Dear GNG Church & Friends,
We will not be officially gathering over this long weekend because many of us are spread out in different places. Perhaps you are with friends, family, or taking the time to visit somewhere new! Wherever you are we hope you are able to continue living as the beloved church of God, experiencing life with fullness and abundance, and expressing (in your own unique way) the freedom that comes from Jesus through the Spirit.
Here is a short meditation as we join the rest of our country's celebration of Independence Day:
It is a blessing that we are able to live as live as an expression of God's called out ones in our country without feeling fear or persecution. Many Christians see the 4th of July as a day to celebrate religious freedom - and there is much to be thankful for when it comes to the churches ability to be free from government control in our country. Moreover, there are many other good things that have come as a result of the declaration of independence from Europe when the original representatives of the 13 colonies voted on July 2nd, 1776. However, as God's people we must strive to see all the things that happen in this world through a lens that recognizes good & evil. With every celebration there is also something to lament. So let us also lament the past events that were also marked with incredible division, violence, and war that always seems to be present when men declare their ownership over God's world.
We hope you are able to take a moment sometime over this long weekend to meditate on this short statement from: Our World Belongs to God: A Contemporary Testimony (Adopted by Synod 2008):
"As followers of Jesus Christ, living in this world— which some seek to control, and others view with despair— we declare with joy and trust: Our world belongs to God!"
Footnote: For God’s ownership of all things, see Psalm 24:1 (quoted in 1 Cor. 10:26), Job 41:11, and Deuteronomy 10:14. That this is also “our world”—given to the human race to keep and care for—is one of the themes of the creation stories in Genesis 1 and 2.
We are blessed to be a blessing. Let's embody the Good News together - wherever you gather. ;)
July 2nd: No FWG - due to the variety of things on 4th of July weekend.
July 9th: FWG - Readying ourselves for Backpacking!!
July 14th - 16th - MANISTEE BACKPACKING TRIP!!!
July 16th - no FWG.
August 10th: TOT: (Tentatively Planned) Theology on Tap: Pain