Challenged. A single word that encompasses so many things. Sometimes challenges are fun, like crossword puzzles, or team building exercises. Other times they are a bit more difficult and less fun, such as finals in school, or that major project at work that no one else seems to care about. Even more so, a challenge can be a directive.
In the concluding chapter of John we hear the challenge from Jesus: Feed my sheep, tend my sheep, follow me. Yes, there is metaphorical language; Jesus was not talking about the livestock on his farm. Jesus was reminding Peter, and us, that all of the human race are his, and especially those that hear his voice and respond. We are challenged to be the ones who, metaphorically, are daily working the fields and feeding the livestock. Literally, this has to do with our sharing of the Gospel, making Christ known to a world and a people who are longing to be feed, even if they are not fully aware of their own hunger. We are again challenged to tend the sheep. In other words, grow disciples who are strong in faith and are capable of following the call of Christ into the world. These challenges are met when we are willing to meet the final challenge: follow me. Jesus Christ set the example and opened to us new understandings of Scripture. We are called to walk in the path set before us.
This path is challenging. We are constantly challenged by an enemy who will use any means necessary to get us to stray. Unfortunately, the enemy does not use the same devices on each of us. We each are challenged in ways that strike at our own weaknesses, fears, and doubts. This is why we are called into community. This is why Jesus brought together a diverse group, albeit small, to learn together. We have seen Judas’ fall. We have seen the quarrels between the church leaders in the decades following Christ’s ascension. We witness daily rifts within the faith, even in congregations. We are challenged to overcome this and work together towards the goals of the kingdom.
This often means letting our needs and preferences go in order that the whole body may move forward in unity. This is a challenge. Giving up, even a little, of what we feel we have earned and gained is difficult; especially in the light of allowing someone who has not had share in what we have. We have been called to feed the sheep, and more often than not we have already been giving the food to distribute, we just have to be willing to follow. We have been called to tend the sheep, and are empowered to teach, share, and develop; we just have to be willing to follow. Being called to follow, we have to be willing to let go of ourselves and put on Christ.
Let us boldly go into to world to feed, tend, and follow.
Youth Sunday is May 7th and the following will be honored:
Elizabeth Burr - 17 years of Sunday School attendance
Addyson Muniz, Mia Muniz - Presentation Bibles
High School graduates - Elizabeth Burr, Lauren Carter, Ike Moritz
College graduate - Miranda Cleland
A reception will follow Worship/Communion to honor the above
There is a basket in the Narthex for S.O.S. donations. There is a continual need for peanut butter, jelly, and especially granola bars, and fruit cups, also fresh fruit. We also need volunteers to help on Tuesday Soup Kitchen nights to serve, clean up and assist various groups.
Youth Sunday is Sunday, May 7th. Plan to join us for Worship and a receiption to be held after for our honorees. Our high school graduates this year are Elizabeth Burr, Lauren Carter, and Ike Moritz. College graduate is Miranda Cleland.
An American Red Cross Blood Drive will be held at the church on Wednesday, Mary 24, 2-6 PM. You can scdhedule an appointment in the Narthex, on line at redcrossblood.org, or by calling Warren Carter at 344-0730.
We are currently taking orders for church T-shirts in blue and polo shirts in white or red. Order forms are in the narthex or call the office. Available to order through May 14th.
Beginning in May, we will have a Chapel service on Third Wednesday evenings following the dinner. This service will be a time of learning, prayer and contemplation, as we grow into the Chapel space.
BREAKFAST WITH THE POLICE
Breakfast w/Police and Kids
Our church will be hosting our second Saturday breakfast on Saturday, May 13 with the students of Webster School and the Collinsville Police Department. This breakfast will be for K through 2nd grade students and their families. Time will be from 8:30-10:30 AM. The purpose of this breakfast is to present the police department in a more positive personal light. Hopefully the weather will be great and they will be able to look at the inside of a cruiser and meet the K-9 unit of their department.
We would really appreciate any help you can give us. Your time would be especially welcome as we will need people to walk the kids to the squad car and watch them while they are outside. A signup sheet is in the church Narthex or talk to Janet Butts or Jodee Kleb if you are available to help.
The Evangelism Committee
It's Volunteer Appreciation Month, and Collinsville Faith in Action wants to say THANK YOU. Please join us for a Picnic Open House on Thursday, May 25, from 11 AM to 1 PM, at Meadow Heights Baptist Church, 1498 Vandalia, Collinsville. Food and drinks will be provided, door prize, and recognitions of our our wonderful CFIA volunteers. You're encouraged to bring a guest. Please RSVP by Friday, May 19, to 344-8080, or email your RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.