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  • Writer's pictureMemorial Fernandina

Last Sunday morning we started a brand new series of sermons based on the New Testament Epistle to the Ephesians. I invited you to join with Pastor Rachel and myself as we read our way through this short letter chapter by chapter each week. I hope you took me up on that invitation and have spent some time each day reading from Ephesians chapter one.

 

In my own reading, I have centered my attention on the second half of the chapter where the writer prays for the readers. As Pastor, I have read this prayer dozens of times, making it my own prayer for the congregations I serve.  This week, I have been particularly drawn to the prayerful words of verses 18 and 19, and I have been praying them for you:

 

“[I pray that]…with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may perceive what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints,  and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power.” (Eph 1:18-19)

 

It’s been a difficult week, friends. The horrific events in Pennsylvania last weekend were a stark reminder of the bitterness, hatred, division, and violence that often seems to dominate our life together in the United States these days.  Bearing witness to such events and listening to the varied pieces of commentary that have been made since can quickly and easily distract us, filling us with deep concern and perhaps even a sense of hopelessness.

 

So, my prayers for you have echoed those of the writer of this letter for the Ephesian Christians – that even in times that feel desperate and hopeless we all might perceive the hope to which we have been called. The God whose power is immeasurable in its greatness is with us today and every day, in the best of times and in the worst of times. 


Take a moment to pause now and let the presence of the eternal God comfort you, grant you peace, and fill you with hope once more.


See you Sunday!




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  • Writer's pictureMemorial Fernandina


Hi Friends,  

 

Summer is in full swing here on the island and at Memorial. Many of you are traveling or have family in town. The pace seems slower and more relaxed with a lot of activities here on hiatus. One of the things I love about our Lunch & Learn group is that we do not adjourn for the summer, but we pivot.

During the fall and spring sessions we read some sort of nonfiction that engages us theologically. In the summer we turn to a work of fiction with some sort of Christian themes. This past Thursday we began Mitch Albom’s The Little Liar which begins in Greece at the height of World War II. It has us engaging questions about what is truth and the language we use to talk about other people.

The conversation is rich and fascinating, leading us to discuss the human tendency toward “othering”. The trends in the news cycles are not new; historically, there’s always been some sort of trope about “us versus them”. As Christians, we must resist the urge toward othering and look toward the unity that takes place in Christ’s death and resurrection. I will be honest, that seems extremely hard at times and especially as we move toward election season.

How do we work toward unity when it seems like we cannot have conversations with others? We come forward with humility, grace and an openness to listening. Do we call out injustice when we experience it? Absolutely, but I think we must also make the space to find a common ground from which we can work together to love God and love our neighbor and let the Spirit move within us.  

Conveniently, this book creates space to have conversation on themes that mingle with the sermon series we are about to begin on Ephesians. If you would like to join in with us at Lunch and Learn we meet at 11:30 on Thursdays in the Multipurpose Room. It’s not too late to grab a book from the Partin Center.

Otherwise, I hope you will engage with us in the Ephesians series by reading along week by week. In a great time of division there is much to learn and be reminded of by Paul’s words of unity.  

 

With grace and peace,  

Pastor Rachel  

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  • Writer's pictureMemorial Fernandina


Margaret, Eva, Jackson, and I just returned from a wonderful vacation time back home where we enjoyed seeing old friends, spending time with family, and indulging in all the foods we miss! While it was great to be there, it is also good to be back “home” among you all. 


I want to thank Pastor Rachel and our whole amazing staff team for covering all the bases while I was overseas. I know they did an excellent job, just as they always do! And I have heard excellent things about another fabulous VBS run by Sarah Baldwin and her team of fantastic volunteers. Great job, everyone!

 

With vacation time behind me now, I am super excited about the rest of the summer and all that we have coming up, including an exciting series of summer sermons from the New Testament book of Ephesians, as well as some very special Hands-on Mission opportunities such as a morning serving our mission partners at The Arc and our annual School Supply Drive in support of the amazing teachers of Nassau County.

 

While in Northern Ireland, many friends and family asked me about church and how things are going. Each time I was asked, it gave me great pride to be able to tell people about all the good work for Christ that takes place through our life together at Memorial.  I don’t know if we tell you this enough, Church, but you really are doing a wonderful job of being the church and embodying God’s grace for our community and world.

 

I’m so proud to serve among you, and I cannot wait to see you on Sunday morning.

 

Blessings

Pastor Charlie

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