The River of God

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I had an exciting weekend last weekend. Part of it was exciting because I got to lead worship at my church, something that never grows old.

Beginning Sunday morning with my fellow worshipers in the Footstool service, I was privileged once again to see the Spirit of God moving amongst us, stirring hearts and filling us for service in and to God’s Kingdom. After an enjoyable time of fellowship and learning in the Zion’s Gate class, it was time for the 11:00 a.m. service, where the hymns, music, and study of Sacred Scripture again lifted my spirits. Then, it was time to leave the building and continue with the day God had given me.

The other exciting part of the weekend was attending a Church Turnaround Boot Camp in Watertown, South Dakota, with four lay persons from our congregation: Roger Parkinson, Don Miller, and Brad & Amanda Loiland.  While there isn’t space in this column to tell the entire story of what we learned over the weekend, I can say this: in less than 24 hours, we learned a lot about how America’s culture has changed in the last 50 to 60 years and how that has affected the Church. The ways of communicating the Gospel to our community haven’t kept up with these changes – and we are reaping the fruits of not keeping up!

That sounds serious, and it is.  However, what made this time in Watertown so exciting is that there is hope.  A lot may have changed over the years, but there are still ways to turn around our way of discipleship and help our community connect with the Gospel and become part of the God’s Kingdom.

I’ve often thought of the passing of time to be like a river.  I’m sure a lot of this comes from having grown up on the Missouri River; years of fishing and hunting along its always-moving waters have shaped me in many ways. The passing of time is a lot like that river: it’s always moving, and once a moment has passed, it won’t be seen again. If something needs to happen, the clock is ticking.

Things like this have always added a feeling of urgency to my faith.  There are words to be spoken, and souls to be reached before time moves on.  There’s hope for us because God is still giving us time and opportunity to do His work, even though much time has passed and many changes have happened.

I’m looking forward to working with our leaders to show you these exciting things – and seeing what’s next in the journey in God’s river of time.

God’s blessings be yours,

Pastor Russ