To the Church of God
A few Wednesday nights ago, when we had last gathered for Wednesday Night activities, I had the opportunity to teach the large group lesson to the confirmation students grades 6-8. The topic: Paul’s Major Letters. We began with a fun large group activity (yes, we actually did build and throw paper airplanes in the sanctuary) followed by an activity that they were to do in their small groups.
Each group was to write a letter on a LARGE post-it note to the pastors of Family of Christ in a similar format that Paul wrote his letters to the congregations he helped start and encouraged along their way. The letters were then all hung on the walls of the church office for us to enjoy.
I must tell you we have enjoyed them so much that I thought it would be nice to share some of those responses with you here today. Every letter had a unique opening ranging from formal addresses such as: “Salutations to all God’s beloved pastors”…and “To the church of God, called Family of Christ, thank you for your biblical knowledge”… And then there were those a bit more casual: “Hey Church”… and “What up Dog?” Surprised? These are middle schoolers after all. But more importantly the content of the letters is what really impressed me. There were a great many expressions of thanks and blessings and appreciation for our church family, Family of Christ. The letters told of how open and welcoming we are and how everyone feels loved here.
Often, we don’t get see this side of our confirmation kids and so I wanted you to know that God is up to something with our youth, something big. It’s time we lean in and listen a bit more closely for they do have valuable things to say about us and about God. I will close with one letter that hangs on my office wall that makes me smile each time I pass.
To the church of God,We are so encouraged by how much people want to help others here, care for others and include others. The leaders are very nice. We love the food you provide and the stories you share. We enjoy J-term very much!We would love more time to be in community with one another (in confirmation) by doing more fun activities and time being mixed up with other groups. We would like to sing more upbeat songs to God. We love you so much and appreciate all that you do. You are valued and loved by the God who created the universe. We know and believe that your hard and faithful work is furthering God’s Kingdom. May peace be with you!
Surprised? These are our middle schoolers after all.
Enough said and thanks be to God!
See you virtually but love you in IRL (in real life),
Pastor Kimberly Buffie
A FEW ANNOUNCEMENTS
Family of Christ YouTube: When you go to our church’s YouTube Channel, please click on the subscribe button. It is free. And once we get more subscribers, it will unlock other benefits for us to take advantage of. Thanks for helping with this!
Opportunities to Connect: Along with our weekly Friday morning Ponderings, we are sending out daily devotions called “Closing Time,” which are sent out at 5:05 pm every day, seven days a week. Our hope is to make a daily connection with our Family of Christ folks during this time we are physically apart. We are also providing Sunday Morning Devotions and the link to those are sent out each Sunday so that people can click on the link, and view our devotions on the church’s YouTube channel. If you know someone who would like to be receiving these communications but aren’t, have them email Stephanie Proper, Church Administrator, and ask to be added to the email list.
Office Hours: Know that we are not keeping regular office hours during this Minnesota State of Emergency. Staff members are mostly working for home, though they may be at church at various times during the week to do some of their work. We are also not encouraging groups to gather together at church, though there are some small groups of people (10 or less) that may have a few tasks to accomplish at church. But, for the most part, we are limiting access to the building. If you need access to the building, please contact a staff member to set up a time.
Thrivent Choice Dollars: Any of you who are members of Thrivent are reminded that you can designate Family of Christ to be the recipient of your “choice dollars“. The deadline to assign “choice dollars” is MARCH 31. These extra funds are always put to good use and are a lovely blessing to your church!
Contact the Pastors: Reach out to Pastor Josh or Pastor Kimberly. If there is something we can do to help you, we sure will try, and that goes for the church staff and the church council too. Use our emails, or text us, or leave a message on the church phone. We will do our best to get back to you, and if there are needs you have that the church can help with, we will do our best to help you out.