New Children’s Pastor at CIL

Here is a message CIL sent to CIL Partners from me and Pastor Deborah Jackson
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In May of 2012 we asked Pastor Greg Wilson to bring his expertise and talent to our early elementary ministry as CIL’s first Children’s Pastor.  Greg has done a wonderful job the last six years getting kids excited about Jesus, and serving the church’s families in this area. There is no one quite like Greg Wilson when it comes to engaging kids.  What a gift he is!
20161107-SinglePortrait-DARK-24Earlier this year, we and Pastor Greg decided together it was time to pass the children’s ministry baton at CIL off to a new leader so Greg could help more with associate pastor duties.   After much prayer and many discussions, we are excited to announce that Jennifer Cordray will be our new Children’s Pastor, leading the Journey’s ministry on Sunday mornings and throughout the week. Pastor Jennifer will officially begin this role on July 15, and Pastor Greg will work with her to make this a successful transition.

Pastor Jennifer will continue to lead Awana, further integrating the Sunday and Wednesday ministries as a powerful discipleship combination.  We are also very optimistic about the positive role Pastor Greg will have in working more with the entire church family.  He has already been an incredible resource in preparing us for this transition.

We are so excited about what God has for our children and their families!

Pastor Aaron Allison
Pastor Deborah Jackson

 

Love Your Community

I am so grateful for my church community. Not an audience. Not a crowd. Not people to fulfill program plans. Rather, an eclectic group of people who CHOOSE to worship, struggle, experiment, and learn TOGETHER. True community is rare, fragile, and often unappreciated. Love the people God has placed in your life.

“Love never ends.” – 1 Corinthians 13:8

Two weeks for one sermon

ordinary time
This hasn’t happened in years, but I did not finish my sermon last week, so will do so this Sunday. On June 10, I will preach from 1 Samuel 3:8-20 – “Hearing God’s Voice in Your Generation (Part 2).”
 
The church calendar is in Ordinary Time, which is a dynamic season of growth and spontaneity between Pentecost and Advent. Our faith community seems especially in tune with the Holy Spirit during the summer months, so I expect we will hear strongly from Him once again. Let’s gather with anticipation! See you at either 9am or 10:45am.

The Trinity protects us

Trinity

I am so glad to be preaching at CIL on Trinity Sunday – May 27. We have such a wonderful faith passed down to us, but it is more than a tradition, culture, or preference. We worship a God with a distinct, unique personality. We worship a God that is personally close to us, and still sometimes hard to understand.

What a mystery.
What a challenge.
What a need for spiritual revelation.

Christians have wrestled with who God is from the beginning, and for centuries have agreed that the term Trinity encapsulates the answer to the many debates, councils and consensus of interpretation. The understanding of the Trinity has protected our faith.

As we celebrate, declare, and worship the Trinity this Sunday …

“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” – 2 Corinthians 13:14

Frantic month points to a needed center

Claude_Monet_001-medium

I am reflecting this morning on all the activity in my family and our church the last 30 days with amazement. It seems like we have had a year’s worth of life in the past few weeks. Joyful celebrations, sentimental milestones, tough decisions, endings, and promise of new beginnings.

Yet, in the midst of issues that are bigger than life to me, the problems of the nation and world continues. The Middle East is still in chaos, the world is at a vulnerable tipping point on nuclear weapons, and America can’t figure out how to keep children safe from murder at school.

I want to solve the problems of the world, but I am overwhelmed with the pressing tasks that life demands. Like never before, I need the Christian faith to center me, and give meaning to my existence.

“O Lord God, without the pardon of my sin
I cannot rest satisfied
Without the renovation of my nature by grace
I can never rest easy
Without the hope of heaven I can never be at peace
All this I have in thy Son Jesus
Blessed be His name.”
– Valley of Vision, a collection of Puritan prayers.

* Painting is Banks of the Seine, Vétheuil, 1880 by Claude Monet.

On historic day, US returns to Jerusalem

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Today is a celebration of 70 years of Israel becoming a modern nation on May 14, 1948. This has been an important global development, as this persecuted ethnic group needs a land and a national identity. The six million lost souls of the holocaust demanded that the Jews have a geographic home for protection, cultural development, and religious freedom.

In these last 70 years Israel has been a positive global force of democratic values, technological progress, religious pluralism, and frequent times of global cooperation for peace.

Today, President Trump’s administration finalized a courageous and appropriate step to establish the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, instead of Tel Aviv.  This steps further supports the nation of Israel, which has been an incredible ally to the United States in the middle of the most volatile region of the world.

I grieve the loss of Palestinians who are losing their lives in protest of today’s events.  I pray for their welfare and for peace.  Yet, I believe the support of a strong Israel will lead to the peace that the world desires and needs.

Finding God in my friend’s kids

“Everyone who loves the father also loves the child fathered by him.”

I ran across this phrase this morning in one of my commentaries as I am tightening up Sunday’s sermon. The phrase is inspired from 1 John 5:2 – “everyone who loves the Father also loves the one born of Him.”

This phrase makes me think about how much affection I have for my friend’s children. I experience joy on Wednesday nights when children come to Awana, and teenagers show up for Frontline Student Ministries. I don’t know some of these little ones and teenagers well personally, but I have love for them because I see their parent’s traits in them. They share their parents name.

So, it is with our Christian bothers and sisters around the globe. Let’s intentionally love other Christians bothers and sister. Despite the cultural chasms, different worship styles, different interpretations of Scriptures, and the destructive competitive forces that wrongly tear us apart – we have a billion or more spiritual siblings on this planet. May God open our spiritual eyes to see that more often than we realize, “those who are with us are more than those who are with them (2 Kings 6:16).”