by John Armstrong
As many of you are aware, we have over the last couple of years done some focused Sunday school classes we’ve called, “Community of Rest.” I sincerely hope that you had the opportunity to participate in one or more of those classes. The focus of those classes was to get the women of the church together while the men covered children’s Sunday school, nursery, etc. and had a class of their own. We started out with the idea of having a special class for the women to encourage them, but as we planned and processed it became something more than that. We ended up with classes taught by Charlie Van Meter and myself that sought to get across what it means to be the church. The church is the people of God, the church is our brothers and sisters in Christ that we gather to worship with on Sundays and that we sometimes gather with during the week for Bible Study, prayer, and fellowship. The church is to be a community of rest, it is a place to come and rest, not a rest that is marked by inactivity, but a rest that is restorative, and encouraging. We are talking about a gospel rest that is built up and thrives in the company of other believers who encourage each other to be “resting” in Christ. By now, I’m hoping that all of you are aware of Faith Church’s Retreat that will be held May 31 st – June 2 nd at the Bongiorno Retreat Center in Carlisle, PA. This will be an excellent opportunity to come and participate in the “community of rest” as we get away as a church family and enjoy some focused time in fellowship and study. This is an important time in the life of our church and we have budgeted significantly for it in order that as many can attend as possible. We don’t want cost to be a hindrance to anyone. We have a special guest speaker, Randy Newman. Randy is an author of several books on evangelism. He has extensive ministry experience and he will be leading us to think more deeply about all it means to become a welcoming church. Worship, Discipleship, and Outreach will all be a part of what we have planned for the weekend. We’ll have times of study in these areas and we’ll also have time to worship and recreate together. (For those staying home, there will be no Sunday school, but we will worship on Sunday morning as usual here in Frederick.) So, you may be asking, ‘why am I taking my entire Pastor’s Pondering to address this?’ It is important to the life of our church that we foster healthy relationships and function between members. If any church is going to thrive, the church (the people) must love each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. Therefore, having a time to get away together and get to know each other better and have some teaching about our mutual purpose is of great value. That said, it is my sincere hope that you will make time to attend and to really participate in this retreat. If you have any questions about the retreat, please address them to David Johnston or John Armstrong. If you are going to need financial assistance, please see one of the deacons and they will be happy to help you. I look forward to seeing you at the retreat.