Dear Congregational Family,

1. VBS: Next week is Vacation Bible School!! We have over 75 students registered!! Several months ago we were wondering if we could even have VBS this year. I’m so glad that we are having it! I have been amazed at the creativity that has gone into making this a very special VBS this year! There will be Bible lessons that are taught, farm visits with real sheep, music and singing, and even crafts (for those who registered)!! Our theme is “The Lord is my Shepherd.” What a great theme in the midst of these troubled times!!!

Our vision for VBS is that families can watch it together in their homes as well as invite others to do so as well. VBS is the week of July 27-31 and will be livestreamed each day beginning at 9:00am; although, you can watch it at any time thereafter. You do not need to register to watch it (just to have received the craft supplies), so I would encourage everyone (adults, you will love this!) to check it out this year! Just go to our church website at ruthfred.org and you will find the VBS livestream available.

2. Weary but Eagerly Waiting; Groaning, but Spiritually Growing:
In working on the message for last Sunday, I stumbled upon this excellent quote by John Stott – “We are to wait neither so eagerly that we lose our patience, nor so patiently that we lose our expectation; but eagerly and patiently together.” As we wait on the Lord’s return, we pray, “Come, Lord Jesus, Come!”

3. Youth Retreat: We are so thankful for our youth and all that they have been able to do this summer! Last week they had a wonderful retreat together in Tionesta and enjoyed tubing on the Allegheny River as well. (see picture below)


4. Knowing God: Last week, J.I. Packer passed away at age 93. He was an internationally recognized stalwart of the Christian Church, having written over 300 books and articles, etc. regarding the Christian faith. His most famous was the book, “Knowing God.” This book influenced my life as a college student, and then as a campus minister I later lead a year-long book study through it with college students. Packer’s premise was that “One can know a great deal about God without much knowledge of Him,” and second, “One can know a great deal about godliness without much knowledge of Him.” Packer was passionate that Christians actually come to “know God” rather than just “know about God”!! I would encourage you to read this book! He was also passionate that Christians live in holiness and walk with God. He was last in Pittsburgh in 2014 and I had the chance to hear his final lecture here, and to visit with him in person following it. Blessed be his memory!

4. Sermon: Title: “New & Old Treasures in God’s Word”, Text: Matthew 13:47-52

God bless you as we continue,

“Growing Together in our Faith as the Family of God”

Pastor Carlson