Fresh News from Friendly Street Copy

Week of October 1st, 2023
Please join us this Sunday, as Pastor Jenny continues our sermon series: Criticism of Jesus: The Words of Jesus.This week, the big idea will be: Jesus is God in the flesh.. Text: John 5:1–18

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This Sunday, we shared Corporate Communion. We do this once a month, usually on the first Sunday. This is one of the most important traditions in the Church of God. Sometimes it’s easy to just eat the cracker, and swallow the juice, and go on with the rest of the service.
But it’s not a mindless tradition— at least, not when it’s done as intended. It’s a time of quiet reflection. We should take a few moments, and just really think about the sacrifice that Jesus made for us.
The bread and wine— or wafers and grape juice—are symbolic, but they are symbols of Jesus sacrificing his life and his blood for us. That’s the most important part of our faith. So it’s important that we remember that.
It was not a simple or easy sacrifice for Jesus to make. We can only imagine what he went through. And the physical pain was the least of it. The worst part was the moment when God turned away from Jesus. That is something none of us will ever have to experience. Thanks to Jesus, we live our entire lives with God watching over us in love.
It’s also a time to think about sins in our lives, and to seek forgiveness for wrongs we’ve done. When we take communion, we are meant to do so with a clean conscience and a pure heart. 1 Corinthians 11:28 says, “With this in mind, individuals must determine whether what they are doing is proper when they eat the bread and drink from the cup.” (GW)
It’s a serious moment, but it’s also a joyful moment. Because Communion is also a reminder that our sins have been forgiven. There is no better good news than that.

Events Highlights

Small Group:  Weekly on Wednesdays at 10 am: At the Church Library. They are currently doing a study of Psalms.
Church Breakfast:  Saturday, October 7th, 9 am. All are welcome to attend.
One Church One Day: Sunday, October 9th. Our day to pray for 24 hours.
Game Night:  Tuesday, October 17th. Theme Ham.
Camp White Branch 65th Anniversary: Nov 4, 11am-5pm @ Camp White Branch.
FREE Karl Vater Small Church Conference: Nov 17-18 @ Oak Park Church of God in Salem
Fall Ministries: Stay tuned for details.
Service for Jo Bray:  There has been an illness in the family, so plans for the service are currently on hold.

Thought of the Week

Today, I am starting with a photo of a prayer plant. I had set the pot outside in a larger planter all summer, so it could get better light. When I picked up the small pot, the roots had grown through the drain holes and into the potting soil in the larger planter. I guess it really enjoyed the sunshine.
I’d like to focus on gratitude this week. I know it’s traditionally celebrated in November, but any day is a good day to be grateful. We, especially here in the U.S., live our lives surrounded by blessings.
Even the fact that I just bit the inside of my cheek—twice— is a reminder to be grateful for the dental care I have received, that allows me to have those nice strong teeth that are making my cheek feel really bad. I’m also grateful for the insurance I have, and the job that provides that insurance. And, although I do not enjoy visiting the dentist, I am glad to have the dentist I go to. Their office treats the issues that need treating without pushing me to get cosmetic procedures that aren’t necessary.
I am thankful for my dogs that give me a reason to get out and walk. I get a little exercise, breathe fresh air and sometimes see the sun. Sure, they sometimes interrupt me when I’m trying to get things done, but to be honest, it’s usually when I need to take a break anyway.
I am grateful for my freezer, fridge, and cupboard full of food. Sometimes I don’t know how to put any of it together to make a meal, but I have more than enough to eat. I am grateful for my job, although there are day’s I’d rather just sleep all day.
I am saddened by my Aunt’s passing, but I’m also glad that she is safe in God’s hand now, and free of the pain and stress she’s been suffering.
Psalm 107:1 says, “Give thanks to the Lord, because he is good; his love is eternal!” (GNT).
I find that if I look for reasons to be angry and upset, I can find them. In the same way, if I look for reasons to be grateful, I can find those, too.
So remember, Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don’t ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise.” (CEV)
That is a verse to live by, in my opinion.


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