Dear Friends,

            This week the community of Parkland Florida experienced an unimaginable tragedy.  I, like all of us, am heartbroken over the pain and grief that the students, faculty, and families of this community have endured.  This morning I prayed for all those who have been impacted by this horrific act.  And I would ask that each of us continue to keep this community in prayer.

     Sometimes it feels like we live in a very dark world.  We may wonder at times what, if anything, can be done.  But I want to remind us that as followers of Christ, we are not powerless.  To the contrary, we have the power of the Holy Spirit living within us.  With the power of Christ and the hope of the Gospel, we CAN change the world.  The ultimate response to hatred is love and the way to defeat darkness is to be the light.  We are the bearers of the light of Christ, and as we share Jesus, we bring that light into a dark world.

 Pastor Paul shares communion at our Rock Church Newburyport campus

Pastor Paul shares communion at our Rock Church Newburyport campus

     As Pastor Beth reminded our Sandown Campus in her blog, this is exactly why here at Rock Church we hold as a core conviction that “Everyone Needs Jesus.”   The only way to defeat darkness in our world is to share the light of Christ with every person we possibly can.  This week marks the beginning of Lent.  Lent is a season of preparation leading us up to the celebration of Jesus’ sacrifice for our sin and his victory over death.  Easter is one of our greatest opportunities of the year for outreach.  This year I believe that God is calling us to the strongest intentional Easter outreach we have ever done. 

     In the coming weeks I will be sharing more about that.  But the place it begins is in prayer.  Between now and Easter I would ask us to be in intentional prayer for those around us who are not in relationship with Jesus.  Pray by name for some that you know are not yet connected to Christ.  And pray that God would place on your heart those He would have you invite.  There are people all around us who desperately need the hope and joy that Jesus alone can bring to their life.

 A couple of our students providing tech support.

A couple of our students providing tech support.

     More than ever, our world needs the light of Christ.  Be the light through acts of kindness and compassion.  And share the light by extending an invitation to those who do not yet know Christ.  And by the way, you don’t have to wait until Easter to invite.  We have a great series going on right now as we continue to explore God’s Great Plan~From Creation to the Cross.  Why not invite someone this Sunday.

   God Bless,

Pastor Steve

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