Pastor Scott’s Blog

Voter’s Meeting & Congregational Survey

Voter’s Meeting: Sunday, Dec 8 (9:45-10:45)

Congregation Survey: This Sunday (8:30 and 11:00) and Wednesday (7:00)

You can make a difference by completing your Michigan District Congregational Survey during worship this Sunday or Wednesday. This is a 4-page survey to be filled out by everyone 12 years old and older to help give input to the Michigan District and our own Transition Task Force as they move forward in getting us set up for the future. We need your input and participation. Tell your friends!
 
If you are not able to attend worship on Sunday, December 8 or Wednesday, December 11, copies of the survey will be available at the Church Office. All surveys must be filled out and turned in during worship or to the Church Office by December 22nd.
 
Don’t miss this important update. The Voter’s Meeting on Sunday, December 8th at 9:45 a.m. in the
church in response to the request for increased communication and transparency regarding the finances and direction of Community. We have three financial topics to share with you: One, Treasurer, Jasen Steinert CPA will present a Treasurer’s Report updating the congregation on the finances year to date (January-November 2019).  Two, the timeline and process for setting the 2020 Budget will be discussed in detail.  Three, how to End the Year in a positive cash position will also be shared under the topic “Finishing Strong 2019.”
 
The meeting will also share ministry updates like plans for a “Community-Style” 40th Anniversary Reunion in early February.

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Pastor Scott – Make Your Move Letter

“And God is able to make all grace abound to you,
so that in all things at all times, having all that you need,
you will abound in every good work.”

2 Corinthians 9:8

 

Dear Members and Friends,

God is on the move at Community!

Our generous God is in the process of transforming us by His grace to be increasingly generous, like Him.  He supplies all that is needed so that “you will abound in every good work.”  In other words, God is in the business of softening our hearts to be aware of the needs of others and enlarging our hearts, so we have the capacity to meet those needs.  So…

What “Move” do you sense God is encouraging you to take? 

Wednesday and Sunday, November 20 and 24 is “Make Your Move” Week at Community.  Everyone will be able to complete their own private “Make Your Move Card.”  This is your opportunity to write down your very own Moves for “Feeding Your Faith” and “Showing Jesus’ Love.

You will complete your card at the end of the sermon and then bring it to the special cross in front of the altar, asking God to help you Make Your Move that you wrote for yourself.  Children can also “draw” their “moves” in their very own Make Your Move card too!  Then in February 2020, your Card will be returned to you for your encouragement and reflection.

Side Two of this letter includes thought starters from the Make Your Move Team who have been working with me on this spiritual growth emphasis.   These are sample “moves” that you and yours can reflect on as you prepare to write your very own personal moves in your own “Make Your Move Card.”

As a team we encourage everyone at Community to prayerfully consider Your Move.

What would it be like if our homes were marked by actively Feeding Faith through increased Prayer, Bible Reading and Thanking God in our homes? 

What would it be like if we each experienced the joy of Showing Jesus’s Love through increased Serving, Giving and Sharing Jesus together with our family and church family?
 
Thank you for prayerfully reviewing these thought starters and making worship this week a high priority as together we seek to encourage one another to Make Your Move as children of the heavenly Father in a lifelong journey of growing in Feeding Our Faith and Showing Jesus’ Love!

 

See you in Worship this Week!!        

Pastor Scott

 Interim Pastor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 “Thought Starters” for Your Consideration

            As you prayerfully consider Making Your Move as God encourages you to Feed Your Faith and Show Jesus’ Love—here are some ideas that may inspire you.  These ideas come from Pastor Scott and the Make Your Move Team composed of Rob and Laurie Berry, Sandy Harris, Bob and Nancy Almaguer, Rebecca and Michael Focht. 

The Make Your Move Card you receive in worship on November 20 or 24 will include these thought starters.  Since this is a very personal experience, you will be able to write your very own personal Moves in the card too.  It is our hope that these thought starters inspire you and yours.

