Dear Congregational Family,
1. Ordination & Installation: Sunday was an incredible day! Ordination is such a sacred occasion, not only in the pastor’s life, but also in the life of the congregation. I was so glad that so many of you were able to be present in the sanctuary as well as online. I was so pleased with our congregation in coming together to make this a wonderful day, with the special service, music, luncheon, etc.! It was an extra blessing to have Pastor Brent Olson and Pastor Nathan Olson return and join us for the services. Pastor Lyndon Korhonen preached an outstanding message. If you missed the service, it is available online. (See pictures below.)
2. History & Heritage of the United States: Currently our nation is embroiled in turmoil regarding how history is to be remembered, how the present is to be lived, and how the future is shaped. The wounds of long standing injustices are resurfacing with a vengeance, and hatred and fears run deep. In the midst of this, as we approach July 4th this week, and the celebration of our nation’s independence, it is important to remember that in spite of our national flaws, as a nation we have been very blessed from the time of our very beginnings. The foundation which was laid for our nation was like none other in the world. To better understand the Christian heritage of our nation, one should study the spiritual lives of the founders and framers of our nation’s documents and laws. They were not perfect, but they appealed to God and to His perfect Word. Let me share a few insightful quotes:
“So help me, God.” — President George Washington spontaneously added these unscripted words after taking the oath of office with his hand upon the open Bible. Since then, every president has repeated them after the oath of office.
“It is impossible to rightly govern the world, without God and the Bible.”
– President George Washington
“I rely upon the merits of Jesus Christ for a pardon for all my sins.”
– Samuel Adams (Father of the American Revolution)
“God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever.”
— President Thomas Jefferson (primary author of the Declaration of Independence)
“We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government; upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.”
— President James Madison (author of the Constitution)
“The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected, in one indissoluble bond, the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity.”
— President John Q. Adams
3. Faith & Freedom: Regardless of what you think of Vice President Mike Pence, he was absolutely correct the other day in saying:
“The foundation of America is freedom. The foundation of freedom is faith.”
During the formation of our nation, this truth was clearly understood and regularly taught by our nation’s churches, and professed and practiced by our national leaders.
4. Christian Liberties: While the world has been focused on Covid-19, Christian liberties have been severely under attack around the world. In Communist China, a new “security law” has been proposed which would allow for pastors from Hong Kong to be extradited to China to be tried and jailed. The seriousness of this is easily seen! But it is not only in China that Christians are being attacked and silenced. In Salinas, CA, New Harvest Christian Church discovered after buying their new downtown building, that the city ordinances banned churches from holding services downtown! We have also seen in the midst of Covid-19, that far too often, churches are considered to be the “least essential” of all things in sustaining life. For true healing, our nation needs a Holy Spirit sent Spiritual Awakening! May God begin within our own hearts.
5. Sunday Holy Communion: This Sunday we will be celebrating Holy Communion at all three services: 8:30am, 11:00am; and 6:00pm. As we did last month, Communion will be at the Chancel Rail, and the pastors will be wearing masks and gloves in distributing the elements. Masks are to be worn (unless you have breathing/respiratory difficulties) up to the rail, and then in returning to one’s pew. Social distancing will be observed at the rail. Communicants will not kneel, but simply stand to receive the Communion elements.
6. Sermon: Title: “Come to Me”
Text: Matthew 11:28-30; I Kings 19:1-18
God bless you as we continue,
“Growing Together in our Faith as the Family of God”