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    May 22, 2022

    To the Sojourners and little ones in Christ gathered in Ruston,


    May you feel his grace and comfort this day. By definition, light is more powerful than darkness. Light is energy, whereas darkness is nothing and absence. It would seem that we should always be confident that the Light of Christ on and in his Church can therefore not be defeated by darkness. Let us 'walk in the light as he is himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus' (1 John 1:7).


    Side note: Musou Black paint is worth looking up.



    In Sunday School, we continue to think about the importance of Christology as evidenced through church history. We will begin to see how the early church needed the ecumenical councils to address important heresies.


    In worship, we continue in our Matthew Series. How providential that we look at the famous (infamous?) passage of Matthew 18:15–35. We approach hungry for direction, correction, and sanctification by asking How to Forgive and be Forgiven. The passage is easy to ignore and go your own way. But love and Christian conviction demand we heed Christ's words of how to live wisely as children of God. So, come hungry and be fed by Christ.


    Sunday Evenings in May, 5:30-7 pm at Stevens' Casa


    On Sunday evenings fellowship will continue at the Stevens' house. In these times, we desire to partner together for the growth in grace and knowledge of our Lord (2 Peter 3:18).

    We will explore the question of our good works and their role in life and death. Specifically, we want to know, how are we saved?



    REMINDER: See below concerning May 29th at the Zanca home


    Blessings,

    Pastor Chris

    1. May
      24
      Tuesday, May 24th  •  6:30–7:30 pm (CDT)
      Pearce’s home
      1. published a newsletter

        ReadPastor's News
        May 15, 2022

        To the Sojourners and little ones in Christ gathered in Ruston,


        May his comfort, compassion, and conviction be upon you all. I hope you are well and staying hydrated as we get our first taste of hot days.


        As we turn into summer, schools will soon be out, I ask you to give thought to summer plans. Summer is a great time to reach out to neighbors all around Ruston. Invite folks over for dinner on a weeknight. Ask a neighbor to borrow a tool or help with a project. We are salt and light and should promiscuously spread Christ-like love as we are able.


        In Sunday School, we continue to think about the importance of Christology as evidenced through church history. We will begin to feel the need in the early church for the ecumenical councils and what these gatherings teach us about the church. Fun question: When was the first church council?


        In worship, we continue in our Matthew Series. This Sunday we will look at Matthew 18:1–14, Compassion on the Little Ones. It is a fascinating set of teachings that Christ offers concerning children, church, and guardian angels(?). Come hungry and be filled.



        Sunday Evenings in May, 5:30-7 pm at Stevens' Casa


        On Sunday evenings fellowship will continue at the Stevens' house. In these times, we desire to partner together for the growth in grace and knowledge of our Lord (2 Peter 3:18). Also, see below concerning May 29th at the Zanca home


        REMINDER: Please sign up for dinner together on May 18th in the foyer.


        Blessings,

        Pastor Chris

        1. published a newsletter

          ReadPastor's News
          May 8, 2022

          To the Sojourners in Christ gathered in Ruston,


          May his grace be near to you and help your heart be satisfied in Christ. I pray you are all well and are prepared for tomorrow's stormy forecast. I was at Presbytery yesterday and heard strong words of hope and confidence for the PCA.


          First, in Sunday School we continue our series: Christology through Heresy. This week we will look at some movements that mixed legalism with bad Christology, which is always a recipe for a creative heresy.


          In worship, we continue in our series by turning to Matthew 17:14–27. The passage has a strong message for children, adults, those who like governments, those who don't like government, and those who like fishing stories. I am pretty sure that is inclusive of all people. Something quite striking about the scene is how little it is used in modern discussions of Christian conduct. I remind that as politics in America continues to rage, we have a sure, fixed hope. We worship a sure and fixed king. We have nothing to fear, but heartfelt reverence for our triune God. So, come to be built up and equipped for this life and the next.



