Monthly Newletter — November 2012

Posted by colin on November 16, 2012 under Monthly Newsletter | Comments are off for this article

 Family of Faith Christian Fellowship

London Newsletter

November 2012 / Issue 34

In this issue:

  • Upcoming events

  • November Letter

  • Participation in mission with Jesus

  • Things to pray for

  • Quotations Worth Thinking About

Upcoming Events:

  • Communion – Sunday, November 11, 2012

    Our Communion service takes place each month on the second Sunday of the month.

  • Discipleship 101 – Sunday, November 18, 2012

    Our discipleship course will take place on the third Sunday of this month. The topic will be the work of the Holy Spirit. (Chapters 14 & 15 of the booklet).

November Letter

At the end of last month we delivered our first shipment of food to the Byron Food Bank. Thank you to everyone who contributed. We will continue to collect non-perishable food items each week, and make a delivery to the food bank at the end of every month. Below is a reminder of the sort of items that are suitable for the food bank.

This month we will be covering the Sermon on the Mount in our series in the book of Matthew. This is the first, and the most important, of the five teaching sections in the book of Matthew. I would encourage you to read through Matthew Chapters 5 through 7 several times during the course of this month. This should help to bring Jesus’ message home in a more powerful way.

I have also included in this month’s newsletter an article by Joseph Tkach from the Pastor General’s Update of September 26, 2012.

Warmest regards,

Colin and Sue

Participation in Mission with Jesus

We have just completed the 2012 round of U.S. Regional Conferences. The theme was our participation in mission with Jesus. I was asked a few times, why are we so concerned about mission? If God has already reconciled all people to himself in and through Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17-19), why are we so concerned with “reaching” them? Though these questions are logical, they imply that the mission of reaching people with the gospel is merely one option on a menu that God has given to the church from which to choose. But mission is not an option for us, and if we think it is, we need to reorient our thinking. In fact, doing so was the over-arching theme of this year’s conferences.

In his conference presentations, Gary Deddo reminded us that we first must ask the question, who is God? The Bible answers that the one God exists as a triune communion of love. In his being (nature) he is love (1 John 4:8), and this explains everything that he does and how he does it. In love, God created the cosmos as a time and place in which to share his triune love and life with his creation. Because his love never ceases or diminishes, he became Redeemer to rescue his creation from its inability to live in communion with him. Before the beginning of time and space, as we experience them, God our Creator and Redeemer has been “on mission.” God the Father sent his Son Jesus to accomplish that mission and Jesus trained others, who in turn trained others. We are part of a long line of those who are called to receive this training.

This, then, is how we should see ourselves. Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to call, form and equip the church to share in his ongoing ministry, which is fulfilling the Father’s mission to the world. In other words, the church exists because of, and for, God’s mission. We are called by God to participate as partners and co-workers in his mission. The Christian life is not a spectator sport. We are following Jesus as he continues by the Holy Spirit to seek true worshipers of his Father.

In her conference presentations, Cathy Deddo spoke about understanding our participation in God’s mission. Since the Ascension and Pentecost, what God is doing in the world in and through the church has principally to do with discipleship – becoming followers of Jesus in daily communion with him. This aspect of God’s mission is not so much about “getting people saved,” because God has accomplished that already. Rather, the mission is about illumination, education and application, all of which involve repentance and living trust in our living Lord. Jesus is working in people’s lives in all three of these areas through the Holy Spirit. The church is called to bear witness to Jesus (Acts 1:8) by proclaiming who he is and what he has done for us, sharing as we do in his ongoing acts of healing, mercy and forgiveness. This is why we proclaim the stunning truth of the gospel, and invite others to join us as disciples who are being transformed into his likeness day by day.

In my conference presentation, I illustrated how many of our members around the world are already doing this. Dan Rogers showed how Jesus commissioned people to participate in his ministry in the New Testament church. The other presenters further reinforced how we, as congregations and individuals, can be involved with Jesus in ministering to others… Cathy pointed out how Jesus’ feeding of the 5000 with the disciples’ few loaves and fish is a great example of how Jesus gets us involved in what he’s doing, using what we have.

Participating in mission with Jesus involves being in the world, even though we are also cautioned to be not of it. We cannot remain aloof from the world’s problems, and we must be responsive even when the world “heaves a brick at us” to gain our attention. As Karl Barth once pointed out, the church cannot say “yes” to the world, if it cannot also say “no.” Jesus was a friend of sinners, yet without sin of his own. Today, Jesus is doing this ministry principally through his human presence in the world, in and through his body, the church. We are called to stand with Jesus in solidarity with the world, sharing its plight, proclaiming and demonstrating to our fellow human beings our one and sure hope.

This, then, is the answer to the question, Why should the church be concerned about mission? The answer is simply this: mission is what we are for. So let us be among our Lord’s devoted disciples – those who not only hear his voice, but actively join with him as he, in the power of the Holy Spirit, helps people live into the reconciliation with God that forever is their’s in and with him.

Joseph Tkach, September 26, 2012, PGR

Things to Pray for:

Prayer remains one of the great and glorious mysteries of the universe – that the all-knowing, all-wise, all-sovereign God should ordain to run his world in response to our prayers is mind-boggling. But that is the uniform witness of Scripture. God hears and answers the prayers of his people. O do not neglect this amazing way of influencing nations and movements and institutions and churches and people’s hearts, especially your own.” – John Piper

Please pray for:

  • Dougall Clutton (in hospital); Gabriella Hodgins (arthritis and tendonitis); Lisa Masse (recovery from knee operation); Barb Dutton (health); Scott Blaine (MS); Ian Palmatier (rheumatoid arthritis); Sue Robbins (cancer).
  • People who have been affected by the various natural disasters we have experienced this year, most recently Hurricane Sandy in the USA.
  • Our local congregation that we might fulfill God’s will for us. Pray that we might each be a light in our community, manifesting the love of God to friends, family, co-workers and neighbours.
  • Opportunities to share the gospel with others, the courage to do so, and the wisdom to know how.

Suggested Items for the Food Bank

  • Canned Meat or Fish

  • Rice

  • Spaghetti

  • Powdered Milk

  • Flour

  • Spaghetti Sauce

  • Saltine Crackers

  • Breakfast Cereals

  • Baking soda

  • Canned or Dried Soups

  • Peanut Butter and Jam

  • Salt & Pepper

  • Canned Fruits and Vegetables

  • Macaroni & Cheese

  • Sugar

Quotations Worth Thinking About

“We have to learn to climb the hill called Calvary, and from that vantage-ground survey all life’s tragedies. The cross does not solve the problem of suffering, but it supplies the essential perspective from which to look at it.”

John Stott

The love of neighbour is the only door out of the dungeon of self, where we mope and moan…”

George MacDonald

God helps those who cannot help themselves.

Charles Spurgeon

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