Happy Wednesday! There is a lot going on, so this Update is full—make sure you read to the end! But before that, I want to say thank you, FCC. Thank you for praying for 21 days leading up to Easter. Thank you for inviting friends and family to our Easter services. We had nearly 1,400 people hear the gospel of Jesus last Sunday with an opportunity to say “yes” to Jesus. In an effort to be more evangelistic, we also had a “yes” team ready to respond to anyone who said “yes” to Jesus. Praise God one person met with the “yes” team, and reported to saying “yes” to follow Jesus. Heaven rejoices, and so do we!!!
Keep praying and keep inviting! One new opportunity for inviting is Christianity Explored starting up this Thursday, April 25. This is a seven-week course designed to learn about Jesus from the Gospel of Mark and have an opportunity to have any questions about Jesus answered. There is free child care and dinner. You can register yourself and a friend at fcchudson.com.
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
Last year on Labor Day, I took Seth to Valley Fair for the day. This year he was determined to go on the Wild Thing and Steel Venom roller coasters. He was afraid (especially afraid of Steel Venom), but wanted to go on them. I wanted to help him succeed, so I did for him, what you probably have done for yourself or for someone else. I told him to watch the people on the cars. As we stood in line, and as we kept moving forward in line, I told him to watch the people. Some looked scared. Others with great joy sat waiting for the ride to engage. We heard the click, click, click of the cars going up the first incline, then the screams and laughs as the ride went on. Then we saw the people’s faces as they came back. Joy, excitement, exhilaration. This gave Seth confidence to go on the rides.
Every one of us is standing in line. And our line leads everyone to the same place. We are going to die. And, one of the most difficult parts of death is that it’s like a roller coaster, that we can see someone enter, but they never come back. This makes death terrifying. What is on the other side?
But with Jesus, we have so much hope. With Jesus, we have someone who has died and has come back again. He went through death, suffered in our place for our sins, and came out the other side, raised to new life. He’s the only one in history to do this. And, he has done it for us.
Because Jesus has the power to give life, and because Jesus died the death we deserve for our sins, we can be freed from fear of dying. We can still hate it, be angry with it, mourn it, but fears can be swallowed up in hope. Why?
Because Jesus says, if we say “yes” to him, and we trust him, even though we die, we will live again. George Herbert once wrote, “Death used to be an executioner, but Jesus has made it a gardener.” We are sown into the ground, so that one day we will rise again. Jesus has that kind of power. With Jesus there is hope. With Jesus there is someone who has been there, and come back again, and he says everything is going to be ok. Trust me.
Do you believe this?
Is there someone in your life, you can share this with? This is the greatest of all news. Let it shape your heart, and as it does, share it with others!
This Sunday, I will kick off a new teaching series from Paul’s letter to the Christians in the ancient city of Philippi. This series is called “Eclipse.” In Philippians, Paul teaches that a relationship with Jesus is of surpassing worth. Jesus is of such worth that he eclipses all things, which we might hold valuable. On Sunday, I will teach from Philippians 1.21-26 on “Purpose and Hope.” I will be talking about how a relationship with Jesus gives us a new purpose, that always has the potential of joy, with a hope that even death can’t take away.
If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless right now, this sermon will be really helpful. Come this Sunday and invite a friend who either needs hope or is curious about Jesus.
Because of some of the unique challenges of pastoral ministry and to provide a focused time for growth and leadership development, Faith Community has a Sabbatical Policy for our pastors. So periodically a pastor will go on sabbatical to rest, refresh and recharge and learn. Last year, Pastor Larry Szyman was on a three-month sabbatical. This year the elders approved for me to go on a three-month sabbatical. This comes at a great time for me and for FCC. I have been pastoring since 2001. I haven’t had a sabbatical yet, and I could use the rest and recharge. Our oldest son is going to college in the fall, and I am excited to spend a little more time with him before he leaves. And, lastly, we are a little over halfway through our five-year strategic plan, with which we are seeking to create a culture of discipleship with an evangelistic ethos. I want to grow in my evangelistic abilities and skills. I, also, want to learn from evangelistic churches around the country on their best practices for ways we can do everything we can to help everyone meet, know, and follow Jesus. I will start my sabbatical on May 13 and will return to preaching and leading again on August 25.
During the summer, we will have other FCC pastors and guest preachers lead us through the book of Psalms. This series will be teaching us how to bring the real you to the real God in prayer and praise. This is going to be a great teaching series. I am very excited for it.
Please pray for me and my family. Pray that I get rest during the sabbatical and that I am able to recharge for the next steps in our strategic plan. I have been praying that God would help me become more evangelistic, that our leaders would grow in evangelism, and that sharing the gospel would be the air we breathe. Please pray that I would learn and grow and be equipped.
Want to help serve our neighbors across the St. Croix Valley this summer?
FaithWorks is about joining Christ in renewing the neighborhoods. Our vision is to show our neighbors love by performing service projects to individuals, families, parks, schools and agencies throughout our area. We pay special attention to the elderly, widows and single parent families. We also consider funding projects for those with acute needs in keeping with the funding that exists.Volunteers serve together on everything from painting and yard work to home maintenance and clean up. What we are finding is that as we serve together, our lives are enriched in the process. In our giving, we receive. Consider being part of any part or all of FaithWorks 2019!
Ways you can help! Visit fcchudson.com or the FaithBase app to:
Participating in the Hudson Backpack Program is one way FCC serves the families in our community, as part of living out our vision of renewed neighborhoods. With your help, backpacks filled with breakfast, lunch and food items are provided to families at Willow River Elementary and families at E.P. Rock Elementary twice a month during the school year.
Eph. 6:10-12 (Temptation)
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
BAPTISMS will be on Sunday, May 5, at the 9am & 11am services.If you are interested in taking this step in your faith journey, contact Becki at firstname.lastname@example.org Monday, April 29. Questions? We have baptism resources by the Café or contact Pastor Tim Prince at email@example.com.
Led by Gregg Bennett and Jeff Burton
Sunday, April 28, | After both the 9 and 11 am services in the Refuge Room
No registration, just come!
“Why Should I Trust the Bible?”
3-Week Class - April 28, May 5 and May 12
10:15 - 11:00AM
This class is designed for middle school students (current grades 6-8th) hosted by Brian Riddle, where he will discuss the reliability of Scripture and answer questions about the trustworthiness of the Bible. Using archaeology, manuscripts, and the fulfillment of prophecy, students will explore how the Bible is verified by evidence, and gives all-the-more reason to seriously consider Jesus’ claims to Lordship. This class will be held for 3 weeks on Sundays in-between services from 10:15-11:00am. REGISTER TODAY at fcchudson.comor on the FaithBase app.
LEARN ABOUT FCC events and registrations at fcchudson.com or the app. Search for “Faith Community Church Hudson” on the App Store or Google play to download the app.
PRAYER REQUESTS + CARE NEEDS are now posted on the Prayer + Care wall on the app. You can also sign up on the app under “Emails + Registrations,” if you would like to receive an email when new prayer requests and care needs are posted.
Wondering if something at FCC is canceled? Check fcchudson.com or the app.