The COOKIE WALK will be held next Saturday in the Hall from 10am-Noon. We still need bakers! The more you make,the more we sell, and the more we raise for our mission work. By the way we are planning a trip to Houston on 2/26-3/3/18 and will need the funds to help subsidize volunteer costs for air and room. Friday Dec. 1st is our Christmas Concert. (Tickets are $10). See our website for the program selections. Buy online or at church.

I’d ask everyone to pray for the victims of the shooting in the First Baptist Church in Texas. It is hard to believe any human being could enter a House of God and end the lives of so many good people. A few years ago it was at a prayer meeting at the Emmanuel AME Church in the South, and last year a Mosque in Minnesota. While the chance of anything happening here is negligible, it is worth acquainting ourselves with the fire alarm located on the Ocean Street entrance and the burglar/fire alarm pad located just outside the bathroom. While most folks would use phones to contact the police, there are delays as in routing through a central number, but our two alarm pads are wired directly into the town police and fire departments. The fire alarm can be utilized by drawing down the lever, while the pad outside the bathroom can be activated by pressing the green plus symbol. Unlike those other small houses of worship, we have several exit routes in the church, as well as one off the rear of the sacristy leading down several stairs to the rear parking lot.

We live in an increasingly secularized world, and even in this town there seems to be good intentions to avoid offending anyone by speaking of God, and so we go about holding holiday concerts and tree lighting, and treating the expression of faith as if it is offensive. Our town certainly is not the only town or city that has gone down this road, but the woes that ripple through the countryside result when we turn away from promoting our Christian life, and allowing ourselves to be paralyzed by fear of offending others with the trust that is God. I am offended when we dismiss history and rename a spruce tree from a Christmas tree to a ‘tree.’ When we forget the role that God plays in our own lives, as well as the life of our community, we forgo the abundant blessings He has stored up for us. If you doubt this, merely study the pages of the Old Testament, which are replete with many examples where communities who greatly diminished worshipping God experienced great downfalls. This is not a matter of ‘being politically correct,’ it is in times like these that we need to become witnesses to the Gospel by evangelizing the ‘good news of Jesus Christ’ or if we are Muslim then we proclaim the message of Allah and if we are Jewish then we proclaim the message of the prophets of Abraham, Isaac and Joseph. The United States of America was founded that we might have the freedom to express our religion while being respectful of others religious beliefs.

If you believe Jesus is your Lord and Savior, and if you and I seek eternal Life with Him, following Him does not become a situational matter of when and how I promote or hide this relationship, it has to be a relationship that predures over time and is lived out in every moment and with every breathe.

Let’s stop being ashamed of our Christian identity, open our hearts, and live out the boldness of our faith. This is not a seasonal ‘holiday issue’, secularization is a means to remove us from God’s protection and abundant grace and blessing. Lastly, Will Rein’s Mission column offers an approach to healing the divisions in our lives and society by promoting the Gospel by opening our hearts to others in need. Jesus I trust in you!