          Sunday Evenings in May, 5:30-7 pm at Stevens' Casa


          On Sunday evenings fellowship will continue at the Stevens' house. In these times, we desire to partner together for the growth in grace and knowledge of our Lord (2 Peter 3:18). Also, see below concerning May 29th at the Zanca home


          REMINDER: Please sign up for dinner together on May 18th in the foyer.


          Blessings,

          Pastor Chris

          1. published a newsletter

            ReadPastor's News
            May 1, 2022

            To the Body of Christ meeting at CR,


            May his grace shine upon you in every corridor of your heart and mind this day. When we read the Gospel of John, as you should often, we are confronted with the imagery of God's work, life, and love as light. John's play on darkness and light are helpful for us to see God's involvement in our everyday lives. Indeed, may you feel him. We have much address.


            First, in Sunday School we begin a new series: Christology through Heresy. This fun series explores church history and the ecumenical creeds as the church wrestles with the truth. The story includes fist fights, exiling, wrongful arresting, war, church politics, the Bible, and Christ in the middle. It should be a lot of fun. I originally got the idea from a book I reviewed long ago: HERE.


            Second, in worship, we return to our series through Matthew. And what a place to return! In Matthew 17:1–13, we are given a preview, just a glimpse, of Jesus' true identity at the Transfiguration. It is a wonderful place to return. So, after looking reviewing Christ's humility at the cross and tomb, just comes back to Christ's glory and power.


            Third, we are continuing to develop our Sunday Evenings in homes. Having experienced the benefits of fellowship within homes we can build on those experiences to implement ideas the Session has had on the agenda for some time. While it will be easier to present on Sunday, I will preview the matters here.


            In sum, there are multiple desires and needs that may not be well fulfilled by a single action. There is a great need for community and for fellowship, which are slightly different. There is also a great need for edification and growth, as Scripture points out and our culture reminds us. Together the matters concern discipleship. Discipleship is a holistic activity and needs multiple avenues of input. Analogous to fitness, discipleship needs both exercise and diet; one without the other will diminish the return on effort. Therefore, we do well to have both.


            On Sunday evenings, we will focus on fellowship. In these times, we will partner together for the growth in grace and knowledge of our Lord (2 Peter 3:18). Through interactive exchange and sharing, we grow, but we must also heed the wisdom of Scripture that we need to grow in knowledge too.


            Sunday Evenings in May, 5:30-7 pm at Stevens' Casa


            Additionally, we will further foster our community bondedness. As the early church met regularly, so too we can prioritize meaningful time together ... or in the words of Bonhoeffer, life together. We will begin this through bi-monthly dinners. We will have a signup sheet at church on Sunday, and I can explain the details more then. But be prayerful on the two needs; hungry people and hosting homes.


            That is enough for one newsletter. I look forward to seeing you all over soon.




            Blessings,

            Pastor Chris

            1. published a newsletter

              ReadPastor's News
              April 24, 2022

              To saints of the Cross,


              May his grace on account of the cross and empty tomb be heavy upon you.


              This Sunday in worship, we continue to celebrate Easter. One of the foundational principles of Reformed worship is that we remember the cross and partake of the empty tomb each week. And so we rejoice. Not like the male disciples who left confused. Rather, we approach the throne room confident of the intercessory work of the one who looks like a slain lamb but reigning.


              In worship, we will look at one of the key things Christ merited in his resurrection, namely head of his church. The Kingdom of God is a Christocracy for his glory and our good. We will look at the very important message of Ephesians 4:7–16. To prime the pump let me ask two things: 1) Why does the church (organic and institution) exist? 2) Why is abandoning the church abandoning Christ?


              The sermon will prepare us nicely for a special event in the life of our family. We will be installing a New Deacon. Please prepare for the celebration of seeing Ephesians 4 still being carried out in the present. The King is still ruling his church and will not fail!


              In Sunday School, we will look at a few requests for my personal position on some topics. While I am typically reluctant to talk about my personal position, I think it can be helpful to cover a few matters in brief. So, come all ye curious.



              Reminder: Evening Services for April will be at the Blackburn home from 5:30-7 pm. Please plan to join for 'face-to-face' fellowship and singing.



              Blessings,

              Pastor Chris