Hi Rock Church Plaistow family and Happy Groundhog day! As you may know Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this morning and is proclaiming another 6 weeks of winter (see the video to the right). Whether you love winter or not, this tradition has carried on for 131 years and keeps getting bigger! Hmm why is that? I believe it’s because people love experiences and crave community. Another tradition that takes place this Sunday will be the hundred of thousands if not millions of Superbowl parties that happen every year. I was amazed to find out from our translator Ernesto that he goes to a Superbowl party with his friends in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Wow! That was a shock to me, but it makes sense when you reflect on our wiring. Even in Jesus’ time. we saw that people would gather in mass to celebrate a Holiday or witness an awesome event. Once there were so many people who came to hear Jesus that he had to teach from a boat slightly offshore. I love this short recount in Luke 5…
3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”
5 Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.
Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
This is when Peter sees the power of Jesus and recognizes him as the long awaited Messiah. This realization causes him to be confronted with his doubt and unbelief but Jesus restored Peter gently and declared his purpose over him as “a fisher of men”. There are many opportunities this week for us to invite people to have wonderful experiences and connect with us.
This Sunday Feb 5th is our (I think the 4th or 5th) annual Rock Super Bowl Party at our Plaistow Campus. Dan Elliott and our youth Praise team will be leading a shortened service @ 5:30PM that will flow into potluck goodies and hopeful the 5th Superbowl Championship for our New England Patriots.
Monday evening Feb 6th is our monthly First Monday Men’s fellowship, worship and program at The Rock with Pizza @ 6:30PM. Funny enough our theme is “Fishers of Men” and we’ll be blessed with a message from my good friend Jared Levasseur. Jared is a young adult whose transformation in Christ has been truly amazing and the ways God is working thru him in our Church, among his friends and family and on mission in Honduras is a powerful testimony of the Holy Spirit.
Tuesday Evening in Amesbury, MA is Our New Celebrate Recovery “CR” experience. CR is such an awesome time of connection, encouragement and healing from the hurts of this world that I don’t want anyone to miss out! If you haven’t had an opportunity to join us on a Tuesday evening, I want to extend that invitation to everyone right now. CR is an open experience so you can come every Tuesday evening or just drop in when you are able, for the entire evening or just the parts you can fit in. We start by sharing a meal together @ 5:30PM for a requested donation of $5.00 (can’t beat that!), followed by large group worship @ 6:30 and finishing off with small group sharing @ 7:30.
Lastly, The 1st ever Red Party is next Saturday Feb 11th @ 5pm. Our youth group leadership is blessing our Church and community with a great night out of dinner and dancing all for only $20 per person. Proceeds will go to support our Soulfest Scholarship fund through which we have been able to assistant the less fortunate attend this fun-filled life-changing experience. Dinner will be a sit down Italian family style meal featuring Pasta, Salad and Bread. There will be refreshments and desserts also available including an Italian Soda Bar. There will also be silent auctions and prizes for best dressed, wearing the most red, best dancer etc…
So whether winter lasts another 6 weeks or we have an early spring there are many amazing experiences and opportunity for God’s best for you, your family and/or anyone you wish to invite. Each of these may not have the same powerful message that only Jesus can deliver but when God’s children gather it is always a great opportunity to be blessed and be a blessing.
Of course every Sunday morning we have great worship, community & teaching experiences at our 3 Campuses. This link provides more info, times and locations. This week is communion and the 2nd week of our new sermon series on the Book of James that we are calling “Real World”. To me this is a perfect title because James' words are real, raw and needed today to help us understand God’s will for us so we can be best us for ourselves, our friends and our families.
Peace~ Pastor Jon (PJ)