Hi, Living Hope Family,
Don’t forget that we are having only one service this Sunday @ 10:00. The reason for extending our one service format one more week is so that we can we have unrushed time to celebrate our name change and our new affiliation with Evangelical Free Church of America. This got me thinking about celebrations.
We don’t always do a good job celebrating. Yet, throughout the Old Testament we see that the people of God celebrated feasts. Feasts would often involve sacrifices, but they also were times spent eating and drinking, taking time off and having fun.
In Leviticus 23:40, God calls the people to rejoice for seven days. Pastor Randy Alcorn points out that God built into Israel’s calendar seven holidays, amounting to about thirty days of feasts (celebrations) per year. And that number does not include Hanukkah, weddings, and weekly Sabbaths.
The angels are said to “throw a party” when a person repents. The angels are in the presence of God celebrating over conversions on earth. We also hear of God’s people eating with gladness in their hearts (see 2 Chronicles 30:21-22 & Acts 2:46).
I wonder, “does the unbelieving world see the church as people of celebration and gladness?”
Is the church known as a place of feasting? Do those outside the church think of us in this way? Are we joyful? And as the kid’s song goes, “then your face should really show it.”
I recently watched two workers at a customer service for “returns.” Frankly, that cannot be an easy job, especially post-Christmas. I try to go overboard with kindness to those individuals for it has to be rough standing behind that counter dealing with one unhappy customer after another. Anyway, as I stood in line looking at these two customer representatives, I mumbled, “One has a ‘Yes’ face and the other has a ‘No’ face.” One said, “I would gladly wait on you,” and the other face said, “It’s my job to wait on you.”
Since everything for me is an illustration looking for a sermon, I thought what do others see on my face? Do I serve with gladness? Am I joyful? Is my mine a “Yes” face or a “No” face?
I am not talking about living in denial or that we fake it. This is not to suggest for a moment that life is easy. But we really do have cause for rejoicing. We really do have reasons to celebrate as individuals and as a church.
Our name change and joining with EFCA is a big deal. It doesn’t change who we are. It doesn’t change what we believe. It doesn’t change our approach to ministry. It doesn’t change anything at the core of our identity. However, it reinforces our mission, strengthens our commitments, offers helpful resources, and broadens our network of guidance and counsel as needed. It marks a new beginning. So, we celebrate!
The hope is that it builds on what we have been doing and moves us forward to better embrace why we are here. That is our theme for our study in Isaiah that begins this Sunday.
See you at 10:00 this Sunday! Blessings, Pastor Brian
Never the Same Again
Link to This Sunday Worship Service
Mark Your Calendars:
We will have one service at 10:00 AM next Sunday January 8th.
Celebration Sunday January 8th
Celebration time has arrived!! Please join us after the 10:00 am service to celebrate as a church family our new name “Living Hope Lakeport” and joining the Evangelical Free Church of America. (Once again, we will have One service at 10:00)
New Sermon Series
“What in the world are we doing here?” sermon series in Isaiah beginning January 8th.
Trajectory Rec will be taking a break starting December 26th through January 23rd.
“The Gospel and LGBT Questions”
Please join us on Saturday January 14th as we offer this conference led by Rachel Gilson from CRU. This is the last chance to sign up for this event. You can do so at the ministry counter. Please note there will be childcare provided, just sign up.
During this conference, she will share her own unexpected journey of coming out and coming to faith and what came next. As she does so, she addresses many of the questions that Christians living with same-sex attraction are wrestling with.
Here are the topics she will be sharing along with some more information about the Rachel.
9:00-9:45- Theological Foundation
10:00-10:45- Our children & their peers
11:00-11:45- How to reach that community as a church
“Essentials for Spiritual Growth”
Saturday January 21st from 8-9A.M. there will be a six-week Men’s study, led by Pastor Brian on the Please sign up at the ministry counter.
Living Hope Kids Sledding Party:
All are invited to go sledding at the Gilford Sledding Hill on January 28th from 1-3pm! Hot chocolate, cider, and snacks will be provided. Bring your own sled! We will provide directions at a later date.
Cancellation Procedure for Sunday Mornings
In the event of bad weather that would potentially impact services, the following will be taken into consideration: the current weather in Laconia, timing of the weather event, and whether roads, walkways, parking areas will be cleared. A decision will be made by 7:30 am to cancel one or both of our services. Living Hope Lakeport will notify of cancellation using the following: WMUR TV*, Church website news feed www.laconiachurch.com, Email (weekly epistle list), and Living Hope Lakeport private and public Facebook pages. *(If 1st service is cancelled, it will say “No Early Services”, if both services cancelled, it will say “No Sunday Services” on WMUR)
Reminder Deacon’s Fund
EBC has a “deacon’s fund” which is administered by the Elder’s. This fund serves our church members as well as the community with financial needs. You can donate to it by marking your envelope “Deacon’s fund” or give online choosing this fund as your option. Go to the website (laconiachurch.com) and click on “give” and proceed from there. If you have any questions, please contact the church office at 524-2277 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.