Foundation Faith

Foundation Faith

A Sermon for the First Congregational Church of Albany, NY
by Rev. James Eaton, Pastor
Sixth Sunday After Pentecost/A • February 19, 2017
© 2017 All Rights Reserved

Click below to hear the sermon preached

According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building on it. Each builder must choose with care how to build on it. 
[1 Corinthians 3:10]

I grew up around builders: in my home, in my neighborhood. As far back as I can remember, there were blocks to play with and stack, wooden blocks that would come tumbling down if not carefully balanced. Trips to the beach meant building sand castles that became more and more elaborate the longer we sat there in the hot sun. Later, living in that post-war moment when Americans were building homes, my friends and I never lacked for the source material to build endless tree houses and forts. The forests were little subdivisions where we industriously nailed bits of wood to create our own vacation homes with precarious ladders that let us climb up and hide, at least until the street lights went on and summoned us home. I may not have been a master builder but I have been a builder and perhaps so have you. Maybe your building used different materials; perhaps you built a family, nurtured it with a thousand dinners, an endless set of trips to school events, late nights up with a child who just wouldn’t sleep. That kind of building is harder than the tree houses but so much more important. What have you built? What are you building? What are we building together?

We have been walking through the first chapters of Paul’s First Corinthians and it’s important to remember the topic he’s addressing. He wants to point the church forward. Just as he helped them gather and get started, now he is showing them a path forward because they’ve wandered off the path of Christ and into division. Paul sets this conflict up as between the human wisdom of the Corinthians and the way of the Cross. By human wisdom, he means that great collection of ideas we glean from our experience. It is the way we do things, the way we have done things; it is what we did last time. There is also attached to this something he talks about as “secret wisdom,” the mystical vision of heaven some preachers speak about even today so wonderfully and beautifully. Paul, for his part, says he has decided to know nothing among the Corinthians except the cross of Christ. He goes on to say that their very conflict shows they are still babies in the faith; he calls them to put aside conflict and come to the Cross to grow up into Christ.

Dynamic Building

Now he offers them an insight built around the act of building. Paul was the founding pastor of this church. He laid a good foundation; now someone else is building. He wants the Corinthians to understand that all of God’s work is dynamic, changing, constantly evolving. Usually we focus on the pronouncement that Paul laid a foundation like a master builder. What interested me more was his immediate transition: someone else is building on it. We usually think of buildings as staying in place. But Paul is summoning the Corinthian Christians, and us, to imagine their future.

It’s hard to imagine the future. When I was in seminary, I lived in an old farm house owned by a family that had settled Chelmsford, Massachusetts in the 1600’s. The woman in charge of the farm divided people into those who came before the war and after the war; it took me a while to realize she meant the Revolutionary War. The same family had owned this farmhouse since it was built. Now most of us know how moving out of a house forces us to take stock of what we have, what’s worth moving, what to give away or throw away. When Jacquelyn and I moved here, we sent truck loads to the land fill and so much stuff to the Goodwill they asked not to bring anymore. Perhaps you’ve done the same thing: looked at things that had hidden out somewhere and said, “We don’t need that anymore,” consigned it to some fate. It’s how we trim our households. This house had never been through that; the family had never moved.

It was built in the 1820’s across from Baptist Pond, a little pond where the local Baptist church used to immerse people. Unfortunately, that end of the pond had silted up and was rumored to have snakes, so the Baptists had moved their immersing to a public beach. The town of Chelmsford needed a blacksmith, and they lured one there with the promise of the house, which was built for him. His tools and his shed were still on the property. The blacksmith had two sons who served in the Civil War. One of the son’s discharge papers hung in the room I used for a study. After the Civil War, they came back to Chelmsford, and cut the house off it’s foundation, raised it up a full story and built more space so they could both live there with their families. So they did, raised families of their own, cut ice on Baptist Pond, raised crops and had a little dairy operation that included churning butter. I know these things because they left all the stuff in the house and the sheds. It was a great house, strong, secure and it just lacked one thing: electrical outlets. The house had been wired around 1910 and no one thought anyone would need more than one electrical outlet per floor. Who would have thought anyone would need more than one outlet? What would you use them for?

