We are Disciples of Christ; a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world. As part of the one body of Christ, we welcome all to the Lord’s table as God has welcomed us.Beliefs
Bob’s TAC (Talk About Church) August 23.
My article today is not so much “talk about church” as it is a subject as sensitive and enigmatic as death and other losses that overwhelm one with grief. Death is usually at the top of our grief impact. Grief doesn’t only occur, however, when someone dies. When part of our family separates themselves to another area, we grieve. When part of family is in another land and we worry for their safety and security, we grieve. When relationships fall apart, we grieve. When dreams die, we grieve. When illnesses wreck us, we grieve.
First Christian, Liberty, has had its share of recent grieve. It is not an easy task to rise above and surpass the intense emotions of grief. Grief is bigger than any one of us. We try our best to clear those entangled emotions in our hearts and mind so that God can enter, take root, and heal us, but it is not that easy. At such a fragile time when a mother and father have lost their child, it is not easy to accept the truth of God’s Word as we have heard it or may know it. It is not easy, either, for the church to be the healer and comforter it wants to be at such a time and, because it isn’t easy, we yield to platitudes clothed as sophistication in God’s word. Here is one of those biggies: “Everything happens for a reason.” In unleashing this upon someone who has just lost a loved one, while trying to be caring and compassionate, we are denying them the right to grieve. The issue is that we never “understand the reason.” A better way for the church to be the comforter and healer is to show the kindness of a neighbor and friend and, by our presence, sit and cry, if necessary, with the one who grieves. We don’t always sit with them literally, but we are in prayer that God will lift the spirits of the sorrowful in the time of their grief and, with helping hands and caring hearts, offer comfort. May the church surround those who grieve with people of love and care and not platitudes.
Megan Divine, a writer in the field of loss and trauma, says what I have always endorsed in my pastoral care to the grieving: “Some things in life cannot be fixed, they can only be carried.” Losing a child cannot be fixed. Being diagnosed with a debilitating illness cannot always be fixed. They can only be carried. Most of us are here today because God chose to love us and carry us through some of the most difficult times. Most of us are here today because the church has been willing to suffer with us, alongside us, and through us. Jesus Christ is the perfect model of this. Jesus carries us with the promise, “I am with you always…I will never forsake you.” Notice Jesus didn’t say I am here for you, but I am with you. That’s what we as the church are to do, “stand with our loved one, to suffer with them, to listen to them and walk with them on the path to healing.
While we stand, suffer, listen and walk with them, we embrace them with hope. We, of the faith, embrace them with the hope in Jesus Christ as the resurrection and life. It is our firm claim that whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. So we follow the advice of St. Paul in I Thessalonians 4: 13-18: “Grieve, not in the same way as those who have no hope, but for goodness sake grieve.”
Blessings this day to all who grieve,
Bob … See MoreSee Less
Newsletter for The First Christian Church and Friends August 7, 2016
Prayer was requested for Will Tackett, the newborn son of Jason Tackett.
Prayer was also requested for Heather Cundiff and the people of Ethiopia during the recent protests.
Joy was expressed that Homer, Char, and family have returned to worship with us.
Lydia Coffey presented the children’s sermon using a piggy bank to remind us that saving can then help us do good works for others.
Steve Sweeney delivered the reading from Psalm 50.
Char will be leading children in Worship and Wonder Orientation over the next three Sundays.
Our interim minister, Bob Mallory’s final message in his 3 B series was 3B “Invitation to Become.”
Membership Committee will meet this Wednesday afternoon at 2:00 in the Fellowship Hall; Worship Committee will follow at 3:30.
The ad hoc Housekeeping Committee consisting of Jan Bryant, Brenda Carmicle, Kay King, and Anne Leigh is accepting applications for the new custodian position. Please refer anyone who may be interested to these members.
Secretary hours for the week of August 8-12 are Monday 1-4 pm, Wednesday 1-4 pm, and Friday 8am-2pm.
BenJamin Cundiff and Michelle Myers invite their Liberty First Christian Church family to join them on Saturday, October 8, for their wedding to be held in Danville, KY. Please speak to Tishana if interested in receiving a formal invitation and RSVP.
Board Chairman, Danny Jeffries, is forming a Pulpit Committee.
Wednesday’s meetings will resume in the fall.
Steve Sweeney continues his work on the Pictorial Church History Project. Members are encouraged to bring labeled photos to be added. All photos will be returned promptly.
