Happy (Complicated) Holidays!

Good morning,

Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make our church picnic a success this year…and let’s pray that we will be able to be back in the park next year!

You’ve probably noticed that we’ve celebrated holidays at Ebenezer a little differently than we have in the past.  With Father’s Day coming up this Sunday, I thought it might be helpful to share my thoughts on holidays and worship services. 

Let me begin by saying that there isn’t a “right” and “wrong” way for churches to celebrate our national holidays like Memorial Day, Mother’s Day, and so on.  Every church and every pastor plans services a little differently, and that’s OK!

What I have found in my time in ministry is that almost every holiday evokes some different reactions from people.  Some folks, for example, love to celebrate Mother’s Day, while others just try to get through the day.  Almost everyone has a holiday or two that are just…complicated.  I do too! 

Because of this reality, some churches have stopped celebrating holidays altogether (except for Easter and Christmas, of course).  While I understand their reasoning, I think its’ better to have balance be the goal – keeping the focus of the worship service on God and celebrating “Victory in Jesus,” while also acknowledging whatever occasion it happens to be.  Finding that balance is not easy, and I imagine that we’ll continue to find our way. 

So if Father’s Day is a complicated day for you…I want you to join us on Sunday.  We’ll have a special prayer for fathers and a couple of other fun ways to honor the men in our lives, but the focus of our time together will be on worshiping our Heavenly Father.

Here’s what’s happening:

1.       VBS Week is in full swing!  We have about 42 kids coming to the church each night!  I encourage you to swing by the church during the evening this week to check out all the action!  We could use a few extra “support” folks on Thursday and Friday nights!  I can’t stop using exclamation points!

2.      Our VBS Missions project this year is support Randy and Chris Amberman, who are missionaries to the Navajo people out in New Mexico.  We are collecting money throughout the week to help pay for some new playground equipment at their ministry center.  If you would like to contribute, please place your gift in the offering plate this week and mark it “Amberman.”  As always, please use a separate envelope or check if at all possible.

3.      Thanks to everyone who checked their directory information on Sunday.  We are off to a great start in updating it!   If you didn’t get a chance to do so, please check it this week to make sure we have the correct information for you.

4.      We will be “de-decorating” the church on Monday night from 6:30 – 8 pm.  We could really use some extra hands to do so.

I hope that you can join us this Sunday, as we are looking at the events of Esther 8 and discussing what it looks like to wait upon the Lord.  If you know of someone who is really struggling with being patient in the midst of a trial, please invite them to join you on Sunday.  I think that they will find our time to be very encouraging!