Greetings Rock Church Amesbury friends!  Well we have all awoken once again to a rainy, cool, grey day.  While tomorrow looks like we may get some warmer temps and sunshine, Friday and Saturday are looking a little ominous.  I try not to be a Debbie Downer, I do have to admit that weather is one of those things that can affect my demeanor that can leave me getting up with a bounce in my step or dragging myself out of bed bleary-eyed and grumbling.  I know, I know, “from the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised.” (Psalm 113:3).  So I’m praising, but is it too much to ask that we actually be able to see the sun when it rises and sets? JBut you know what, this weather too will pass and change, and God remains faithful and good.

 

Speaking of His goodness, have you seen how He is working in our midst?  Last week we on Sunday morning in Amesbury we had at least 7 new friends with us in service (I say at least 7 because I lost count at one point!).  That is so exciting!  He is doing great things in and through our church family.  In fact, we are anticipating that this will just build and build over the next couple of weeks leading up to Holy Week and Easter Sunday.  As I mentioned last week, for this reason, we will be piloting a parking shuttle program for services on Palm Sunday (April 9th), Good Friday (April 14th) and Easter Sunday (April 16th).   In order to save plenty of room for guests or those who are unable to walk long distances or over uneven surfaces, I’d encourage all those who are able to either park on the street, in public lots (behind the Library and Town Hall) or to take the shuttle.  We have a few faithful volunteers to drive the shuttle, but in order to make sure no one person is overburdened, it would be great if we could have one or two more licensed drivers to volunteer for a before or after service shift for any one of those three services. Remember our third core conviction, EVERYONE IS GIFTED TO SERVE.  If you are interested in volunteering to serve in this way, please contact Debra Haggstrom at deb@rock-church.org or Lou Stuart at (978)729-3752.  The shuttle on Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday will run from the parking lot behind the Morning Buzz and there will be a sign for Rock Church Shuttle where the shuttle will stop.  We are still working on Good Friday so stay tuned for more information about shuttle times and parking location for Good Friday!  

 

As God continues to work in our church and draw new people into our family, we will continue to face more and more challenges like this.  That’s good news!  But that also means that we need to be thinking ahead and planning to accommodate all that He has in store for us.  As James reminded us a couple of weeks ago, that planning should not be random, but it must be done in accordance with God’s purpose and will (James 4:13-15).  As many of you may have noticed downstairs this week, there is a wall with large sticky notes on it labeled “Plan A”, “Plan B”, “Plan C” and “Plan D”.  Jon and I have entered into a purposeful planning process with our Trustees to identify those challenges that we are facing and to intentionally and prayerfully seek God’s will for the future for our church family and how to best use the resources that God has entrusted to us.  I know everyone will be interested and eager to hear about our planning process, and most of us will have our own opinions to share.  We do so value all input and ask that each one of you would take this time to engage with us in an intentional time of prayer and seeking God’s will to ensure that we can carry out our part in building His kingdom and fulfilling our first core conviction, that EVERYONE NEEDS JESUS. I anticipate we’ll be ready to gather as a church body and discuss these plans sometime in the weeks following Easter.  I am confident that if we all engage in this intentional time of prayerful consideration that when we do come together to discuss, our hearts and minds will have already been prepared and united through His Spirit.  That is the beautiful picture of Christ’s church as we see in Acts 4:32-33 “32 All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had. 33 The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great blessing was upon them all.”  In the meantime, and in the weeks leading up to Easter Sunday, may we continue to testify powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus with the knowledge that God’s blessing is upon us!

 

Finally, can you believe that this week is our final sermon on the Book of James?  I hope you’ve learned as much and been as blessed as I have by this series.  James certainly isn’t an easy read, but then again we don’t generally grow in the easy things, do we?  Remember our second core conviction, EVERYONE IS MEANT TO GROW!  I hope we’ll have the chance to grow together this weekend at Rock Church Amesbury at 10:10am, and don’t forget breakfast and LifeGroup beforehand at 9:00am.

Giving thanks for each one of you today!

 

Blessings,

P. Rachel

Rachel@rock-church.org 

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