“Every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different than it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing into a heavenly creature or a hellish creature: either into a creature that is in harmony with God, and with other creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred with God, and with its fellow creatures, and with itself. To be the one kind of creature is heaven: that is, it is joy and peace and knowledge and power. To be the other means madness, horror, idiocy, rage, impotence, and eternal loneliness. Each of us at each moment is progressing to the one state of the other.”
Abide: Tools to connect you with God
Here are some tools that I use to connect with God on a daily basis. These supplement my own prayers and Scripture intake:
Pray as you go: https://pray-as-you-go.org/
Daily Prayer: http://www.rethinkme.com/dailyprayer/
Pray the Gospels: https://appadvice.com/app/pray-the-gospels/1296347299
Sign of Peace
A window into a recent church service at Harvest Community Church....
Me: The Peace of God be with you
Me: Let us share with one another the sign of peace.
Congregation: (whispers "what is that?")
We have added into our church service a traditional component called "passing the peace". The pastor begins with a declaration of God's peace towards the people and the people in return declare it back to the pastor. Then the people are encouraged to share a handshake or hug with the other people in the congregation. The sign of peace is often accompanied with the phrase "Peace be with you". It's a way for us to demonstrate the love of God that exists between those in the church and a way to offer peace or reconciliation to those whom we may have strife or conflict with.
We put this in shortly after the sermon has completed and before the Lord's Prayer and Communion.
So when you come to church Sunday and I ask you to share the peace of God with your neighbor, you now know what to do.
Peace be with you
Time is a changin'
Our leadership team has been considering ways to help make Harvest an attractive place to worship God and connect with people. After a good discussion, we've decided that an earlier start time would be a good first step. Starting on July 7th, our worship service will move back 30 minutes to 10:30 AM.
What about the other church?
- I have been working with Pastor Jim from Crossroads and he will be encouraging his congregation to exit the sanctuary before we begin.
- We will begin promptly at 10:30 and those from Crossroads that remain in the sanctuary will be invited to join us. Eventually, they will recognize the new schedule and leave. We will need to operate with grace and love and understanding during this transition.
- We are also working on making the Children's ministry room into an dual purpose room to serve as alternative entrance/coffee/donut/welcome space. This should help with the flow of moving Crossroads out and Harvest in.
Why the new time?
- The sweet spot for starting a church service seems to fall in the 9:30-10:30 time frame. While 11am is only 30 minutes outside this target, it has the perception of being late.
- 10:30 gives us the ability to offer our worship service that would be at an attractive time to visitors.
- At the present time, we end at 12-1230 and that gets to to lunch nearly at 1pm. An earlier start time will allow us to get out earlier.
What have we done to prepare?
- New signs have been ordered reflecting our new time
- The tech and music team will meet at 945 to practice the music
- The hospitality team is making adjustments in their tasks to be ready earlier
In the weeks to follow, we will be looking at ways to help create our worship service accentuating what Harvest does really well. I look forward to sharing these with you.