Tishana and Ken Cundiff
Kencundiff41@yahoo.com … See MoreSee Less
Scripture Readings for The First Christian Church and Friends
July 31, 2016 Liberty, KY
Proper 13 (18)
Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost
July 31, 2016
ART — PRAYER Hosea 11:1-11
Psalm 107:1-9, 43 Ecclesiastes 1:2, 12-14; 2:18-23
Psalm 49:1-12 Colossians 3:1-11 Year C – Season after Pentecost – Proper 13 (18) : Revised Common Lectionary
Year C – Season after Pentecost – Proper 13 (18) : Revised Common Lectionary
Full text of the Revised Common Lectionary readings for Year C – Season after Pentecost – Proper 13 (18)
11:1 When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.
11:2 The more I called them, the more they went from me; they kept sacrificing to the Baals, and offering incense to idols.
11:3 Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, I took them up in my arms; but they did not know that I healed them.
11:4 I led them with cords of human kindness, with bands of love. I was to them like those who lift infants to their cheeks. I bent down to them and fed them.
11:5 They shall return to the land of Egypt, and Assyria shall be their king, because they have refused to return to me.
11:6 The sword rages in their cities, it consumes their oracle-priests, and devours because of their schemes.
11:7 My people are bent on turning away from me. To the Most High they call, but he does not raise them up at all.
11:8 How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, O Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I treat you like Zeboiim? My heart recoils within me; my compassion grows warm and tender.
11:9 I will not execute my fierce anger; I will not again destroy Ephraim; for I am God and no mortal, the Holy One in your midst, and I will not come in wrath.
11:10 They shall go after the LORD, who roars like a lion; when he roars, his children shall come trembling from the west.
11:11 They shall come trembling like birds from Egypt, and like doves from the land of Assyria; and I will return them to their homes, says the LORD.
Psalm 107:1-9, 43
107:1 O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever.
107:2 Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, those he redeemed from trouble
107:3 and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.
107:4 Some wandered in desert wastes, finding no way to an inhabited town;
107:5 hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them.
107:6 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress;
107:7 he led them by a straight way, until they reached an inhabited town.
107:8 Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wonderful works to humankind.
107:9 For he satisfies the thirsty, and the hungry he fills with good things.
107:43 Let those who are wise give heed to these things, and consider the steadfast love of the LORD.
Ecclesiastes 1:2, 12-14; 2:18-23
1:2 Vanity of vanities, says the Teacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
1:12 I, the Teacher, when king over Israel in Jerusalem,
1:13 applied my mind to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven; it is an unhappy business that God has given to human beings to be busy with.
1:14 I saw all the deeds that are done under the sun; and see, all is vanity and a chasing after wind.
2:18 I hated all my toil in which I had toiled under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to those who come after me
2:19 –and who knows whether they will be wise or foolish? Yet they will be master of all for which I toiled and used my wisdom under the sun. This also is vanity.
2:20 So I turned and gave my heart up to despair concerning all the toil of my labors under the sun,
2:21 because sometimes one who has toiled with wisdom and knowledge and skill must leave all to be enjoyed by another who did not toil for it. This also is vanity and a great evil.
2:22 What do mortals get from all the toil and strain with which they toil under the sun?
2:23 For all their days are full of pain, and their work is a vexation; even at night their minds do not rest. This also is vanity.
49:1 Hear this, all you peoples; give ear, all inhabitants of the world,
49:2 both low and high, rich and poor together.
49:3 My mouth shall speak wisdom; the meditation of my heart shall be understanding.
49:4 I will incline my ear to a proverb; I will solve my riddle to the music of the harp.
49:5 Why should I fear in times of trouble, when the iniquity of my persecutors surrounds me,
49:6 those who trust in their wealth and boast of the abundance of their riches?
49:7 Truly, no ransom avails for one’s life, there is no price one can give to God for it.
49:8 For the ransom of life is costly, and can never suffice
49:9 that one should live on forever and never see the grave.
49:10 When we look at the wise, they die; fool and dolt perish together and leave their wealth to others.
49:11 Their graves are their homes forever, their dwelling places to all generations, though they named lands their own.
49:12 Mortals cannot abide in their pomp; they are like the animals that perish.
3:1 So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
3:2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth,
3:3 for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
3:4 When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.
3:5 Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry).
3:6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming on those who are disobedient.
3:7 These are the ways you also once followed, when you were living that life.
3:8 But now you must get rid of all such things–anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language from your mouth.
3:9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices
3:10 and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator.
3:11 In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!
12:13 Someone in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me."
12:14 But he said to him, "Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?"
12:15 And he said to them, "Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions."
12:16 Then he told them a parable: "The land of a rich man produced abundantly.
12:17 And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?’
12:18 Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.
12:19 And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’
12:20 But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’
12:21 So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God."
Our Interim Minister
“ By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” —John 13:35
Remember those on our prayer list
WE INVITE YOU TO Attend:
Sunday School at 10:00 and
Church at 11:00
Ken and Tishana Cundiff
606-303-1132 … See MoreSee Less