Pastor’s Corner

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On The Go!

This weekend we go through a whirlwind journey of missional activity as Paul travels the known world. He travels and shares the Good News of the resurrection of Jesus—the same news he fought so valiantly against. As a murderer and antagonist of the early Christian Church Paul wasn’t the top choice to be the representative of Christianity across the world. But he went anyway, because God and his faith sent him.

The journey of life and faith is straightforward and yet can seem confusing. Paul could have easily been confused because of his sin or the short time he had been a follower of Jesus. Paul could have easily waited for another disciple, who sat at Jesus feet for three years to go out instead of him. Paul could have stayed at “home” and done ministry there, surely he had enough excuses to justify that idea.

Paul’s longest missionary journey was about 3,000 miles. That is approximately the distance from Bangor, Maine to Los Angeles, California. The known, civilized, world was approximately the size of the United States. Today, the United States has the third highest amount of unbelievers, behind only population giants China and India.

The good news is that we aren’t dependent on one person, Paul. Instead God has multiplied the family of faith. Each of us are as equipped as any disciple before has ever been. That is right, we have more knowledge, more resources and we can travel from one side of the world to the other faster than any people ever before!

The bad news? We can move about so freely and easily we over schedule ourselves and miss the opportunities to make an impact. We travel more ground and have a wider range of impact than Paul ever did, but our depth of relationships and conversations are shallow because we don’t have the time to give to each other.

What can we learn from Paul? Paul was aware of and participated in multiple cultures. Many other cultures, especially South American cultures, see time as something to give, not “keep”. Next time you are a slave to your schedule and the demands of life around you, consider what it would mean to give some of that time in service to the Lord. What would it mean to offer time in relationship to a neighbor or person in need?

The Mission of God’s church hasn’t changed. The number of people who need to hear about Jesus is growing. But, so are the abilities of God’s people to make and impact. So Go! Go and make an eternal impact in the name of Jesus. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” Mark 1:17

Pastor’s Corner

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We’ve been walking through the Bible, learning God’s Story for the last seven months. Easter marked an important reality about God’s Story:  It isn’t just His Story; it is Our Story.  The story of the Redeemer is also the story of the redeemed.  The story of the Savior is also the story of the saved.

In these next few weeks after Easter, we will continue to explore His Story but with special emphasis on how it impacts Our Story.  Our Story is the story of the children of God, the story of the Church, the story of the baptized believers, the story of the people who are united to Christ and a temple of the Holy Spirit.  However you want to say it, God’s Story is incomplete until it is lived out by all the parts of the Body of Christ.

What does this mean for me and for you? It means different things in that each of us has a unique design and varied pasts.  We are each gifted to do and be different.  At the same time we are called to be holy as God is holy.  We are called to be disciples and witnesses.  We are instructed to remain firm in the faith that is the Rock, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Alleluia! Christ is risen!  We too are able to rise to newness of life every day, to put off the old self and to clothe ourselves in the righteousness of Christ.  Our Story is not over, and neither is God’s.  It has only just begun, and it lasts… forever!  Join us for worship!  Get connected to a Christian community group.  Explore together with us what it means to be born again by the water and the Spirit of God, and come alive again, in Him!

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

His servant and yours,

Pastor Erik Gauss

Pastor’s Corner

Christ is Risen!

This weekend His Story becomes Our Story. Until the first Easter, it would have been easy to stand back and watch Jesus as an outsider. Similar to how we watch a celebrity or politician today. After the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead it became deeply personal.

A person coming back to life is no small claim. The story would have been impossible to believe. Every witness was questioned, vetted for credibility and catalogued as people wanted to get to the bottom of this world changing event. Every person’s account and every interaction mattered. The disciples were being watched to see where the hid the body. Government officials scrambled to keep chaos and riots from breaking out. The Jews were furious at the incompetent officials that would allow this to happen.

The first Easter was not a shoulder-shrugging event and neither is this Easter. Today people are still furiously trying to prove our disprove the testimonies and events surrounding the first Easter. Today more than ever the disciples are being watched to see if they are sincere or if they are hiding something. Government officials making decisions to protect their own name. Unbelievers angry that people still believe this story.

Christ’s resurrection matters to you, and your life matters to Christ’s resurrection. In the weeks and months after the first Easter it didn’t matter if it was two people walking down the street minding their own business or trained theologians preaching to the intellectually elite, every disciple’s story mattered. Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit was shifting the story writing from himself to His disciples. You and me.

Without us Jesus doesn’t have a story to tell. He doesn’t have a creation He cares about, people He loves, or children that need saving. Jesus story is deeply intertwined in ours. He needs us to tell His story and we need Him so our story has a “happy ending.”

This weekend we celebrate the events that revealed just how intertwined God’s Story and Our Story truly is. This Easter we remember how close God is too us, even when it doesn’t seem that way. Every Easter is the new beginning we desperately crave. Let God’s Story become your story and your story will never end.

Easter worship services. 8:00 am and 9:30am in the Sanctuary. 9:30 and 11:00 in the Gymnasium. Come and celebrate the Story of our Hero Jesus and our Story of New life in Christ.

Christ is Risen!

Pastor’s Corner


A Hero’s Story

Palm Sunday launches the powerful story of an unlikely Hero, the stuff legends and movies and comic book heroes are made of. It is such an unlikely story, the temptation is to write it off as fiction, but the evidence is so overwhelming, it is impossible to ignore.  But, Jesus’ work isn’t meant to be admired from afar like a super hero.  Jesus is your personal Hero who did something very meaningful for you, something that changed your life and shaped how you experience the world.

I have a few heroes in my life. The surgeon who performed my daughter’s surgery sticks out right now.  A couple teachers played heroic roles in my life as they shared more than just book knowledge.  A youth director and my college pastor helped lead me into my calling as a pastor.  Of course, the parents and siblings’ thing is true for me as it is for so many (and I better mention them in case they read this :).

Who has been a hero to you and why? Did they mentor you through crisis?  Loan you a lot of money?  Help you when you were sick?  Teach you valuable lessons?  Mentor you through a difficult season in life?  A person can be a personal hero for little things and big things, how they respond in adversity or model how to live with great joy.  The main thing that makes someone a hero is the impact they have had on you.

Jesus knew what would happen to Him in Jerusalem. The Bible is littered with references to the trouble that He would encounter, the anger of the Pharisees and Sadducees, the religious leaders and the scribes.  Jerusalem was brewing up some trouble for Jesus, but He didn’t stay away.  He went toward Jerusalem, into the action, and He did it for you.

Jesus sees the distress of the people. He sees your distress.  Jesus is God Himself, who came down from Heaven and experienced life in this world first hand.  Seeing us struggling with sin and His compassion for you sent Him toward Jerusalem so He could save you.  He ended up on that cross so you and I don’t have to.  So we can escape the bondage of sin and heartache in this world.  To give you freedom and joy even while the world crumbles around you.

Jesus is more than a far off hero. He’s a personal Hero that changed your life today, yesterday and forever.  Every minute of every day, every breath, is forever yours because of the heroic action of Jesus Christ for you.  Let’s celebrate!

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15

His servant and yours,

Pastor Erik Gauss