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  • Writer's pictureMemorial Fernandina

In each of the last two weeks, during my sermons I’ve invited you to pick up your bible and read your way through the Acts of the Apostles, allowing it to bear witness to the work of the Holy Spirit. Of course, I’d never ask you to do something that I would not do myself, so I’ve been reading it too. Honestly, I never fail to be amazed, inspired, and challenged by the words contained in The Acts of the Apostles.


One verse that struck me this week is found in Acts 4:32 where we read that “the whole group of those that believed were of one heart and soul…” As I read those words I had a sense of wonder, imagining what it must have been like for a group of believers to be completely aligned with one another. I have no doubt that those gathered together likely held differing views and opinions on many aspects of life in the first century Middle Eastern world, but when it came to their life together in Christ and the mission Christ had called them to these believers were of one heart and mind.


As we read the next verses, we see that not only were they of one heart and mind regarding mission, but they were also “all-in” on that mission – they testified to each other of Christ’s work in their lives, they ensured one another was cared for and that their possessions were shared with those in need. What an excellent image of the church as a body of people united in mission!


At Memorial, our mission is:


to be a grace-filled family, putting our faith into action,

welcoming all people to experience

the love and grace of God, [and who are] journeying to become

deeply rooted disciples of Jesus Christ.


After reading and being a wee bit inspired by Acts 4 this week, I thought this was just the right time to provide a reminder of our mission, around which we are called to be of one heart and mind. I’m in for faith being lived out through action, and for welcoming all people to experience the love and grace of God, and for journeying to become a deeply rooted disciple of Jesus Christ.


How about you?


By the grace of God, and by the power of God’s Spirit we can all give ourselves to living into this calling.


Blessings,



Pastor Charlie


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  • Writer's pictureMemorial Fernandina

Charlie and I participated in a "clergy day away" this week with other clergy in our district. The focus of the day was prayer and learning about breakthrough prayer.


The first question the presenter asked was “do you believe that prayer makes a difference?” This seems like an obvious question to ask a group of clergy, and yet it is where we started. The presenter, Rev. Sue Nilson Kibbey reminded us that if Christians believe that prayer does make a difference, then it can make all the difference in our lives and ministry. She said “prayer is the food of the body if Christ.” We all need food to live, and the body of Christ (you and me) needs prayer to live as well. Like our diet, if our prayer life isn’t filled with good sustenance, our lives with God will be weak and unsustainable.


This year at Memorial, we are focusing on prayer and connection. On Sunday, we will talk about those times in our lives when we can’t seem to hear from God. When God’s voice and movement in our lives seems light or nonexistent. Today, I am wondering how our prayer lives are connected to the work of the Holy Spirit during these times. I invite you to ponder this over the weekend and come with an open spirit to God’s movement on Sunday.


See you Sunday!

Pastor Carrie

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  • Writer's pictureMemorial Fernandina

I love this time of year. The crazy season of busyness that is the build-up to Holy Week and Easter is done, and we in the church have this 50-day long season of the religious year called Eastertide in which we proclaim the good news of Christ’s resurrection from the dead. This is a season in which we celebrate the life, hope, and vitality that is offered to us by Christ.

We are now halfway through Eastertide and well on the way to Pentecost, the day when we celebrate the birth of the Church and the coming of the Holy Spirit to those gathered and waiting in Jerusalem. That day, a group of weary, perhaps still grieving, and somewhat confused followers of Christ were empowered as the Holy Spirit moved mightily within them.


As we read through the Book of Acts in the New Testament, we see that this same group went on to become those who birthed the Christian Church by courageously proclaiming Christ’s death and resurrection, by sharing their lives and possessions with one another, and by indiscriminately welcoming others to come along and be a part of it. The work of the Holy Spirit within this group of Jesus followers was significant and transformative indeed! And I would suggest to you that the same Spirit that was at work in them is the Spirit that is at work in us. I believe it is upon all of us who follow Christ to invite the Holy Spirit to be at work within us so that we all will be empowered to do that which God is calling us to. That’s what is behind the series of sermons we will be preaching in the coming weeks.


Maybe you can relate to the disciples who gathered in Jerusalem and waited for the promised Holy Spirit. Maybe you are weary, or grieving, or confused in your faith journey. In the weeks ahead, we will be preaching about the everyday work of the Holy Spirit that meets us where we are and empowers us to be the people God is calling us to be in the world.


So why not plan to come along and join us in worship? Come with a heart that is open to the work of God’s Spirit and see what happens next in your life and in our life together at Memorial!


Blessings



Pastor Charlie

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