This was the exercise that Pastor Bob used at the beginning of his sermon, “Staring at an Empty Sky” on Ascension Sunday.
It states in the introduction to our Northwest Yearly Meeting’s Faith & Practice, “Friends hold that an authentic Christian belief includes both an inward and an outward expression of that belief.” For the past four years, I have dedicated myself to seeking the heart of our meeting and how we inwardly and outwardly live out our faith in the town of Silverton and its surrounding communities. Many people have asked me for my vision for SFC. When asked, I am quick to explain that as a Quaker minister, I work together with the people of our meeting in finding how best to express our Yearly Meeting’s vision and mission in our unique locale (to read our NWYM’s vision and mission go to nwfriends.org and click the tab, Faith & Practice).
Unique and local vision statements are almost never easy to create or express. Recently the elders and I explored a new way to articulate what we see as the key commitments at SFC. We believe them to be both helpful while simple in nature. Obviously, the following “Vision Commitments” are not all encompassing or narrow in focus. Instead they give us basic categories and broad actions to begin developing in the lives and ministries of SFC.
Vision Commitments of
Silverton Friends Church
We commit to
• declaring the Gospel through our words and actions.
• becoming a faithful presence in our neighborhoods.
• incarnating the attributes and resurrected life of Christ.
• practicing hospitality.
• depending on prayer.
• discovering, developing, and utilizing our assets.
• embodying a non-violent, reconciling and supportive way of life together.
• embracing our Quaker (Friends) identity as a unique expression of the Christian faith.
Our hope is that over the next several weeks and months, we will have a chance to explore, define, and develop these commitments through sermons, conversations, gatherings, and in simply living them out in our daily lives.
Now when people ask me, “What is SFC’s vision?” I have something to share and begin that deeper conversation. I pray you will take some time in the coming weeks and months to explore these vision commitments and find how your commitment to SFC is inwardly and outwardly an expression of your faith in Christ!
Grace and peace,
Volcanoes vs. Vancouver Baseball Game with Fireworks
Friday, June 19 6:35pm $10/per ticket
Please join the Fellowship Committee for a FUN, FAMILY NIGHT in honor of DADS, GRANDFATHERS, MENTORS, UNCLES, FRIENDS … the Friday of Father’s Day weekend … JUNE 19 for an awesome VOLCANOES BASEBALL GAME with FIREWORKS following the game!
Please fill out a form and return it along with your payment to the church/school office by FRIDAY, MAY 22 to assure a reserved seat.
Forms will be available at the church/school office, in the Sunday bulletins and at the table in the back of church. Sign up quickly as tickets are limited. Thank you!
Meditating on God’s Word through creative play is the key.
This is not about combining devotional time or reading plans. There is no pace to keep up with and no required reading. This is about creatively enriching – not replacing – our individual God time. Sharing what our creative time with God brings about, will be a sweet thing! This challenge is open to EVERYONE! Artists, scrapbookers, stampers, art journalers, the creatively interested and those with no creative experience…you will love this!
To get an idea of what we’ll be doing (more or less) you can go to a website that started the whole idea. Each Tuesday throughout 2015, Rebekah R. Jones posts a weekly Bible art journaling challenge, on her blog (www.rebekahrjones.com) with FREE artistic instruction and inspiration. That’s 52 weeks of life-changing creative fun filmed in her art studio in England, where she can talk participants through what she created on the Bible page of the week and how to do it. As God highlights topics in her reading she searches scripture and shares with us! Any level of experience is welcome!
She does this challenge right along with us all year and her creative tutorials are meant for beginners and experienced alike. You can join at any point in the year and respond to as few or as many challenges as you like.
See this as a once-per-week (or once-a-month) bonus to your time with God as your meditate on His Word with creative pleasure. You’ll be able to follow along, gain inspirations and go on to complete your own pages individually and with others from SFC, who will be meeting once a month for support, help, laughter, and companionship! You can interpret the challenge in any way you desire. We’ll enjoy God’s Word together in creative new ways and grow as a community in our relationship with God!
There will be more detailed information available in May and some samples to look at – stay tuned!
The Lord is my constant companion.
There is no need that He cannot fulfill.
Whether His course for me points to the mountain tops of glorious ecstasy or to the valleys of human suffering,
He is by my side,
He is ever present with me.
He is close beside me when I tread the dark streets of danger,
and even when I flirt with death itself,
He will not leave me.
When the pain is severe,
He is near to comfort.
When the burden is heavy,
He is there to lean upon.
When depression darkens my soul,
He touches me with eternal joy.
When I feel empty and alone,
He fills the aching vacuum with His power.
My security is in His promise to be near to me always, and in the knowledge that He will never let me go.
This was shared as part of the sermon, “The Shepherd’s Call” from April 26, 2015. This is a modern rendition of Psalm 23 from the book Psalms/Now by Leslie Brandt and Corita Kent.
Just around the corner is the 35th Annual Mayfair Auction and plant sale! This year’s theme, “Rooted in Christ” seems very fitting with the changes that have occurred. The Silverton Christian School Board has selected a committee of 9 parents to work together in coordinating the different aspects of the auction:
Jaime Hudson ~ Chair
Lori Roth ~ Donations
Lizbeth Elias & Jessica Reneau ~ Oral/Silent Auction Coordinator
Jolene Ferschwailer ~ Check in/out & Data Entry
Rachael Beede ~ Hospitality
Stephen & Emily Ward ~ Video Production/Marketing
Linda Brusven ~ Plant Sale
The planning team has been working really hard together bringing in new ideas and enthusiastic energy for planning this event. Please note that the date for the auction has changed to Saturday May 9th, doors open at 5pm. Tickets are $5 per person and can be purchased starting April 12th. Contact Jaime or Teresa in the office for your tickets. We are still collecting auction items for donations so if you would like to donate items please drop them by the office as soon as possible. We are looking forward to the changes and energy of the auction this year and hope you will too.
~Jaime Hudson – SCS Board Chair
“Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.” – Martin Luther
Spring is a time of renewal. I enjoy how the spring rains come causing the crocus, tulip and daffodil bulbs to push their way through the wet soil, how the grass comes back to life and turns a lush, deep green, and how the city is painted with color as all the flowering trees, bushes, and shrubs spring forth with millions of blooms. It all refreshes my soul. It gives me hope. It reminds me of resurrection.
The dead limbs and last year’s dried up foliage must make way for new life to come forth. And the same is true in our lives. We too need the dried up and dead areas to be removed so that our lives can flourish and blossom. Spring is a good time for us to get out our pruning shears and work on those dead areas of our souls. It is time to fill up our compost receptacles with the bad habits, the distractions, the wasted spaces of life, and find time for contemplating a renewed life. It is time to try new, life-giving things.
Maybe it is time to exercise a little more – time to take a walk and get to know your neighbors. It may be time to take an afternoon drive or a long walk at Silver Falls and breath in the fresh spring air. How about a new hobby or a new project?
Ask yourself, “What is something that gives me LIFE?” and then go do it!
Jesus’ resurrection wasn’t just for eternal life after we die, rather it was about bringing life into every aspect of living from now unto eternity. Because Jesus lived, we have hope for eternity, and for tomorrow, and most importantly for the present moment! Our call as people of the resurrection is to live life to the fullest and for His glory each and every day. As N.T. Wright said, “The message of Easter is that God’s new world has been unveiled in Jesus Christ and that you’re now invited to belong to it.”
In what new ways are you planning to “renew your life” this spring? How are you answering the invite to belong to this resurrected life, now? Maybe a walk in the garden will inspire you.
Grace and peace, Pastor Bob+