must continually return is this: submission to the Lord Jesus. “Jesus is Lord” has been the creed of the church since its birth, and this is what is implied in Jesus’ call to “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men,” (Mark 1:17).

Practitioners of disciple-making will testify that placing Jesus as Lord is the first and greatest hurdle to anyone wanting to follow Jesus. Throughout the discipleship journey, this must be the foundation to which we return again and again: Jesus is Lord and I can trust him absolutely. Note that none of the disciples were asked at first to make a statement of faith or accept a well-defined creed. All they were asked to do was to follow Jesus as Lord. It can also be noted that Jesus did not have the time nor the desire to scatter himself on those who wanted to make their own terms of discipleship (Matt. 8: 21–22; Luke 9: 59–60). Jesus did not urge his disciples to commit their lives to a doctrine, but to a person who was the doctrine, who loved them and whom they could love. Only as they continued in his teachings and his lordship could they know truth (John 8: 31–32) and become more like him.

[1] This section is copied from our “As You Go Discipleship Paper,” pp 3-4.

GOSPEL REMINDER 

Delighting in the children of man.
Proverbs 8.31

Providing we don't have any more massive blizzards coming our way this spring, we will begin our new series on Proverbs this Sunday, April 22, 2018. In my preparation for this first sermon, a verse jumped out at me. In Proverbs 8, King Solomon employs personification to describe why we should seek God's wisdom and get it above everything else.

Solomon describes Wisdom as rejoicing with God as he created the world. Solomon says that Wisdom rejoiced before God, rejoiced in God's inhabited world, and was delighting in the children of man (Prov 8.30-31). What jumped out at me is the joy, the great joy that God had in creating the world. And the joy was a delight in humanity. God delighted in making us. God delighted in wisely, beautifully, strategically, creatively shaping and giving life to a world that we could enjoy.

This is a gospel reminder to me, because too often my heart is suspicious of God's goodness. Like Eve in the garden, I am tempted to believe that God is holding out on me. But the beauty, order, fruitfulness, stability of creation reminds me that God is good. This is a gospel reminder to me, because we live in the middle between the creation being created good and the new creation. In the middle of the story it is easy to see the injustice, the scarcity, the poverty, the groaning of creation. But this is only the middle. The end, which is really a new beginning, is still to come. As I live in the middle, we can see so many glimpses of the good creation that is broken, and remember that the God who delighted to make this world just right for us, will remake it. When God remakes it, it will have no more injustice, no more brokenness, and everything sad will come untrue.

WORSHIP GATHERING

Provided there will be no Snowmaggedon storms this coming weekend, this Sunday, we are beginning a new series on the book of Proverbs, called Seeking Extraordinary Wisdom. Wisdom is absolutely essential for success in life. Why? Because our lives are all about decisions, and many of the decisions we need to make are not so much about choosing right from wrong, but about what is the wisest right decision to make. God calls us to gain wisdom, for wisdom is more valuable than gold, silver and precious jewels.  Name anything that we can look to for success in life, and God says his wisdom is more valuable than anything else. If we desire good in life, success in life, strength in relationships, etc., it all comes down to wise living and getting wisdom. This week we begin by learning from Proverbs 8.10-16, 22-31 with a sermon called Indispensable Wisdom.

SERMON SERIES RESOURCE

In the Proverbs series, we’ll be talking about wisdom: what it is, how we can get it and what it looks like to live a wise life in the world today. We have a resource available in the café area to go along with the sermon series: “God's Wisdom for Navigating Life: A Year of Daily Devotions in the Book of Proverbs,” by Timothy Keller. This is a hardcover book and available for purchase for $14.

FAITH FORUM – THE GOSPEL AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING

SUNDAY, APRIL 22 – 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Faith Community Church hosts Faith Forums to offer biblical perspective on a variety of culturally relevant topics. The next Faith Forum is scheduled for Sunday, April 22, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on “The Gospel and Human Trafficking.” We have invited Rachel Paulose to speak on the topic. During the Faith Forum, Rachel will address human trafficking and what people of faith can do to understand what it is, why it is important, and what they can do to help fight it. The evening will include a period of Q & A (questions and answers) following Rachel’s presentation.

Rachel is a partner at DLA Piper LLP, currently the largest law firm in the world. As United States Attorney for the District of Minnesota from 2006-2008, Rachel was nominated by President George W. Bush and unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate to serve as Minnesota’s chief federal law enforcement officer. Rachel initiated the first ever prosecutions of human trafficking in Minnesota, overseeing landmark federal cases liberating people from human slavery. Rachel’s leadership also led Minnesota to triple child pornography prosecutions, double gun prosecutions, and record the highest number of prosecutions in the District's history.

Rachel received her J.D. from the Yale Law School, where she was a Coker Fellow. Rachel graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. from the University of Minnesota, which she attended on full merit scholarships and where she was the Commencement Speaker, Chair of the Student Representatives to the Board of Regents, Harry S. Truman Scholar, and Phi Beta Kappa. Rachel is a fourth generation descendant of ministers who has taught Sunday School, led Bible studies, and supported Christian organizations since she was in elementary school. Along with her parents, Joseph and Lucy Paulose, she attends Faith Community Church in Hudson, Wisconsin.

WORTH REPEATING

LISTEN TO AUDIO FROM FAITH FORUM ON “THE GOSPEL AND IMMIGRATION”

On March 25, Faith Community hosted a Faith Forum on “The Gospel and Immigration,” featuring guest speakers, Matt Soerens and Liz Dong. Learn more and listen to the audio recording at fcchudson.com.

FCC DIRECTORY – SIGN UP FOR A PHOTO SESSION!

Be a part of our new FCC family directory–we need YOU to make it complete! Each individual or family photographed will receive a complimentary 8x10 photograph and free directory for participating. Find more information and sign up online for a photo session today at this link.

LEARN ABOUT more FCC events and registrations at fcchudson.com.

Tim Porter

Lead Pastor for the Mission

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