Another Pastoral Epistle 8/7/18

“Sunshine without rain makes a desert.”  That Arab proverb reminds us that all living things can’t live on sunshine alone.  We all understand the need for rain.  Without rain, drought conditions make it ripe for the latest wildfires burning across California.  Please pray for the thousands affected by this deadly blaze.  
 
Without rain, things dry up.  Sunshine without rain makes a desert.  That is true for our spiritual lives.  Without storms our souls are at risk of drying up.  I am reminded of the prophet Jeremiah.  All was not well for him.  There is an entire book written about his experience with storms. Have you read through the Old Testament book of Lamentations lately?  Why read a book of laments?  That would be just too depressing.  In Lamentations we find these statements;
   
   “All the people groan”
   “My groans are many”
   “My heart is faint.”
   “See, how distressed I am”
   “My eyes overflow with tears.”  
   “I am tormented within”
   “My eyes fail from weeping”
 
Why would anyone look to this book for edification? I admit, it isn’t as fun to read as say the book of Ruth or the book of Esther, but it is rich in its usefulness to our lives.  The Bible meets us where we live life.  It has room for every element of human experience including overwhelming human sorrow. Do you know sorrow?  
 
Lamentations does not offer quick and easy solutions to the suffering we are experiencing.  It will not give you cheap cures.  But it can show you how a loving and gracious God can work through even the most painful moments in your life.  It is in the book of Lamentations that we find those familiar words, “His mercies are new every morning, great is your faithfulness.”  
 
Be honest, when are you most likely to speak of God’s faithfulness?  Under what conditions do we sing with enthusiasm, “Great is thy faithfulness”? For Jeremiah, it was when he was at the lowest of lows.  These words came after, “I have been deprived of peace; I have forgotten what prosperity is.” It is on the heels of these words, “My splendor is gone and all that I had hoped from the Lord.”  (Check out Lamentations 3:1-20).  
 
When the storms come into our lives; when the rain falls, “call this to mind,” Jeremiah says in verse 21, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions (his mercies) never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”  He then puts his finger on why he can praise God in the storms- verse 24, “I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’”
 
So when the rain of life comes remember that the Lord is your portion and without the rain your soul would dry up.   God is faithful to speak to you in the storm. Great is God’s faithfulness! Always!
 
Sufficient in Him,
Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

“When to be intolerant of tolerance”
Revelation 2:18-29

Link to View Last Sunday’s Sermon

video

ELMM

The next meeting of the Military Ministry (ELMM) will be Saturday Aug. 11 @ 0800 in the Fellowship hall. Veterans, retirees, active duty military, men, women and all denominations are welcome. So please come join us in fellowship, prayer and discussion of our common bond of those who serve.

Financial Review Meeting

A Financial Review is an opportunity to learn in more detail our budget for the coming year in a discussion format. Budgets are still available on the back Ministry Counter. 
August 12th9:50-10:25 Room 104

Communion

We will be sharing communion together this Sunday. Please consider donating to EBC’s deacon’s fund. This fund helps those in need in our congregation as well as in our community.

Women’s Ministry Bible Study

Tuesday August 14th “Armor of God” led by Anna Yasharian

Baptism Class

August 19thfor those under 12
August 26thfor ages 12 and older
Meets in Room 104 9:50am-10:20am

Discovery Class

Sundays @ 8:30am for 4 weeks starting September 9thMeeting in the Fellowship Hall
This class is for those who desire to become members or anyone who would like to learn more about our church.

Church Picnic

Will be held on Sunday, September 9that Opechee Point after the 2ndservice. 
Bring some chairs, a picnic for your family and outdoor games to share! 
Baptism will take place between 2-2:30pm weather permitting.

Another Pastoral Epistle 7/25/18

A week from Sunday, Larry and Lula Filbert will be visiting with us.  We have had the privilege for several years partnering with them as they serve with Pioneers.  To help you get reacquainted with them before they visit with us on 8/5, I have included an excerpt from their latest newsletter.

Pastor Brian

Hi everyone, 
July is our month to take some down time and we will be taking a vacation to visit our kids in Kentucky for a week.
 
Please pray for us in the weeks ahead as we ask God to continue to show us specific steps he wants us to take moving forward.  We believe he is calling us to dig in and keep going.  Pray that God will open a door for our message as we continue to seek to reach out in the Lancaster community, and pray that He will bless our efforts in ongoing training and coaching relationships with field workers.
 
We have also had to take a pay cut as our account has gone into the red for the first time in 33 years.  Please pray God will give us wisdom on how to address this financial issue.  
 
Other prayer needs and updates:
1. Training with new appointees:  We had a great time and a lot of good discussions together.  This workshop really helps them grapple with our western ministry paradigms. They are encouraged to wrestle with how we normally do ministry over against a more multiplicational ministry objective.  We also were affirmed by several Area Leaders that they have appreciated the fact that new missionaries are coming to the field with this training in hand and that it has really helped them to jump in much sooner than those that come without it.

2. Affinity Group Catalyst meetings:  The second set of meetings was a huge encouragement to us.  We heard reports of many movements happening in various parts of the world.  (More about this in our next Filbert Focus Update).  We were greatly encouraged to keep persevering and not give up!

3. Pioneers’ Church Planting Movement Think Tank:  The final meetings also went very well.  There was a lot of open, grace-filled discussion of vision and passion and process.  God answered your prayers in giving Larry boldness to speak into the discussion.  A general consensus was that our organization needs to do a better job at coaching field personnel, as it is critical to workers’ longevity, fruitfulness and pursuing best practices (rather than being frustrated).  It was left to individual fields to implement coaching systems for their personnel.

We are praising God for answering your prayers. Thank you again for partnering with us! 
 
L&L

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

“Avoiding Compromise, Affirming Christ”
Revelation 2:12-17

Last Sunday’s Sermon

audio
video

Guest Worship Leaders

Please welcome Nate and Julia Mailly who will be leading worship this Sunday.

No EBC Kids Available on Sunday, July 29th

Due to a shortage in volunteers, there will not be classes for grades Pre-K – 4th on Sunday, July 29th. Nursery will still be available during both services for 0-5 year olds. EBC Kids needs more teachers and helpers! Please email Mary Whitman or phone her (540-986-6626) if you are able to serve in this vital ministry once per month.

Office Closed

The office will be closed next week since Corianne will not be in the office.

OWLS

The OWLS will now be sailing aboard the Doris E next Wednesday August 1st. Please contact Norma, Jay or Bette with any questions.
Jay and Bette Moreau 582-4458 or 759-3780 
Norma Phillips 783-0211 or 848-7203

Love, INC.

Love INC is hosting a Community Awareness Fundraising Event this weekend at Rafferty Auto Sales, Rte 106 Belmont (former AutoServe). This is a 3 day event. Visit their website for more details. Bring food, pantry, or personal care item for a free hamburger or hot dog. Come out to support a great cause in our community!

Women’s Ministry Bible Study

Tuesday, July 31, “Kingdom Woman” led by Tracey Petrozzi.

Financial Review Meeting

A Financial Review is an opportunity to learn in more detail our budget for the coming year in a discussion format.
August 12th, 9:50-10:25 in Room 104

Baptism Class

Coming in August. Details to come!

Church Picnic

Save the Date!!! Sept. 9th
Details to come!