Ecclesiological Etchings: 08-31-17

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Scripture: Psalm 119:68
You [LORD] are good and you do good. Teach me your statutes!

Thought for the Day: Ok…I’ve got to confess to you all that I had to check on my calendar if August had 30 or 31 days. I’m a bit tired as I’m sure many of you are. We had a small group at the church today, but we had to come in by boat or wade through deep water. Tomorrow, we are hoping it will be open along York Minster Drive, and so we are inviting anyone who would like to work at the church to come around 9am (see information below).

For my thought today, I’m going to be short and reflect on the word good. As a kid, I was taught the difference between right and wrong, good and bad. For the most part, I had them pretty much figured out. Now did I always choose right/good? I’ll let you ask my mother next time she visits. But the Hebrew word we translate here as good (Towb) is less about making basic choices like being nice to the clerk at the grocery store instead of being rude. It is more about a way of life. As a human being, I want to be good which is more than just making a lot of good choices. It is who you are as a human being on this earth. Today, I saw a lot of good people. There goodness was seen in tangible acts, but it ran deeper than what was visible to the eye. God is good to the core of who God is, and we see that goodness in God’s acts of love, forgiveness, kindness and grace. At no point is God sitting around and asking, “Do I really want to do what is good today?” There is simply no choice.

Prayer: Make me good as you are good, O God. There is work to be done with me, but I wish for goodness to become less a choice and more an identity. Amen.

MESSAGE ABOUT CLEAN-UP
Our campus was badly damaged due to the flooding. Every building has been affected. For those who have been asking to help, we will begin working tomorrow and will need your help.

We are meeting at the church beginning at 10am. Work will continue throughout the day. Please note – parking may not be available in front of the church due to the water. Do not park along the streets in front of houses as cars are being towed. If necessary, groups can park at HEB on Stuebner and Louetta and shuttle in.

Supplies needed:
Wet/Dry shop vacs
Squeegee brooms
Cordless drills with ratchet
Dollys
Wheelbarrows
Carpet razor knives
Gloves
Masks
Water
Contractor trash bags
Mosquito repellant
Cleaning wipes
Cleaning rags
Hand sanitizer
Bleach
Buckets
Snacks

Our goals for tomorrow:
*Remove the carpet and first two rows of chairs from the Forum
*Remove hymnals and Bibles from the Centrum
*Bring chairs from other buildings to the Activity Room
*Clean out the nursery
*Remove water from youth building

Please spread the word and comment below if you are able to come. We thank everyone for their continued thoughts and prayers.

 

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Ecclesiological Etchings: 08-30-17

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Scripture: Matthew 8:15
Jesus touched her hand, and the fever left her. Then she got up and served them.

Thought for the Day: This and other stories of Jesus healing with a touch always intrigued me as a child. It was less about the healing, though that was powerful, and more about his touch. I would picture in my mind the hand of Jesus outstretched, reaching for me. I am guessing the image was vivid for all the “Jesus Paintings” that hung in the Sunday School rooms. Most of them depicted the hand of Jesus in the foreground, so close I was sure I could touch his finger tip. Amidst the storm, rising waters, frightening situations, darkness, unfamiliar settings, bad news, grief, and more rain, I think our community needs an image of that outstretched hand. This is where the body of Christ is at its best – with an outstretched hand to those who need comfort, security and love. We are seeing it now all over our city, and I know we will see more in the weeks and months ahead.

Prayer: O Word That Took On Flesh, as you have reached out to me so many times with your hand of grace, let me stand with sisters and brothers who shall form your resurrected body in our collective flesh. May your indwelling Spirit be our guide and source. Amen.

MEMBER UPDATE: We have found 21 families who have experienced damage from the floods, but we are expecting others. Please let us know how we can help, and update us with any information about your current situation. You can email: Paula or Sheila: pgembala@cypresscreek.cc or sgillette@cypresscreek.cc. Or call Paula at: (832) 594-5774.
AN UPDATE ON BUILDINGS: A few of our folks entered the buildings yesterday afternoon. They found, of course, lots of damage. Though there was some good news found in the Activity Room and Forum. The Activity Room did not have any water, and the Forum only had some. We will provide more information later today.

