Dear Congregational Family,

1. Church Picnic & Praise in the Park: Praise the Lord for the wonderful time that we had together as a church family last Saturday! It was great to see so many people from outside our congregation come to the Concert of Praise as well! Great job in reaching out and inviting others! Special thanks to David Compel for his energetic work in organizing this event and to the many volunteers who worked so hard to make it happen, with set-up, clean-up, games, food, music, etc.!! The musicians practiced countless hours over these past months for this as well!!! We are so grateful to so many! See pictures below.

2. Afghanistan: Our hearts continue to go out especially to our brothers and sisters in Christ in Afghanistan! Pray for their strength, courage, protection, and endurance. Many will soon be martyred for their faith. In the past 20 years, it is reported that between 5,000 and 8,000 Afghans have become Christians. Prior to that, very few Christians lived in the country. Now, this young church is enduring agonizing trials and persecutions. Many reports have been coming out from leaders of the now “underground” church in Afghanistan about what is taking place as the Taliban has taken control of almost the entire country. It is being repeatedly reported that:

“The Taliban has a hit list of known Christians they are targeting to pursue and kill.… the Taliban are going door-to-door taking women and children. The people must mark their house with an ‘X’ if they have a girl over 12 years old, so that the Taliban can take them. If they find a young girl and the house was not marked, they will execute the entire family. If a married woman 25 years old or older has been found, the Taliban promptly kill her husband, do whatever they want to her, and then sell her as a sex slave.” It is also being reported that “the Taliban demand people’s phones, and if they find a downloaded Bible on your device, they will kill you immediately.” (The Christian Post)

As a Christian husband and father, these horrors are unimaginable. Join me in praying for God’s hand to be at work in a miraculous way, in protecting individual lives, as well as in the country as a whole. May God have mercy and grace!

3. Staff: The “Retirement Cake Reception” for Pat Lutz will be this Sunday in the Fellowship Hall after the 11:00 a.m. service. I am so thankful for all that Pat has done in ministering to our congregation these past four years! God bless you, Pat!

Please pray for Regan Johnson as he arrives and moves in this Saturday. We praise the Lord for bringing him to us. Make sure to connect with him and encourage him as he begins his new ministry here!

4. Fall Calendar: It’s almost here! Confirmation will start on Sept. 8th. JTTW and Kids’ Time will both start on Sept. 15th. The choirs will also begin soon. Stay tuned!

5. Sermon: Sermon Title: “You’re Under Attack–Use God’s Armor.”
Sermon Text: Ephesians 6:10-20

Growing Together in our Faith as the Family of God,

Pastor Carlson