Well, we learned to live with one outlet. We constantly plugged and unplugged thing. But that wasn’t the only challenge. In the living room, there was a fireplace and some logs, neatly tied up, ready for a fire to be laid. When we moved in, the family member who was in charge pointed out the logs and explained that the father of the lady who actually owned the house had put those logs there in 1919 and then had a heart attack and died. The logs were the last thing he’d ever done and they had been there ever since. She didn’t have to make her point: if we wanted a fire, we needed different logs.

I was a youth minister in those days and one of the great things about the house was being able to have the dozen or so senior high kids in my youth group meet there. Now senior high kids haven’t quite grown up so sometimes they revert to being two year olds. We all do. One day, while I was off getting snacks from the kitchen, they got to wrestling around. I heard the noise of it but when you’re a youth minister, you get used to noise, so I didn’t worry until I went back in the living room and everything was quiet. Quiet always concerns youth ministers. I looked around and asked, “What happened?” And then I followed their eyes to the logs. The logs were no longer tied; the logs were scattered. The logs that had been tied up since 1919. “We’re really sorry,” the kids said. So was I. We tried to tied up the logs but it didn’t look quite right; it didn’t look quite the same. The next time the land lady came over, I confessed to what had happened. We stood in the living room and I tried to explain about the youth group and the logs and how we had tied them up. She said, “I noticed they had been changed.” That’s the worst indictment a real New Englander can deliver. I said, yes, they had. There was a long moment and she said, “Well, there’s no point to them now. You might as well use them up, burn them.” It turned out that whatever we had feared from changing the logs didn’t happen. They were, after all, just logs.

We all become used to things in churches. Somehow, what’s there becomes what should be there, what has always been there. But the truth is? Most if it is just logs; most of what we do is just what we have done. What we need to do, what we must do, is to distinguish what’s just things we’re used to doing from the real foundation. “… like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building on it, “ Paul says. The foundation is important but it’s also important to see that God can do new things, that God does do new things, and to watch for them, celebrate them, make a space for them.

What Is the Foundation?

What Are We Just Used To? What is the foundation? It’s the compassion that flows from the mind of Christ, from thinking about others with the mind of Christ, thinking about ourselves with the mind of Christ. That is the foundation faith of the church.

It’s a challenge. I’ve only built one church meeting house. Around 1990, I was serving the Suttons Bay Congregational Church in northwestern Michigan. We were growing; the church was packed. We needed more space. After a long, long bit of soul searching, the church decided to gut the building and completely redo it. Part of that involved the downstairs area we used for Sunday School. It was a terrible space. For one thing, many years before fuel oil had spilled all over and the response had been to cover it up with rugs. When the oil seeped through, more rugs were put down.

So we were going to tear the whole place up and start over, in a church with lots of kids. Everyone on the Building Committee had ideas about how many rooms to divide this space up into and how big the rooms should be and what color and where we would make storage. So we did what Congregationalists do: we argued and put off decisions until finally the architect said you can’t wait anymore. Given a deadline, some of the arguments got more heated. Then one night, I remember it the way you remember coming out of the Christmas Eve service, when the candles are still lighting up your soul and the warmth of the moment fends off the cold, someone said, I have a new idea. Well, we were so involved in all the ideas already proposed, to be honest, no one really wanted a new idea. But we were polite people so we said go ahead. And this was the proposal: that we have no rooms at all. “Right now, we have lots of kids, but we don’t know how that room will need to be used in the future. Let’s leave it as one big room with movable dividers. Let’s assume we don’t know what God will do in the future here.”

Well, neither the 6 small room people nor the 4 big room people thought that was a good idea but it grew on us and that’s just what we did. We left the whole room open, with some dividers that could make sort of rooms and furniture that rolled around. Ten months later, we moved in. Two months after that, the local Rotary Club came and said, “You have this big room, could we meet there on Mondays?” We realized something: we never thought of the Rotary Club but because we could roll back the dividers and the furniture we could do this. It paid for the dividers; it made the church grow even more. Who would have thought?

