Dear Members and Friends of St. John,.
When was the last time people came knocking on your door from a local church? In the 1960’s and 1970’s this was a somewhat new way of reaching out to others and actually somewhat effective. I remember going door to door for a week as a 14 year old in the summer of 1968 participating in a church youth program in Jacksonville, Florida, After some hesitancy our group actually had some meaningful conversations with people about God’s love in Jesus. But, today such sharing is considered pushy, and is often ineffective. Many of those who come to our doors today are often part groups that have significantly different teachings about Jesus.
But, God tells us in Scripture that the only way to heaven is faith in Jesus. Jesus says of Himself "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” So, how can Christians effectively share the good news that God loves us and sent His Son, Jesus, to die and rise to forgive our sin and bring us eternal life? Actually, while God’s children are called to “go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19), and to “be witnesses” for Jesus (Acts 1:8), God does not call us to be rude or pushy. In 1 Peter, we are actually instructed o be “gentle and respectful” in sharing the Good News of God’s love.
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. (1 Peter 3:15)
How can we share our Savior while being gentle and respectful? I have some suggestions. This next couple of weeks St. John is offering a number of opportunities to gently and respectfully share the eternal truth that God works to save us by His grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
· First, members of St. John will be marching in the Colony Days parade on Saturday, June 10. The theme of our entry reflects our new mission statement, “PRAY, SERVE, ENCOURAGE – In Christ’s Love,” Our entry will share this theme while the parade celebrates the history of the Matanuska Colony. As we walk in the parade we will hand out leaflets inviting people to a Community Picnic and to the hospitality of St. John on our property.
· Secondly, we are offering a “Community Picnic” at St. John immediately following the parade. We will be serving hamburgers and hot dogs, side dishes and ice cream. When people take some food, they will have an opportunity to pick up a leaflet that invites them to join us in receiving God’s blessings through worship. So, through this picnic, we will share God’s love while eating with those attending.
· Finally, St. John Family Camp will replace traditional VBS at St. John this year. On Friday through Sunday, June 16-18, families will camp at Eklutna Lake, attend Bible time, participate in fun outdoor activities, and grow in love as Christian families. This family camp gives us an opportunity to share Jesus in a deeper way with members of our families, and with our friends.
It is very important that we share Jesus with other people. HE is The Way to eternal life in heaven with our Heavenly Father. But, God does not call us to be obnoxious or rude in the way that we share His eternal blessing. I invite you to come and participate with others as we share, Jesus, the reason for the hope that you have.”
A Child of God, Seeking to Gently Share God’s love in Jesus,
P.S. Pastor Ted Werfelman, his daughter Andrea, son Jonathan, and their friend Ann, stayed with the Rockeys, attended worship on May 28, and helped lead the Alaska Church Workers’ Conference in Homer, May 30 – June 1. Here are some pictures of their visit. https://goo.gl/photos/uamyzWd57Ro8X35u6
P.P.S. Before the conference started there was a halibut fishing trip. We caught small fish, 16 people caught a limit. Here are some pictures of one boat. https://goo.gl/photos/PDSdHqNa8xDjwrzF7
ABOUT ‘THOUGHTS FROM THE PASTOR’ - I am sending these e-mail messages, hopefully weekly, to all St. John members and friends whose e-mails I have. (I am regularly adding new names of friends and members – in case you are just receiving this e-mail for the first time.) However, if you don’t want to receive this e-mail, please let me know, and I’ll gladly leave your name off my list for this message.