 

  1. Make a Move to “Feed Your Faith”

Thanking God / Worshiping Together

            ____ I will Thank God for His blessings daily, even if it has been a “hard” day.

            ____ I will write three things I am thankful for every day and share with my family.

            ____ I will faithfully attend worship services with other Jesus Followers.

            ____
 
 
Praying for Others

____ I will pray for my enemies and practice forgiveness & compassion with others.

          ____ I will pray for 5 minutes every day.

____ I will pray for a different person every day.

          ____

           

Reading the Bible/ Studying the Bible Together

         ____ I will read my Bible privately or with others at least ____ times a week.

         ____ I will join a Bible study group

         ____ I will add a Bible app to my phone so I can read one verse while I wait each day.

         ____

           

  1. Make a Move to “Show Jesus’ love”
Serving Joyfully

        ____ I will try a new way to serve others based on my unique experiences and interests.

        ____ I will look for a need and meet it.

        ____ I will strive to see family members and those I meet as Jesus sees them.

        ____

           

Sharing Jesus

____ I will let others see Jesus in me and give an answer for my hope in Jesus.

____ I will invite someone to a CLC event or worship.

____ I will listen to the needs of others so I can carefully share Jesus.

____

 

Giving Generously

          ____ I will resist a favorite beverage or snack—and give the savings to God’s work.

          ____ I will increase my giving…by giving more regularly or giving more as God leads me.

          ____ I will strive to be content and more generous.

          ____


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Transition Task Force (TTF) – 1st Report

 
Hello everyone, the Transition Task Force had its kick-off meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 12. Along with getting to know each other better, we reviewed the overall goals for the team. We are all excited to be involved in this part of the Intentional Interim Ministry (IIM) Process.
 
On Wednesday, November 13 and Sunday, November 17 we will Introduce this team at the close of each service with an opportunity to pray a prayer of God’s blessings on this team and Phase 2 of our process.
 
Ultimately our quest is to lead a process that identifies and reveals 2 things:
1. What is God showing us about how to do life as an even healthier Christian Community?
2. What is God showing us about the mission we have as we prepare for the future of Community?
 
To accomplish this the team will need the active engagement and participation of you and all members. Please make a point to be in worship on either Sunday, December 8 or Wednesday, December 11 to complete the Michigan District Congregation Survey at the end of worship those days. This survey is for all, including those who are 12 and up. If you cannot be in worship one of those dates you can also stop by the church during the week to complete your survey. The last date for survey’s to be turned in Sunday, December 22.
 
It is important to everyone on the task force that we keep our church membership informed as we move forward in the process. Our current step of the IIM process will continue into the new year. Your participation is an integral part of our team and congregation discerning God’s direction for Community. Please pray that all members and our team are working on doing what is best for our church.
 
Please continue to interact with our team. Your on-going prayers and support for our task force is important to help us accomplish our ultimate goal of understanding where we are going and what kind of pastor will be best suited to join us on the mission God gives us!
 
God bless all of you,
 
Bob Almaguer
 
TTF Chair.

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Pastor Scott’s Weekly Blog – Roll The Dice

When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look,

God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”

And Moses said, “Here I am.”                        

Exodus 3:4

 

“If you play the game, you may lose. But if you never play the game, you definitely will never win. And if you play the game, you have to roll the dice.” (pg. 137) Truly experiencing a Full Life in Christ requires some element of risk, adventure, and challenge. Christ never even suggested that it would be comfortable or easy.
 
However, so much in life is geared towards what’s comfortable.
How many people like to be taken out of their comfort zone?
Who buys a chair that is designed to be uncomfortable?

But God is not one to let His people atrophy in what is comfortable. Instead, He calls us to “an adventuresome partnership” (pg. 140) that stretches our faith and leads to greater trust in Him.  Our Verse of the Week above is God’s call to Moses.  You may recall the great faith and bold leadership of Moses in his later years.  Do you recall his initial response to God’s challenging assignment?  Let’s see what we can learn from his experience.

