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This Week’s Message

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.
Colossians 3:12-14

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This Week’s Message

Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup — where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?
James 2:15-17

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Holy Week 2019 Pastoral Call to Fast and Pray

As we travel in our Lenten journey this year, our church once again encourages and will engage in an annual period of fasting and prayer from Good Friday to Easter Sunday. We started this practice 15 years ago, and for the past seven years we have emphasized making this special time be about becoming more attuned than ever to the work God would have us do as individuals and as a church.

In that time, we have focused our prayers on our church and its direction — on how to better do the work God has laid out for us. We have had significant growth in outreach to the community and to God’s people. The miracle stories seem to happen at a dizzying pace. With more than 20 years of history as a congregation, we celebrate our past and present — and we prayerfully look to our future.

It is only with your support that we have become a church that is affirming, inclusive and progressive in our ministry, and it is only with your help and prayer that it can continue.

The pastoral staff and I have been moved by God’s spirit to again call for this time of fasting and prayer. I hope that you will consider joining us in this spiritual practice — and in particular, to join me in Candler Park, near picnic pavilion 2, on Holy Saturday, April 20th between 10am and 2pm, to pray together and also to pray for those who are joining us in person or in spirit.

Here are the details of our time of fasting and prayer:

  • Our fast begins on Good Friday at the conclusion of the 7pm service at the foot of the Cross on the lawn of First Christian Church of Decatur.
  • Our theme this year is “Taking Our Inventory“.
  • On Holy Saturday in Candler Park, I will lead us through a day of prayer. If you have a signed covenant with our church, I appeal to you especially to participate in this sacred and holy time of reflection and of seeking God’s direction for this fellowship. (If you have small children, don’t let that stop you from participating; let us know you intend to be there and we can discuss arrangements for child care.)

For this year’s meditation, here are some questions I encourage you to focus on:

  • How does this year’s meditation translate for you in the life of Gentle Spirit Christian Church? What kinds of spiritual inventory have you pursued?
  • What can each of us do to witness a spiritual inventory through our vision and mission?
  • What do we need to do as individuals to continue to take a spiritual inventory?
  • Indeed, what does a spiritual inventory actually look like?

Easter is a special opportunity for us to set ourselves aside and focus on God, to allow God to speak to each of us individually and to all of us as a church. I hope you’ll join us in this spiritual practice beginning at with our Good Friday service and concluding with our Easter (Resurrection Sunday) Sunrise Service in Candler Park, picnic Pavilion 2.

In the meantime, I hope you’ll find this year’s Lenten readings useful in your spiritual practice.

God bless,
Pastor Paul