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Count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus…For sin shall not be your master because you are not under the law, but under grace. — (Romans 6: 11,14)

"Do you know the Good News of Christ Jesus? You are saved and remade in Him.” That’s what the man at the fair said. It kinda got to Darcie. After all, she came to the fair to have some fun, let go of her cares, and just be with her friends. But that got to her. All this religion stuff was like her grandma making her go to church and sitting there in the heat with a boring sermon and slow music. It was not at all like the fair! Especially the midway with its lights and screams and nauseating fun. Was it all real?

As God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For He says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” “I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” -2 Corinthians 6: 1-2

So let me share a perspective with you.  On Committee On Ministry (I am moderator for the Presbytery),  I talk with many churches. And I do not just talk to sister congregations in the Presbytery but because of trainings and connections inherent in our system of church; I talk to and hear stories from pastors and sessions around the country. And there are three basic types of congregations—

"Come here and listen to the words of the Lord your God. This is how you will know that the living God is among you… See, the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord of all the earth will go into the Jordan ahead of you." - Joshua 3: 9-10a,11 (NIV)

What has God in store for us at First Presbyterian? Only God knows! But we trust that the Spirit is moving to help us answer Jesus’s call upon us. Have you stopped recently and asked this question. Some of you no doubt look around and see decline or issues—we don’t have enough donors or we don’t have enough kids. Just look at the furnace fundraising and you will know that the donors part is not true. Look at VBS or the Easter Egg hunt or the past years’ mission trips or the 4 young people that just were confirmed and you will know that the kids’ part isn’t true. But why don’t we just have a thriving church again you ask? The great moments in the past, the leading of God, the gifts that fell from heaven seem so long ago. We are undone you might say. We fail to see God at work today because we think we know what that looks like and we think we know how God should be acting. BUT IT IS GOD’S ACTING AND NOT OUR OWN to which we need to be alert, (see F-1.01 in the Book of Order or 1 Corinthians 1: 7-8). God is active and moving in our congregation  today. It’s time we got on board and started to rejoice and build instead of grumble and die. But this tendency to see things in dismal terms especially in the midst of change is basic human stuff! It is what the Israelites thought with Joshua. They had already romanticized the “good old days” with Moses, forgetting the grumbling and the hard fought path, the fact that they themselves didn’t want to follow Moses.

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