It pays to work smart. I think our church ought to get the best advice, use the best practices, do the best job we can. We ought to constantly learn from the wisdom of people who study churches and try out their lessons here. But that’s not the foundation; that’s the furniture. The foundation can’t change; the foundation is permanent. What is that foundation? We need to distinguish it from the furniture because we can always move the furniture around in different ways and furniture sometimes wears out and needs replacement. Paul is clear: the only foundation that can sustain what we are building is the Cross and the only sure guide to the future is the mind of Christ. To think with the mind of Christ is to realize that our own wisdom, our own ideas about how to do things, are temporary; only the ongoing compassionate love of Christ is permanent.

Now we are building here, together, a great church. The foundations of this building are a hundred years old; the foundations of the church itself are even older, they are the great mission to create a free church here in Albany that expresses the love of Christ, that shines the light of God’s love. The most important question we can ask isn’t, “What are we going to do?” but “What is God doing?” The most important answers can’t be found from our own wisdom; they came from prayer and asking, “How can we make God’s love concrete?” The most important things we do may not be exactly what we used to do. God does new things; so should we. Whenever the mind of Christ calls us to new ways of loving, we must listen and not be so concerned about keeping the furniture that we forget the foundation. The love of God, the mind of Christ, is the foundation faith that undergirds us. Build on it, and we can together in God’s time, in God’s way, build a church.


Growing Up, Building UP

Growing Up, Building Up

A Sermon for the First Congregational Church of Albany, NY

by Rev. James Eaton, Pastor

Sixth Sunday After Epiphany/A • February 12, 2017

1 Corinthians 3:1-9

© 2017 All Rights Reserved

Click below to hear the sermon preached

Where is your mind right now? Are you thinking about something that happened earlier this morning or during the week? Are you in the past? Are you in the future: thinking about what will happen next, what your day will hold? Are you here?—or somewhere else? I think the greatest change in our time has been the way our minds are asked to focus on so many different places at once. Have you seen people out together, perhaps at dinner or a coffee shop, clearly together and yet both engaged with others because they are busy texting on mobile phones or taking photos for Instagram or doing something else that calls their mind to another place, another person? Where is your mind right now? Buddhists especially raise the issue of mindfulness: simply, consciously, disciplining your mind to be right here, right now. The question of your mind, my mind, is one we heard Paul raise last week when he spoke about the mind of Christ.

Division in the Church and the Mind of Christ

Remember that Paul is dealing here with the problems of human division, especially within the church at Corinth. The congregation has divided into factions, some looking to Paul as their leader, some to a man named Apollos, perhaps others to Cephas. The issues are not clear, but we don’t have to go far to imagine the result. We know what division looks like and many have experienced it, if not in church, then perhaps somewhere else. We are hearing this season a connected series of readings so it’s important to remember this background. Last week, we heard Paul deal with division in a general way. He advanced this principle: Christ crucified as an emblem of the mind of Christ. That is, the emblem of ultimate compassion animated, lit, by the love of God, like a lamp flaring up and burning brightly. The mind of Christ always cares, always fills with compassion, always sacrifices like a parent giving up something for a child.

Getting Personal

Now Paul is applying this principle to the people in the church, that is to say: to us. Now, I’ve always found this is where things get sticky. It’s one thing to announce a great principle; it’s another to make it personal. Every week I try to share a reflection on the great principles in the Bible. I know my own life doesn’t always reflect these. I know that Jesus says that the commandment not to murder really means not to be angry with someone but I do get angry. I know that Jesus says that we are required to forgive those who hurt us but I have been hurt and I have had a hard time forgiving. Do you find this? Do you struggle to live with the mind of Christ in your mind? Then this is for you—and me.

The first thing Paul says is that these people are babies. I remember ‘baby’ as an insult. I grew up with two younger brothers. Allan was four years younger and I don’t remember a time before him. But my brother David is ten years younger than me so I do remember him as a baby. He always wanted to join in with Allan and I but of course he was too little for some things. We would climb up to a treehouse and leave him behind, we would get on the top bunk of the bed and leave him behind and he would cry. And we would say: “Don’t be such a baby”. Paul says to the Corinthian Christians: you were being babies. 

What are babies like? Well, of course they are wonderful and inspiring and the make us smile and we track each advance in their lives. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for Rosie to be big enough to come to children’s time. But if we are honest, we can admit there is another side to babies. Babies are selfish. They don’t care how tired you are when they want to eat; they don’t care that your’e doing something when they want to be changed. They don’t care that you just need a quiet moment when they feel like being rocked. Babies are totally self-centered. In the same way, Paul says the Corinthian Christians are acting like babies, self-centered, and that leads them to be jealous and quarreling.

