Dear Congregational Family,

1. Kings & Queens: On Sunday, our sermon text included the exhortation for Christians to be in prayer for kings, queens, … and for all men. This is not only our divinely appointed calling and duty, but also a recognition of the powerful role that God has given to His people in praying for their leaders. Those in power certainly need prayer!

Yesterday, the United Kingdom held the funeral for Queen Elizabeth II. I reviewed a portion of it. I was struck by the songs, especially, “The Lord is my Shepherd” which was the Queen’s favorite, and she had chosen it for both her funeral, as well as for her wedding in 1947. I also learned that the choir sang “O Taste and See How Gracious the Lord Is” because it had been composed for her coronation in 1953. One quickly recognizes how important the Psalms were to the Queen and how familiar she was with Scripture. When delivering her first Christmas Address in 1952, the Queen requested prayer for her upcoming coronation, stating, “I want to ask you all, … to pray for me on that day, … to pray that God may give me wisdom and strength to carry out the solemn promises I shall be making, and that I may faithfully serve Him and you, all the days of my life.” Throughout her life, she spoke often of her faith.

Let us pray for those in power in our land that their hearts might be drawn to the Lord and that they would be willing for His Word and Will to direct their ways, so that the church would be free to fulfill her calling of Worshiping the Lord and Witnessing of His salvation to the world.

2. Quiet Quitting: “Quiet Quitting” is much in the news today. It’s when people do not “quit” their jobs, but they withdraw and lessen their involvement and make sure not to do anything extra. It may well be that for some it is simply establishing better boundaries than they had in the past. But for others it is the result of a two-fold discouragement. One part is in seeing so many others quit. The second part is the sense that no matter what one does, it will not make a difference.

This “quiet quitting” can also apply in the context of our involvement at church. Russell Moore (of Christianity Today) recently wrote that many Christians “may easily come to the same conclusion that nothing will change, no matter what we do. We might then keep attending, keep praying, keep teaching, keep serving—but never really anticipate anything different than the same crises.”

We have all probably felt this at some point! Let me encourage you with the words of the Lord, “Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters, be firm, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” – I Corinthians 15:58

God will bless and multiply all that you do for Him, whether it be in your participation in worship service, your teaching or being taught in Sunday School, your giving of time, treasure or talents, your prayers, etc…. As the Apostle Paul wrote, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for man.” – Colossians 3:23

3. Christian Minority? The Christian Post reported last week that according to a new analysis by the Pew Research Center, “if the pace at which Christians abandon their faith before the age of 30 were to accelerate beyond its current pace, America could no longer be a majority Christian nation by as early as 2045.”

This is certainly concerning, but let us not despair! First, the Lord is still in control. Also, in a sense we have been here before. Around 1800 the President of the United States declared that the U.S. would soon completely reject Christ and become a Unitarian nation. But the Second Great Awakening came and changed the course of our nation. We need to pray for another great awakening to sweep across our land!

4. Sermon: Title: “God’s Message for You”
Text: Luke 16:19-31

God bless you as we continue,

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

Pastor Carlson