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Minister's Blog

July, 2023

June 28, 2023

Forward in Faith
What an exciting time in the life of our church! God has been working in our midst over the past several months in a noticeable way. God is always working, but it is so encouraging when He moves in ways that are noticeable and undeniable. Whether it be the baptisms, membership editions, newly ordained deacons, or expansion of our sober living ministry, we have seen the Lord stirring people to steps of faith. The unity of the church through changes and steps forward has also been a blessing. The unanimous vote to change our by-laws to make provision for a board of elders was amazing. The discussion and the vote at our quarterly business meeting demonstrated a clear understanding and recognition of the Biblical teachings and a willingness to follow them into previously unfamiliar territory. Jesus stated in His high priestly prayer, I have given them the glory you have given me, so that they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me, so that they may be made completely one, that the world may know you have sent me and have loved them as you have loved me, (John 17:22-23, CSB). We know we owe all oneness to the work of the Spirit, but we also recognize we are to pray for it and encourage it so that Christ might be glorified through our church.
We are still catching our breath from Vacation Bible School, one of our most intense weeks of ministry, and we are looking forward to beginning our sanctuary remodel in just a couple of weeks. Please join me in bathing the transitions of the upcoming month in prayer. We are all going to experience some momentary inconveniences, but the long-term benefits are going to be amazing. Our inconveniences and interrupted routines are sometimes indicators of a need to be stretched or awakened to see where the Lord wants us to grow. I want to challenge us to commit to something as we move through this transition: Join me in committing to faithfulness. Faithfulness can be sought and observed in several areas. In church life it is most easily observed in attendance, giving, and service. Please do not let the inconveniences of our temporary worship space or relocated Sunday school classes hinder your faithful attendance. We need to meet for encouragement and corporate worship. So much prayer, discipleship, and ministry flow from our Sunday morning small group Bible studies. Commit to faithful giving, both of your tithes and the renovation. We have been blessed in the past several years to be able to start new ministries and increase the budget. This is due to your faithfulness. Our goal for congregational giving for the renovation is $160,000. We have already surpassed $100,000. Let’s surpass that goal! If we are all faithful to continue to give sacrificially, the Lord will enable us to do it! Commit to faithfully serve. There are going to be service opportunities throughout the next several months. It may be something as simple as moving chairs, pews or tables. It may be through upcoming prayer, outreach, and revival efforts. Are you willing to commit to faithful service wherever possible? My experience here at Emmanuel leads me to believe I’ll continue to observe faithfulness in our congregation as we move forward in faith.
Sober Living Ministry Update: Our second sober living house is up and running. Austin Forsythe has come alongside Grant Garlington to become the manager of the second house (Siloam). The Siloam house is next door to the original house (Bethesda). The Lord has already provided most of the needed furnishings, the finances, and a new resident. Please continue to bathe this ministry in prayer! Reach out to Grant or myself if you want to know how to connect or help.

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