Dealing With Babies

Now notice something about the way Paul responds to these baby Christians: he doesn’t throw them out, he doesn’t work to overcome them, he doesn’t maneuver to make his faction winners. What Paul does is to simply assess where they are, who they are, when they are in the process of development. They’re babies; fair enough ,give them baby food. “I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for solid food. Even now you are still not ready,” he says. This is the piece we miss about being church members: we never ask where people are in their spiritual development. I wonder what it would be like if when our Deacons met with new members, we had a conversation about where that person is in their development as a Christian. Even more important, we need to have this conversation within ourselves. Where are you in your own development? Are you a baby? Are you able to walk but need a little help? Are you grown up but needing some guidance? How much better we could nurture each other as Christians if we asked and answered these questions personally.

So Paul is dealing with babies. How do you grow babies up? You feed them appropriate food, cuddle them and teach them. Some of the teaching is formal but the most important teaching any of us get is what happens around us, what people show us is the right way to do things. I learned to take care of myself at school; but my mother taught me to make my bed. I learned to read from a teacher; my family provided a whole library and an example of people who read. 
When Paul wants to teach, he does it by contrasting the smallness of their leaders with the greatness of God. 

For when one says, “I belong to Paul,” and another, “I belong to Apollos,” are you not merely human? What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you came to believe, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. [1 Cor 3:4-7]

What Matters?

What matters? Does Paul? Does Apollos? Casablanca is a movie from the moment when people were asked to choose sides between fighting fascism and cooperating with it. Humphrey Bogart plays a man named Rick who says over and over, “I stick my head out for no one”. But Rick has a past, a past that includes a love affair with Ilse that ended bitterly in Paris when she failed to join him in escaping the advancing Nazis. When Ilse shows up at his cafe, he learns she is married to the leader of the Resistance. Rick has two passes to get people out of Casablanca, where fascism is increasingly becoming more violent. At first it appears Ilse and her husband will be trapped: Rick refuses when she begs for his help. But finally, at the end of the movie, Rick, gives the coveted exit visas to Ilse and her husband so they can continue their Resistance works. He says, 

 …it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you’ll understand that.

He summons her to a greater vision, a bigger vision.

We’ve all seen this process at work. We grow up in a place, maybe move a few times, travel some and see a few places. Isn’t it always surprising how different customs can be? When I moved to Boston after college, I remember going into a little diner and asking for a cup of coffee. The counter guy said, “Regular?” This was before the age of espresso and Starbucks, I’d never heard of anything but regular coffee, so I said “yes”. Now I’ve always drunk my coffee black but what he put in front of me was light brown; it had cream in it and when I tasted it, sugar. So I said, “hey, I wanted my coffee black”. He looked at me like I was out of my head and said, “You said regular”. So we encounter other customs.

Seeing the Greater Vision

Every once in a while, something really shakes us though, something makes us see a much larger picture. For me, one of those moments was when the astronauts broadcast the first picture of the whole earth. Do you remember seeing that for the first time? One thing that was clear: none of the boundary lines on the atlas at school were on the earth. So as we move to a larger view, what we thought was important becomes less so.

Now Paul is asking the Corinthian Christians—and us!—to see this fundamental huge principle: that we are not here for ourselves, on our own, but part of a larger weaving. We are God’s field he says. And what is a field? It isn’t just a piece of ground; it’s a place where things are grown, a place that bears fruit. We are God’s field and God is growing a harvest here, we are meant to produce that harvest. We are God’s building, Paul says. What is the building? Isn’t it a meeting house where God’s people can come to praise God and embrace in imitation of the God who embraces us?

Growing Up

We do these things by growing up spiritually. We do them be growing from babies into servants, who can cultivate and care for the field, who can maintain and share the building. Where is your mind right now? Is it open to the mind of Christ. It was the mind of Christ that prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, asking God, as any human might, to ease a time of trouble, but then moving on to say, “Not my will be done Lord but yours—to embrace the purpose and providence of God even in that moment of darkness. How often do we pray that prayer? how would it change us if we did? How would making it our center change our church?