Ecclesiological Etchings: 08-29-17

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Tonight (Monday), I reflect on the day and what I have seen and heard. First, let me say how incredible our church is. And of course, when I say church, I’m talking about the idea taught in the song, I am the church, you are the church, we are the church together…  It is the people opening their homes and lives to others, and of course, there are dozens of stories I have not yet heard. Our Houston community has been beyond Christ-like in its service and compassion. I celebrate those who have found something they could do, and of course, there will be more and more opportunities down the road.

In a conversation with someone from our denomination, he said to me, “Don’t worry! Your church will rise from this situation.” I understand what he was suggesting, but I tend to believe there is no need for us to rise. We are and continue to be the church, the body of Jesus Christ, wherever we find ourselves. Because he has risen, we live the resurrected life. Even through tragedy and loss beyond our imagination, we remain connected to the one whose life and power would not and could not remain in the grave. Our community and our church family will know a lot of pain in the weeks and months ahead, but we will not rise for the simple reason that those who are connected to Jesus are never outside that resurrected power. In the waters of baptism, we already rose – done deal!

In your mercy, Lord, we seek a fresh infusion of your life-giving and hope-filled spirit. Animate us as you animated lifeless bones. Connect us deeply to the one who was raised, our redeemer and friend, Jesus. Amen.

Ecclesiological Etchings: 08-28-17

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Scripture: Psalm 54:2
God! Hear my prayer; listen to the words of my mouth!

Thought for the Day: Like many of you, I have been in conversation with God these last 48 hours. My heart aches as I think about everything people throughout southern Texas have experienced and will be facing in the weeks and months to come. At the same time, I have been awed by the generosity of many people who simply stepped into the void to serve their neighbors. My mouth has known prayers of thanksgiving for these individuals and all the first responders. God hears our prayers – the prayers of anguish and awe – and grace is already spilling forth.

Prayer: You hear our prayers, O Lord. With receptive spirits, we seek to receive your gifts of grace and mercy for the sake of building your kingdom amidst the brokenness that so many people know. Amen.

Please Keep Our Community & Church

In Your Prayers 

Ecclesiological Etchings: 08-27-17

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Scripture: Psalm 119:76
Please let your faithful love comfort me, according to what you’ve said to your servant.

Thought for the Day: I chose this sermon text three months ago, and now it sounds to my ears more fitting and relevant than I could have ever imagined. Today and in the days to come, there will be so many who are yearning for the faithful love of God to comfort them, yet the servant to whom God gave the message of this love might not speak. Let all our voices (and actions to match) bring news of a God who is not distant or indiscriminate when it comes to love, but is steadfast. There is work to be done, and there are faithful people prepared for the task.

Prayer: Make me an instrument of your faithful love, O God. May your Spirit work through me for the sharing of comfort amidst the chaos. Amen.

A SERMON based on Psalm 119:76

CLICK HERE

Ecclesiological Etchings: 08-26-17

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Scripture: Isaiah 40:1
Comfort, comfort my people! says your God.

Thought for the Day: I believe these words are too often read as God saying to the people, “I will comfort you.” This makes sense as most people would suggest that God is the source of comfort, yet who is God suggesting as the carrier or envoy of this comfort? The people to whom this passage is directed have been in Babylonian Exile for years, but God is proclaiming the coming of the Holy Presence. God is announcing good news, yet God is seeking both a route and a representative for that Good News. We are to prepare the way for the Lord, and we are called to be the carriers of the comfort. In this difficult weather event, let us remember how God never leaves us alone. While at the same time, God invites us to help deliver the comfort of God in tangible and life-giving ways.

Prayer: O Great Comforter, inspire and encourage me to be an agent of your grace-filled kindness and comfort. Amen.

We Will Make A Decision

About Worship Later This Morning

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