In our travels Hillary and I have had a chance to visit some different churches over this summer. It gives us a fresh sense of perspective to experience worship in other settings. And, it makes me look forward to preaching back at home again in mid-August when I return from sabbatical.
Last Sunday we worshiped at the Cedar Point Community Church, down in the southwest corner of Chase County. This is their building...
There were only a dozen or so of us there, but you don't need to have a huge crowd to have a great time in the Lord. The service included a young girl sharing her testimony about her experience at Christian camp. She memorized a large portion of Colossians 3, and the guest preacher shared a message about the kingship of Jesus, and how the kingdom of God is a theme that pervades the Bible, from beginning to end.
Today Hillary and I visited our sister church, the First Congregational Church of Hutchinson, Kansas. Matt Stafford has been the pastor there for about a dozen years or so. He's a definite blessing to our regional family of Congregational churches. He gave a message that built of Jesus' living water discourse in John 4 -- emphasizing how insecurity is the #1 problem in America, and it goes back to our need for grace. He asked the question, "What do we do with our failure?" We strive to live well "because of" the grace of God, not "in order to" earn His favor.
After church we joined Charles Good and his daughter Barbara and two grandsons Blake and Braxton for lunch. Charles was raised in Congregational Churches in Kansas. His father was an active pastor many years ago. He recently was able to attend his 80th class reunion in Eureka, Kansas, where his father served as pastor. some time back. You can see our pictures below...
We'll continue to visit different places and share our experiences through the rest of the summer. It's been interesting how in each place God has given us a word we needed to hear -- often in continuity with other themes we have run into in other places. That's a sure sign that the Holy Spirit is moving.