Dear Congregational Family,

1. Youth: This week around 40 of our youth and adult youth leaders are in Wisconsin at the ARC (Association Retreat Center) where they are participating in the national youth gathering. Please be in prayer for them this week that the Holy Spirit would be mightily at work. Pray especially for God’s healing for Heather Weighley who is on the trip, but is hospitalized at Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis, MN. Pray for a safe return for all this weekend. See picture below.

2. Pastor McMinn: Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of Pastor McMinn’s ordination and installation as our Associate Pastor. We praise the Lord for him and his family and thank God for bringing the McMinn’s to us! See pictures below.

3. Fourth of July: This week we will be celebrating our national independence and the Declaration of Independence. Throughout the struggle for independence there were spiritual movements in the colonies and many people calling out in prayer to God. George Washington is famously pictured kneeling in prayer in the snow at Valley Forge, PA., calling out to God in prayer for the birth of this new nation.

In addition to our independence, we are so thankful for our freedoms which are enshrined in our constitution. In recent years our world has witnessed a limiting of religious freedoms, especially of Christians. This makes us all the more thankful for the freedoms we have in the U.S. which were wisely put forth in our Constitution. Specifically, the Bill of Rights guarantees Americans fundamental rights which most of the world barely dares to dream of having. Our founding fathers knew all too well that government needed to be limited in its power, and that freedoms needed to be protected. They had experienced how easy it was for government to overreach its powers at the expense of the liberties of the citizens.

The first right guaranteed in our Constitution is the Freedom of Religion. It states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The Freedom of Religion was foremost of all, because from it flows all other freedoms. That concept is currently being debated and its value is being undermined. Even this past year with the Covid-19 restrictions, the foundational role of religion and the freedom to practice it was called into question. As Christian citizens we are to be highly invested in our government, and faithful in prayer for it, and in participation in it.

4. Sunday School: Beginning this week in adult Sunday School, we are going to have a two-week series on the “Faith of our Fathers” in looking at our heritage, as well as how that is articulated and practiced today. Marty Rieck and Pastor Carlson will be teaching.

5. Sermon: Sermon Title: “Speaking Truth to Pressure, Pride and Power”
Sermon Text: Ezekiel 1:28-3:12
• We will have services at 8:30am, 11:00am and 6:00pm.

Growing Together in our Faith as the Family of God,

Pastor Carlson