Worship Service - 10:30am
Education Hour - 9:15am

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Prayer of St. Patrick

Since yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day, I thought it would be appropriate to share his famous prayer. Take minute to move slowly over these words. Make it your own prayer to God today.

I arise today through God’s strength to pilot me;
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s hosts to save me
Afar and anear, Alone or in a multitude.

Christ shield me today against wounding –
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.

It Takes a (Church) Village

Yesterday I attended a worship service with my parents at the church in which I grew up in Kalamazoo. It was really strange. I remember sitting in those same pews as a child, my feet dangling down not able to reach the floor. This may sound weird, but it even smelled the same as it did 30 years ago. Once I got past the initial awkwardness and flashbacks, something wonderful began to dawn on me. This is where my faith faith was formed. In the parking lot I met my catechism teacher. A cadet counselor waved at me from across the lobby. Older saints who had prayed for me walked across the sanctuary to shake my hand and welcome me back.

I noticed something else. Many of the same adults that took an interest in my life years ago were still at it. I saw retired men talk with young fathers. Older women were checking in with teenage girls. Young families with their coats on stood near the doors talking in a circle with a couple of seniors. Thirty years later Sunday worship was still a family event – a church family event.

We’re so blessed to have that same vibe at FCC. But let’s not take it for granted. Reach across generations and show an interest in someone’s life. Let someone different from you know that you care. It’s what we do in our own families. And church is a family – God’s family.

The Importance of Unity

I had the opportunity to hear Francis Chan speak via the internet this weekend. He pointed out something that I had never seen before. Unity is extremely important to God. Of course, I’ve suspected that before. Here’s the part that is so compelling: in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, the very first thing he addresses is divisions in the church. Now keep in mind, this church had a lot of things that needed addressing – thing far worse, it would seem, than divisions. Their worship services were an absolute free-for-all. Their communion services typically ended up with people getting drunk on the wine. There was sexual immorality that even made the pagans blush. Yet the first thing Paul tackles is the divisions that were in the church.

I suppose that this shouldn’t be so surprising. I’m sure it would break a parent’s heart to see their grown children at odds and not on speaking terms. In Corinth, Christians seemed to be divided over which apostle they followed. It was almost like fans of competing sports teams letting each other have it. The true source of our unity is not in the apostles or the theological thinkers we subscribe to. We’re not Calvinists or Lutherans or Wesleyans in the first place. All of those men have helped us know God better. But we don’t follow them. We follow the risen Lord Jesus. We may argue about how best to follow Jesus. But we must be in perfect unity when it comes to Whom we follow.

GIFT – Finding Joy In Giving

During February and March, we are dealing with the issue of money and giving in our worship services. It often feels a bit awkward to talk about giving, but this is one topic Jesus never shied away from. He talked about money more than any other subject. The Bible teaches that everything belongs to God. When we think about it that way, it only makes sense to seek God’s direction in all of our spending decisions, especially when it comes to our giving.

Once again, the Deacons and the Stewardship Team will be asking you to consider filling out a GIFT card. GIFT is an acronym for Generosity In our Financial Treasure. The goal of GIFT is to challenge givers at FCC to give prayerfully and purposefully. These cards can be found in our mailboxes at check and in the info rack in the lobby. This voluntary tool is not used to create budgets at the church. Rather, your financial commitment will be reported to you on giving statements as a way to hold yourself accountable to what God is calling you to give. We pray that you are finding joy in giving as a powerful act of worship. If you have any questions, please talk to Mike Waldo, Alison Kossuth, or Todd McFall.

Ministry Spotlight: GEMS

Tonight will be a bustling GEMS night at Ferrysburg Community Church.   Singing, creative movement, crafting, and Bible study will take place as girls build relationships with each other, their counselors, and Jesus Christ. Over 70 girls in 1st-8th grade have been participating in our GEMS this year.  Some girls come from strong Christian homes; for many other girls, GEMS is their only opportunity to learn about Jesus and His desire to live in a personal relationship with each one of us. Praise God for the opportunities we have to share God’s love through GEMS!

This Sunday we will celebrate the GEMS ministry and this year’s theme, Think Right: Win the Fight! On Sunday we will have the opportunity to warmly welcome many of our GEMS families and offer support and encouragement to the GEMS as the girls participate in the service and develop their gifts.

Immediately following the service you can look forward to a fiesta taco bar with all the fixings plus a big variety of desserts provided by our GEMS.  Please plan to stay for an easy meal, fellowship, and to support our GEMS.