You Children Mind!

You Children Mind!

A Sermon for the First Congregational Church of Albany, NY
by Rev. James Eaton, Pastor
Fifth Sunday After Epiphany/A • February 5, 2017

Click on the link below to hear the sermon preached

Someday, God willing, a long time in the future, I will retire. I know many of you know more than I do about that moment, and hope you’ll share your wisdom. I imagine I sitting on a boat in a quiet little cove, watching the sun go down, with a cup of coffee that has on it the image of this church’s building and the words, “First Congregational Church 1850-2000 150 years of returning God’s love.” You’ve seen these cups; we use them at coffee hour. Maybe your home is like ours, with cupboards that accumulate the bits and pieces of where you’ve been. Jacquelyn has a cup from Southwest Airlines, I have wine glasses marked “US House of Representatives” from when I worked there and cups from many different churches and group with whom I’ve had the good fortune to be associated. Like the glasses and cups, we accumulate as well bits and pieces of wisdom along the way. Sometimes they are formulated as little sayings: “a stitch in time saves nine, “when you’re in a hole, the first thing to do is to stop shoveling” and so on. We learn, bit by bit, and we pass these things on. Long ago, when I was an intern and got into a bruising fight over church supplies, the wise senior Pastor for whom I worked said, “Never mess with the tissue in the ladies room.” All these sayings and experiences are a sort of wisdom and from them we take our course day to day. For what does it mean to be wise? Isn’t it to choose each day, every day, a path that leads forward?

Where is Wisdom?

“Where is the wise one?”, Paul asks just before the section of First Corinthians we read this morning. It’s a good question, isn’t it? Surely we want to find ourselves following someone wise, someone who can help us choose the best path. Bookstores, television and the web are full of people eager to lead us, to tell us what to eat, what to wear, how to do makeup, how to exercise, how to pray, how to live. But what does Paul mean by wisdom? Paul comes from a tradition that knows two kinds of wisdom. One is the common sense stuff I’ve mentioned, the accumulation of human experiences, distilled by history, from which we take daily decisions. Scripture has a whole category of such sayings called Wisdom Literature; the book of Proverbs is an example and you can find similar pieces throughout the Psalms. There is a common folk wisdom and yet it may not always be reliable.

A Secret Wisdom

What wisdom can go beyond daily experience and speak to our hearts and minds and lift them from the visible things of the day to the invisible? In Paul’s time, an emerging philosophy focused on what is sometimes called “secret knowledge.” The concept is that there is an invisible, rational system to the universe that can only be known by someone initiated into the mystery of this secret knowledge. Some Christians had begun to teach and talk about a secret wisdom that only some understand. Some Christian preachers were claiming to have secret revelations. We shouldn’t be surprised because such teachers have always appeared. Right here in New York, Joseph Smith was such a person. Claiming to have had an encounter with an angel who showed him golden tablets, he founded the group often called Mormons. There are a great number of similar people throughout Christian history who have claimed a secret wisdom. This leads to a problem: how do we know which wisdom to follows? How do we know which teacher to believe?
Notice that Paul explicitly says he does not have a special wisdom.

I came to you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. My speech and my proclamation were not with plausible words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom.

If he doesn’t have a special wisdom, a unique insight, what does he offer? Just this: “I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.”

Christ Crucified

Now this is a curious statement. Paul is an apostle and the foundation claim of an apostle is an encounter with the Risen Christ. Paul didn’t follow Jesus through Galilee or make the journey to Jerusalem; Paul wasn’t at the last supper or in the garden, he didn’t weep at the foot of the cross. But according to his own account, the Risen Christ appeared to him and called him to preach. So we might expect that Paul would say something like, “I decided to know nothing among you but the Risen Christ, Jesus resurrected and alive again.” But he doesn’t. He rests his claim not on common wisdom or the special experience of the Risen Christ but on the public event of Christ crucified.  What is it about Christ crucified that Paul believes can lead us? There on the cross we find not the shining light of special wisdom, secret wisdom, but a public display of ultimate humility. The cross is an emblem of ultimate love: a man laying down his life, giving up his dignity and power out of love for all humankind. All common wisdom comes down ultimately to this one principle: stay safe. “Once burned, twice shy,” we say, and so many other things that all have the common purpose of keeping us safe. We learn what’s dangerous; we learn how far out on a limb we can go and still survive. But the cross is not safe, the cross is not a limb from which retreat is possible. It is the contradiction of human wisdom: it is the act of embodying the love of God. So Paul offers wisdom, but not human wisdom, as he says; he offers instead the cross, the wisdom of God, the sacrificing, love of God that overcomes division, overcomes hatred, overcomes safety to transform human life into love.