The theme for this weekend is about “getting into the game” and having the courage to stop watching and starting taking our move.  Are you ready?  Let’s explore the joy and challenge of following Jesus.

 
See you in worship
 

Pastor Scott

 

P.S.  Seeing Community in action during the Hall-O-Ween event was exciting and awesome!  I’m still trying to figure out how many members and their friends and family joined together as the “joyful servants” making this event happen.  Seems like it was over 75 people blessing around 450 kids (and their parents too).  May the seeds that were sown by our generous love, faithful songs, and Jesus filled children’s message—bear fruit that is even sweeter than free candy—knowing the love of Jesus and his followers!!  To God be the glory!!


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Pastor Scott’s Weekly Blog – Remember Your Stuff Isn’t Yours (BITB)

 
“O Lord, God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Israel,
keep this desire in the hearts of your people forever,
and keep their hearts loyal to you.”
1 Chronicles 29:18 
 
Perhaps more than ever before, our materialistic culture is focused on accumulating stuff. We base our self-worth on the amount of stuff we have. We have so much stuff, we don’t know what to do with all of it.  But…
 
He who dies with the most stuff…
still dies…
and his stuff goes to somebody else!
 

With all of this stuff piled up around us, it is easy to lose sight of what ultimately matters. We get buried by all of our stuff, while at the same time desperately grasping for more because we seem to think that all we need is more.

The problem is not with the stuff. It’s a problem with our hearts. Treasuring our stuff is deadly, and in the end, it all goes back in the box. But treasuring what matters – God and people – and letting go of our stuff releases immense joy and true satisfaction in life. 
 
King David in the Verse of the Week prays that God’s people will have a generous heart and a heart loyal to God—this sounds like what Jesus called being rich toward God.
 
Looking for significance and satisfaction? Let’s explore being rich toward God.

See you in worship

Pastor Scott


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Pastor Scott’s Weekly Blog – No One Else Can Take Your Turn (BITB)

“So, whether you eat or drink,

or whatever you do,

do all to the glory of God.”

1 Cor 10:31

 

In the game of life, nobody can “sit this one out” or “take a pass.” Everyone has to take a turn. Every time we are faced with a decision in life – no matter how important or trivial it may seem – we are given a chance to take our turn. And every turn we take, every choice we make, matters.

This week Daniel, a displaced person, living in Babylon far from his home in Jerusalem—has much to teach us about taking our turn.  Even when it seems like it doesn’t matter.  Check it out.  You may even be inspired to take the Daniel Adventure.

Every turn we take also presents us with an opportunity to honor God. Whenever we choose to honor God in some aspect of our life, we align ourselves with His will, as He reveals it to us in His Word. Aligned with God’s will, we become open to God’s work in our lives and receptive to His blessing.

Blessings on your worship

Pastor Scott

 

By the way—did you know that we are averaging 90 people in bible study each week during our “Back in the Box” Spiritual Growth Campaign?  You can join in for light supper on Wednesday at 5:30 and study from 5:45-6:45 prior to 7:00 Worship.  Or try Sunday morning for light breakfast at 9:30 and study from 9:45-10:45 prior to 11:00 Worship. 

Need a copy of the Phase 1 Report?  You can pick one up at worship or at the church office during office hours.  Or we can send you one electronically.

The meeting to discuss the Phase 1 Report is Sunday, October 20 in the sanctuary 6:30-8:30 pm.  See you there!!

As we think further about how games are played, we note that keeping score defines our reality.  It tells us who is ahead and who is behind. It separates winners from losers. For some, the final score is all that matters. How you get there is just a means to the end.

In life, however, the scores we keep are not always the right ones, or the most helpful. Without even realizing that it is happening, we tend to adopt the scoring system of the world around us (think: workplace, entertainment, family & friends).

This scoring system, in turn, comes to shape our behavior and identity, oftentimes in ways that are contrary to the revealed will of God.

