Dear Congregational Family,

1. Fall Festival: Saturday turned out to be a beautiful day for our Church Family Fall Festival at the Cox Farm! Thank you again to the Cox’s for hosting, and to Brandon and the Youth Group for all their work in putting this together! It was a wonderful time of fellowship!

2. The Value of Life: Let me first say, this is not a political email forum. The “issue of life” is foundational for us as a Christian Church. We always want to champion life, at any age or stage, from conception onward, regardless of one’s popularity, social position, power, or accumulation of possessions. This past week, two concerning things happened involving our nation.

a. The NBA: When the Washington Wizards played the Guangzhou Loong Lions last week in Washington D.C., people found themselves forbidden to demonstrate, speak or even to hold a sign that would draw attention to the millions of Chinese religious minorities who are being held in concentration camps and also being killed (systematically for their bodily organs for transplants). This was an example of our nation sanctioning silence concerning human rights abuses, for the sake of ensuring financial profits. This will be an increasing issue for U.S. companies and consumers in regards to our relationship with China as the Communist Party continues to crack down hard on Christians and other religious minorities.

In addition, yesterday President Xi declared that dissenters (specifically Hong Kong was the focus) would have “their bodies crushed and their bones shattered.” Needless to say, Christians in China know that their lives are increasingly on the line.

b. The Kurds: The 30 million Kurdish people trace their ancestry back to the Medes and Persians of the Prophet Daniel’s day, about 3,000 years ago. Since WWI they have been the world’s largest people group without a country. Both the nations of Turkey and Iraq have sought to slaughter them in past decades. Even though they were our staunch allies against ISIS, last week the United States pulled back as Turkey moved in against them militarily. Will they be completely annihilated? Time will tell. Of additional concern to us, is that there are an estimated 40,000 – 50,000 Christians in the area which Turkey has designated for their military campaign. Last weekend, the area known as “Christian Valley” came under heavy attack. Christians are among the most vulnerable of any right now as they are in the crosshairs from all sides. I realize that this is not a simple situation and that there are many complicated geo-political, economic and military issues at stake as well.

The main point here is that both these situations (NBA and Kurds) highlight how increasingly little protection there is for vulnerable life in our world today when it is viewed as expendable. Pray for the vulnerable in our world!

3. Mid-Fall Sermon Mini-Series: This Sunday we will continue our four-part sermon series from the book of II Timothy. This was the last letter of the Apostle Paul, and was written to Timothy concerning “Keeping the Faith” as he lived and ministered in the challenging city of Ephesus.

4. Sermon text for this Sunday is II Timothy 2. The title is “Keep the Faith!”

God bless you as we continue,

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

Pastor Carlson