The Mind of Christ

So Paul preaches that we should let go of our human wisdom and instead offers what he calls “the mind of Christ.” Now the amazing thing about thinking with the mind of Christ is that we already know how to do it. To live from the mind of Christ is to take seriously the language of Christ about God as our parent and each person as a child of God and carry it forward into action. Do you know how to care for a child? Isn’t the first lesson of parenting to put another’s needs first? Did you stay up when you were exhausted with your child, sacrifice things so they could have something, did you feel your very being stretched to learn to love a child? Of course you did; all parents do. To think with the mind of Christ is to project that experience onto the wider screen of our whole lives. To think with the mind of Christ is to think of others first.

Missions and the Mind of Christ

One of my favorite missions around here is the coats. We don’t often talk about the coats but it’s a simple mission. It gets cold here; we all know that. So we all have coats to keep us warm. This isn’t as obvious as it seems. I remember years ago when I lived in northern Michigan welcoming a new pastor named Paul and his family to our town. They’d lived in tropical Brazil for years and then in Florida. They knew Michigan would be colder so they bought coats: what we would call windbreakers. They arrived on a day when we got two and a half feet of snow, the temperatures were in the 20’s and their moving truck was stuck in the drifts. Watching him and his wife and their two kids, it didn’t take more than a moment to get them inside and start rummaging through the closet to get them some real northern Michigan coats.

We do the same thing here. We know there are people in our area who are just like my friend Paul. They aren’t prepared for the cold and they need coats. Many of us have spare ones and sometimes it’s possible to buy an extra coat on sale. So we collect them up; every once in a while Jim Dennehey takes them to the South End Community Center, where they are given to people. It’s simple. Haven’t we all seen a kid about to go out the door and said, “Put on your coat, it’s cold out there”? The coat collection is the same thing: it is the mind of Christ to recognize that there are others, equally children of God, who need coats and to share them.

If I think with my own mind, if I rely on my own accumulated wisdom, it tells me to keep safe and keep what I have. But when I think with the mind of Christ, I am led to risk and share. The coats are an example; so is the mission we announced today, to collect toothbrushes for kids in Nicaragua. Who are these kids? I don’t know them. They aren’t mine. That’s what my own mind might say. But the mind of Christ tells me that they are my brothers and sisters; that we are equally God’s children, so I have a responsibility for them and to them.

Thinking with the Mind of Christ

Thinking with the mind of Christ can make for difficult questions. This week Governor Cuomo proposed cutting visitation at maximum security prisons to weekends only. The reason given was saving money. Well, my mind, my wisdom tells me that’s a good thing. But what about the mind of Christ? What does the mind of Christ think about a policy that hurts the children and wives of prisoners, and prisoners themselves, the most vulnerable people, to save money? I leave that question for you; it’s not my intent to suggest political points but to invite you to think about everything, from daily life to politics with the mind of Christ.

You Children Mind!

When I was small, before I had accumulated much in the way of things or wisdom, my brother and I were sometimes left with my grandmother. She was a woman always busy, too busy often to monitor two small boys. So we would get into things and do things she didn’t want done and I remember how in an exasperated voice, she would sometimes say, “You boys mind now!” She didn’t have to say what “minding” meant or what rule we had broken; we knew. What Paul is saying to the Corinthian Christians, what he is saying to us, is simple: “You people mind!” We have the mind of Christ: if we use it to guide us, rather than our own wisdom, our own traditions, surely we will come back to Christ’s way. If we live from the mind of Christ, knowing him crucified, surely the love of Christ will shine from us.

Not to Regular Readers

You may have noticed, no sermon was posted last week. The reason is that our church was blessed to have a guest preacher and this preacher was blessed to sit with his wife in worship! Our Guest Preacher was Bryan Niebank, and you can read his sermon here.