Fall Women’s Bible study (see previous post for study details) will begin Tuesday, September 12, and believe it or not, it’s time for us to find out who can attend. All are welcome (church members, attenders, friends, neighbors, etc.), and we’d be delighted to meet new friends and welcome new participants. Please get in touch with us no later than August 31 to communicate your intention to join the group! (WomensCareTeam@harborchurch.org) This will allow us to plan childcare (provided), order the books at lower cost to you, and make sure the space we plan to use will accommodate our group. Our fall session will meet at the church 9:30 – 11:15 Tuesday mornings from September 12 – December 12, taking November 21 off for Thanksgiving.
Unable to meet on Tuesdays but would like to study along with the group? Send us an email and let us know if you’d like to order a book and be on our email list. Group participants receive a weekly email reviewing/ summarizing our discussion time and study focus for the week (check out our Women’s Care Team Blog to see past email posts). We look forward to our time together!
Have you ever wondered how the various books of the Bible fit together, or if we are supposed to find an overarching message threaded through its pages from Genesis to Revelation? Have you wondered how the parts of scripture relate to the whole? Have you struggled to understand your place in relationship to God’s revelation of himself to us in his word? If you’ve ever wrestled with questions like these, I hope you will join us for our fall 2017 Women’s Bible study, From Garden to Glory by Courtney Doctor. From Garden to Glory is a 10-week Bible study on the Bible’s story for women of all ages and backgrounds. Please check out the video above, and make plans to join us on Tuesday mornings starting in September for the study! Feel welcome to invite your friends, neighbors and community members to participate. Email the Women’s Care Team (email@example.com) for additional information.
This summer, one of the activities we have planned for the Sunday school hour is a roundtable discussion with Pastor Michael and the elders based on questions or topics suggested by you. To submit any question or topic you would like to talk about, just fill out a card or email the church office. There are no questions off limits! Return your green topic/question card any Sunday and place it in the box on the table where our “Announcements” board is located. Round-Table Sundays: June 18, July 9, July 30, & August 13
Parents & Grandparents, bring you children and grandchildren to enjoy weekly kid-friendly outings on Tuesday mornings beginning June 6th! We will meet at 9:30am at each location (unless otherwise noted on the schedule). Sign-up for those Tuesdays you are interested in participating in, by sending an email to Lindsay at firstname.lastname@example.org or the sign-up sheet in the lobby. We may need to make last-minute changes based on weather and attendance, so please sign up so we don’t miss you! We’ll be going bowling, to Hope Splash Park, Fairview UMC Playground, Bellingham Park, Dan Nicholas & Cornelius Road Parks, Gem Theatre, Mazeppa Park.
This week I will be taking a little break in preparation for Easter. So this Sunday, I am excited to announce pastor Josh Kwasny will be our guest preacher. Josh and our family go way back to his days as the youth director at Redeemer (PCA) in Winston-Salem when Lindsay and I attended Wake Forest University. Originally from the Chicago area, Josh has been a pastor, speaker, and mentor for over the past 15 years. Josh married his high school sweetheart 20 years ago, has three girls and two boys and currently lives in Columbus, NC.
Here’s what we have going on this Easter Season:
- Palm Sunday: April 9th
- No Midweek@Harbor
- Maundy Thursday Service: April 13th at 6:30 pm
- Lake Norman Sonrise Service: April 16th at 6:45 am at Bellingham Park, Mooresville NC
- Easter Service: April 16th at 9:30 am, no Sunday school that Sunday
Quick: when did the American Revolution end? Most people assume it started in 1776 (though it actually started about a year before the Declaration of Independence). If you guessed 1783, you’d be right! At least historically speaking. But according to John Adams, one of the nation’s founders, he believed the war was won way before 1783:
“[The] radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people, was the real American Revolution”
In that sense, the war was won before it was ever even fought.
We are about to start a new sermon series on the Book of Exodus. It is a book full of plagues, thunder, smoke, walls of water, earth quakes and works of power. It tells the story of God’s relentless pursuit of the rescue of His people, fulfilling the promises he made to Abraham four hundred years earlier. It roots God’s law and instructions on the worship of God in the context of this great rescue plan unfurled. Yet, as we walk through the story, we will begin to realize that the real battle taking place is on the battlefield of the heart. Like the John Adam’s quote above, God is chasing His covenant people with His grace to change their principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections concerning God and life. It is the same hunt God has begun in us and won’t stop until our hearts are His.
Part of our focus this coming year at Harbor Church is encouraging prayer throughout our church family. In order to do kick off this renewed focus, we are going to be holding a 24 Hour Day of Prayer from Friday, Feb 3rd through Saturday, Feb 4th. Our prayer focus during that time will be for the spiritual needs of the people around us. Here are a few ways you can be involved:
Listen: Pastor Michael is preaching three sermons in January on prayer
Complete: Fill out one or more yellow prayer cards and return by Jan 22nd (instructions on the card) – You can email your requests as well.
Sign up: Put your name or your family’s name down for a devoted hour or more to pray for those listed on the cards (yellow sign up sheet located in the lobby)
Attend: Come to the conclusion of our 24 hour day of prayer at Harbor from 5-6pm on Saturday, Feb 4th.
Pray: Pray for the Day of Prayer, that God would use it to make us a people marked by prayer
Sorry folks! We want to make sure you all are safe during this latest bout of snow and ice. We may be apart, but please take Sunday as a day to worship with your family.
This past Sunday, we decided to do something a bit unusual. A bunch of us went out to a local shopping center (we asked permission first, don’t worry) and sang Christmas hymns as people were walking around and shopping. We didn’t ask anything from anybody (though we did hand out candy!). The reactions were interesting:
Some people were at various levels of amusement / interest. I saw someone filming us as we sang “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”. Drivers might give a little wave as they drove by.
Some people tried not to make any eye contact whatsoever. And that makes some sense. Most people are a little skeptical about anyone outside a store: they must be selling something, and whatever they are selling, I don’t want it.
Some people assumed we were collecting donations. There were some very sweet folks who came to us with wads of cash in hand, ready to give to whatever cause we happen to be singing for. As they approached, somebody from our group usually responded with, “Nope, we’re not taking anything, we are just here to bless you.” What followed was an expression of shocked-yet-pleasantly-surprised.
And as I am watching these reactions, I couldn’t help but think this was like a little microcosm of most people’s reaction to the Gospel. Here is Jesus: singing his song of love, no strings attached, pure unmerited favor. Some people are slightly amused, but go back to their lives. Others assume there must be some sort of catch and try not to make eye contact. Still others come genuinely grateful, money and good works in hand, ready to pay Jesus back. Only they find there’s nothing to buy back, just a gift we could never afford, bought with blood for you and for me.
There was one other person who we met along our little caroling adventure. One lady was so excited and thankful she wanted to join us in singing. So we gave her a caroling book and she joined the chorus. And isn’t that what Jesus wants? For us to know His love, shown on the cross, to have our sins washed away, so that we would join the chorus of His praises through all eternity.