Jesus Christ introduces a new (although in a sense it is old…) scoring system, one that seems odd at first but which, in the end, is the only scoring system that leads to ultimate victory and life. Centered on humility and grounded in service, Jesus’ scoring system turns weakness into strength and (apparent) losers into (true) winners!

Want to hear more—join us for week 2 of the Spiritual Growth Campaign as we take a closer look at “Three Ways to Keep Score.”  The same good topic on two convenient days.

 

                 Wednesday Night                                             Sunday Morning

                 Light Supper (5:30)                                         Light Breakfast (9:30)

                 Table Group Discussion (5:45)                     Table Group Discussion (9:45)

                 Worship (7:00)                                                Worship (8:30 or 11:00)

 

Can’t wait to see you there!!

            Pastor Scott


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Pastor Scott’s Weekly Blog – Three Ways to Keep Score

 “Having loved His own who were in the world,

He now showed them the full extent of his love.”

John 13: 1b

As we think further about how games are played, we note that keeping score defines our reality.  It tells us who is ahead and who is behind. It separates winners from losers. For some, the final score is all that matters. How you get there is just a means to the end.

In life, however, the scores we keep are not always the right ones, or the most helpful. Without even realizing that it is happening, we tend to adopt the scoring system of the world around us (think: workplace, entertainment, family & friends).

This scoring system, in turn, comes to shape our behavior and identity, oftentimes in ways that are contrary to the revealed will of God.

Jesus Christ introduces a new (although in a sense it is old…) scoring system, one that seems odd at first but which, in the end, is the only scoring system that leads to ultimate victory and life. Centered on humility and grounded in service, Jesus’ scoring system turns weakness into strength and (apparent) losers into (true) winners!

Want to hear more—join us for week 2 of the Spiritual Growth Campaign as we take a closer look at “Three Ways to Keep Score.”  The same good topic on two convenient days.

 

                 Wednesday Night                                             Sunday Morning

                 Light Supper (5:30)                                         Light Breakfast (9:30)

      Table Group Discussion (5:45)                      Table Group Discussion (9:45)

      Worship (7:00)                                                  Worship (8:30 or 11:00)

 

Can’t wait to see you there!!

Pastor Scott

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Pastor Scott’s Weekly Blog – First week of Spiritual Growth Campaign

“So we know and rely on the love God has for us.”

1 John 4: 16a

Welcome to week one of our 2019 Spiritual Growth Campaign based on the "game" metaphor and
the catchphrase, “It All Goes Back in the Box”
 
Throughout this 8-week preaching series, you will have many opportunities to “make your move”
 
Today we are giving attention to “Rule #1”
 
How does this impact your next move? 
 
The game starts now!
 
It all starts Wednesday Night and Sunday Morning
  • Wednesday Night
    • Light Supper (5:30 pm)
    • Table Group Discussion (5:45 pm)
    • Worship (7:00pm)
  • Sunday Morning
    • Light Breakfast (9:30 am)
    • Table Group Discussion (9:45 am)
    • Worship (8:30 or 11:00am)
Can’t wait to see you there!!
Pastor Scott

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Matt’s Blog this week – FAITH 5 Live Lab

 
Hi Community!
 
I’m Matt Hire, the Director of Discipleship at Community, as Pastor Scott’s out of town. In his absence, I’m writing the blog and leading services. This week will be exciting as we’ll be delivering the message to each other as we “exercise” our Faith5 muscles we’ve been learning about. I’d like to start off with a verse that has always inspired my ministry that also goes well with Faith5.

So, being affectionately desirous of you,

we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God,

but also our own selves,

because you had become very dear to us.

1st Thessalonians 5:8
 
I enjoy this translation, especially the phrase “being affectionately desirous of you”. It sounds somewhat alien to us, but it’s just another way of saying “because we loved you so much”. Love is such an overused word in English. I love God, I love cheeseburgers, I love my wife, I love sports, and I love shoes all use the same word; but do we really love our spouse the same way I love fries and a Diet Coke? I hope not!
 
