Summer has arrived!!! What a gift of weather we are experiencing. May we receive this day with great thanks to our great God!!!
I was honored last week to let you all know that we will be seeking the affirmation of FCC's members for Josh Graham to be an elder for the River Falls Missional Community (See more about this below). This week I have the honor of announcing that on the same day we are voting to affirm Josh as an elder, we will also be praying for Eric Lent to become an elder apprentice for Faith Community.
Eric is a solid and beloved teacher, a servant leader, and has been in training for elder apprenticeship for a few years. He is excited to bring his skills and gifts to help FCC accomplish our mission of making more and better disciples of Jesus.
Mark your calendars, because June 10 will be a big morning for affirming leaders for FCC!
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.
(2 Corinthians 8.9)
Ok, it's probably a bit dangerous for me to do this since we are just getting over what seemed like a very long winter, but do you remember “The Christmas Carol?” You know, the story about Ebenezer Scrooge? Scrooge was a stingy malcontent who hated Christmas, who hated giving money away.
But the night before Christmas, everything changed for Scrooge. He was given a glimpse of his past, present and future. As he saw his future—a lonely grave, a man forgotten, who had no friends—he was terrified. In his dream, he fell into the grave, but then he actually woke up in his bed. He realized that he wasn't dead, and that it was actually Christmas morning. Scrooge was changed by a second chance. Scrooge was changed by grace.
Upon the delight of his second chance, Scrooge became generous.
The apostle Paul, writing hundreds of years before Charles Dickens, argues the same way about grace and generosity. In 2 Corinthians 8-9, Paul is reminding the Corinthians about their promise to give to a collection that Paul was receiving for the Jerusalem church. In this section of his letter, he reminds the Corinthians about Jesus, and his grace for us. Jesus, though he was rich, became poor for us, that we would become rich.
We were relationally and spiritually poor before God. Our sin had accumulated a debt that we could not pay back. But God has done for us what we were powerless to do. Jesus became poor for us. He took on our poverty, so that we could take on his riches. This is grace!
When we get this grace, when it really lands on our hearts, our relationship to our financial resources is changed. When we delight in the grace of God's generosity toward us, it creates in our hearts the driving desire to be generous with our resources as well. Give your whole heart to delighting in the rich generosity of God!
This Sunday we will be hosting Olive Aneno from Compassion International. She will be telling us about her story and the life-transforming power of Christian generosity. I will also be teaching from Proverbs 19.17 on the mystery of “Profitable Generosity.”
In the current sermon series, Proverbs: Seeking Extraordinary Wisdom, we’re 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.
Compassion Sunday helps give focus to how we can help children across the globe to receive Christ-centered education and health care through Compassion International sponsorship. We’re very excited to host Olive Aneno, who will share here personal story of Compassion sponsorship during our worship services. Olive was born and raised in Northern Uganda, in a region terrorized by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). When she was six years old, she was forced to hide alone in the forest overnight as the LRA seized her village. Spared from death, abduction or worse, Olive soon moved to the capital city of Kampala to live with her single mother, who registered her for Compassion’s child development program. For the first time, she was able to attend school, wear properly fitting clothing and shoes, eat nutritious meals and receive healthcare. When her mom passed away three years later, though an orphan, Olive had valuable family and support through her Compassion sponsorship. South Carolina State University awarded Olive a volleyball scholarship, and she graduated summa cum laude with her bachelor’s degree in social work. She went on to earn her master’s in social work from the University of Georgia, and recently received her second master's degree in public health, graduating in May 2016. Olive is highly respected and sought after in her field, having received multiple awards, scholarships and merits for her work. Olive now works as a social worker and lives with her son in Athens, Georgia. (Source: https://www.compassion.com)
Faith Community has participated in Compassion Sunday for several years, and many families at Faith Community sponsor children through Compassion International. Thank you for your generosity and faithfulness to these children and their families! Want to help a child, too? This Sunday, you’ll have the opportunity to sponsor a child from Compassion International centers around the world. The cost is $38 per month and provides the child with a Christ-centered education and health care. Please prayerfully consider sponsoring a child. Just stop by the table in the lobby on Sunday to learn more. If you have any questions, please contact Mike Krueger at 612-759-6174 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LEARN MORE about Compassion International in this brief video.
Faith Community Church is an elder led body. We have both Family of Families elders and Missional Community elders, and we commend elder apprentices in waves. As men complete the elder vetting process and are ready, we commend them to the congregation for apprenticeship. Josh Graham has been serving as an elder apprentice since 2017, and on June 10, Faith Community members will vote to affirm him as an elder for the River Falls Missional Community.
Josh is a man who not only fulfills the character qualities of 1 Tim 3 and Titus 1, but he also lives out the discipleship principles articulated in our discipleship pyramid. He is seeking to help others bring them into their lives, as well.
You can pick up a copy of the FCC shepherding booklet this Sunday for more information about biblical shepherding and the names and photos of FCC’s elders and elder apprentices.
On April 22, Faith Community hosted a Faith Forum on “The Gospel and Human Trafficking,” featuring guest speaker, Rachel Paulose. Find audio recordings of Rachel’s presentation and the Q + A following her presentation at fcchudson.com.
Thank you for your participation in the Faith Forum held last Sunday night on “The Gospel and Human Trafficking.” Our speaker shared many facts on the subject, including a statistic that places the Twin Cities as one of the top centers of human trafficking in the nation. Grace Church in Eden Prairie, Minn., is hosting the Stop the Trafficking 5K Walk/Run for Justice on Saturday, June 9, to help raise awareness about human trafficking. The event will take place at Purgatory Creek Park, 13001 Technology Drive, Eden Prairie, MN 55344. To learn more about the event, please visit https://www.stopthetraffickingrun.org