What has been the biggest change since I last wrote this letter? None of the things you might expect. On the surface of my life and the life of the church, things seem much the same. But there has been a change...
In the early days of February, I learned of something going on at Asbury University in Kentucky, a move of the Spirit, a "revival". I hear of these things from time to time and don't pay much attention. But the friends who told me were pretty excited, so I decided to check it out. I got pretty excited, too.
Chapel was over at Asbury on February 8, and everyone had gone off to class- everyone but a few, who lingered and continued to worship. And continued to worship. And continued. Eventually, a few others drifted back, and then a few more, and by evening the chapel was full again, and thus began 2 full weeks of 24-7 worship and prayer.
Others heard of it and started coming, first from the village, then from nearby, then from around the country, and even from around the world. And eventually, I went, too, convinced that God had opened the door for me and a few friends to experience this for ourselves. I am so glad I went. I would go again in a heartbeat. I have been changed- how much and in what ways remains to be seen.
What I experienced there was the tangible presence of God- something I long for every day, for myself, for my family and friends, and for our congregation. God is the orchestrator of this. How long it will continue, and where else it will pop up remains to be seen. Already it is spreading on other college campuses.
I'm writing about this because I don't want to forget it. I can't say, "Well that was nice" and go back to the way things were. Can't and don't want to.
It all has to do with hunger- something we talked about a few weeks ago. Are we hungry for God? Do we long for him more than anything else? If we don't, I pray we would. God is moving in amazing ways in our times, and I want to be a part of it.
How about you?
I love you all!
Sundays - Every Sunday - Worship Service - 10:30 am in person and via Zoom.
3/5 - Communion Sunday - Message based on John 14
3/12 - Message based on John 15
3/19 - Message based on John 16
3/26 - Message based on John 17
Wednesdays - Every Wednesday Bible Study - 7 PM - via Zoom
Thursdays - 3/2 - Church Board Meeting - 7 PM via Zoom
Saturdays - 3/11 - Daylight Savings Starts - Be sure to move your clocks ahead one hour tonight!
For Zoom links, contact Gary at firstname.lastname@example.org
Other News -
Communion Sunday - Celebrate Communion on Sunday, March 5. If you are on Zoom, please have your own elements ready.
Mark Loewecke - In case you missed it, our dear friend and member of the church, Mark Loewecke passed away on Tuesday, February 28. The visitation will be held Friday, March 10 from 4 - 7 PM at the Poplar Grove Fire Station on 173. The funeral will be held the next day, Saturday, March 11 at 10 am at our church. Please continue to keep Joyce and their family in your prayers.
March Messages - The messages on Sundays in March will all be from the book of John. Plan on reading the chapters for each week before you come to church. They are listed above.
Church Board Members - Thank you to the following people who are serving on the church board for 2023. The trustees are Dave Kohl, Bob Lyford, and Curt Moore. The deacons are Barb Kohl, Mike McGinnis, and Nikki Maurice. The clerk is Rita Gillette. The financial secretary is Nathalie Lyford and the treasurer is Dave Walker. The communion helpers are Judy Murphy and Jessica Boezem. Judy is also the member at large. Always feel free to contact them about questions, concerns, or needs you may have. They do a wonderful job of helping to guide our church! Thanks to Jill Gray for serving as our clerk this past year.
Coin Collection - We have been collecting coins for several years now. We use this for our benevolence fund. Our next collection is at the end of April.
Missing Tablecloths - There are two rectangular tan plastic tablecloths missing from downstairs. Does anyone know where they might be? Let Judy Murphy know if you do.
Small Church - We feel blessed to have a smaller church where we can really know each other. But we still have to work hard to make that happen. Make sure you greet someone you don't really know. Look around and intentionally go up to those you have not met yet.
Offering - You can leave your offering on the plate at the back of the church or mail it to Nathalie Lyford. Thank you so much for your faithful support.
Palm Sunday - 4/2 - Read John 12 to prepare for that day.
Maundy Thursday - 4/6 - Communion Service - 7 PM - In the past, we had dinner ahead of the service. Wondering if there is any interest in that this year. Perhaps a potluck? Please let Gary or Jennifer know if that is something you would attend.
Easter Sunday - 4/9
Gary Schwerin, pastor