That’s why I love like the phrase “being affectionately desirous of you” because it’s out of left field. It helps you realize that this is a very different kind of love. This is the kind of love that changes us the way that only God’s love can.
 
1 st Thessalonians was written to the church at Thessalonica after Paul had been moved away from the people he loved dearly. Paul was called to spread the Gospel, which he was very successful at. However, 1 st Thessalonians 5:8 points out that because of how much he loved his church, that he shared himself, his whole life with these people. It’s one thing to serve a church, but it’s another thing to become a part of it.
 
Paul shared his life with the people at this church: his highs, lows, and in-betweens. Paul lived his life with this church, sharing Jesus with them as he shared himself. As he helped lead this church, he also studied the Scriptures with them, talked with them, prayed for them, and blessed them. Paul may have actually invented Faith5!
 
Kidding aside, Paul was living out the same principles that Faith5 tries to bring to each home.
 
If you haven’t already, how will you incorporate Faith5 into your daily life? Will you do it in the home, the car, or right before bed?
 
Sometimes the best-laid plans fall apart. My wife, Kaylynn, and I usually try to do Faith5 as we get ready to go to bed at night. However, this past Tuesday was very busy, with worship practice, piano lessons, and work seems to get in the way. We shared our highs and lows over dinner and had enough time before rehearsal to read the Verse of the Week and talk abut it. After rehearsal, we both took care of some household duties when Kaylynn reminded me that we hadn’t finished Faith5 for the day—so we prayed and blessed each other before we went to sleep.
 
Remember, it’s not necessarily about doing the steps in a specific time frame or order—although that sure helps! It’s about making faith active in your home and making it a priority each night.
 
See you in worship!!
 
Matt Hire
Director of Discipleship
 
P.S.
The Verse of the Week for this week is John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life”.

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Pastor Scott’s Blog – FAITH 5: Bless

 
Greetings People of God,
 
Here is the “Verse of the Week” for this week…
 
“Be Strong and Courageous.
Do not be frightened,
do not be dismayed,
for the Lord your God is with you
wherever you go”
Joshua 1:9
Do you feel strong and courageous today?
Is it because you have everything under control in your life? What if courage was not because of your sense of control—or your sense of life going as planned? What if courage and strength could be yours when you feel week and vulnerable? Look again at the Verse of the Week. Read it carefully. How does it end?
 
This is God’s word of promise to Joshua. Joshua has a new job the day these words are spoken to him. Joshua has the same job Moses used to have. And Joshua has the same promise that Moses had from God. “I will not leave you or forsake you.” (Joshua 1:5) This is the same promise that God gives to every born again child of God. It comes with saving faith, it comes with your Holy Baptism.
 
When life seems overwhelming and out of control that is when we need this verse and its promise. Take heart dear friend—you are not alone. God is with you. These are great words to hear. Who can you say this to today, this week?
 
I will not be surprised if God brings someone across your path this week who needs these words. How awesome to speak these words of comfort and peace to someone you care about. I know it’s true—I got to speak them to my wife last week—we repeated them together— it was one of those days—we needed to be reminded and strengthened with the promise that God is with us.
 
This weekend our FAITH 5 series focuses on the fifth faith practice—“Bless”. And I’m pretty sure
to bless someone is to remind them that God is with them.
 
Who are you going to bless?
 
See you in worship!!
Pastor Scott
 
PS If you want to join the Faith 5 Experience check out the information and videos at www.faith5.org
 
PSS Back in the Box will be available after worship on Wednesday and Sunday by the Community Room entrance for only $5. This is a great time to start getting ready for the Spiritual Growth Campaign—by reading and praying. Will you also join the prayer team– in praying for God to pour out the Holy Spirit to encourage and transform every member? Thanks
 
 
If you like to download the week 3 copy of the FAITH 5 practice for the home, click HERE

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