Called out of darkness into God’s wonderful light (Do – Love – Walk)

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For you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.

“Once you had no identity as a people;
now you are God’s people.
Once you received no mercy;
now you have received God’s mercy.” – 1 Peter 2:9-10

Andre with a huge herd of kids (children's moment)
Andre with a huge herd of kids (children’s moment)

The title of this blog – Life, Gratitude, Faith. & Passion – could also work well as a heading for ongoing news about our faith community, Wake Forest Presbyterian Church (WFPC).

WFPC is, of course, exactly why Rebekah and I are here in North Carolina; and three events this weekend spoke to me profoundly about how creatively and transformationally God is working here.

  1. I already wrote about the men’s group I’m involved with in yesterday’s post (worth reading if you missed it).
  2. We enjoyed a “one-year celebration” dinner with the “Pastor Nominating” team responsible for bringing Rebekah to Wake Forest.
  3. We kicked off the new church year with an enthusiastic Rally Day Sunday morning.
WFPC pastor nominating team

ONE-YEAR: The people pictured here, with Rebekah, all deserve a “shout out” for listening to their church family with open minds, listening to God with open hearts, patiently sifting through huge piles of information, meeting faithfully and continuing to listen to each other, pulling off a nationwide search without losing their focus on Jesus, and bringing the call process to its conclusion with enthusiasm, with grace, and with unwavering belief.

I don’t think I’ve ever written about this part of our move before, but here’s a sincere thank you to (clockwise from back left) Marv Baker, Armin Harrell, Paul Kucyk, Carolyn Wiles, Allie Wilmoth, (Rebekah), Linda Adkins, and Betty Franks; good people, all.

Saturday’s dinner included the team’s wonderfully supportive and encouraging spouses, and we sat around the room sharing stories of what God has been up to in our lives, and how we are witnessing the power of God moving in our church.

Rebekah talking to WFPC

DO. LOVE. WALK: Sunday morning we commissioned 82 people who have made a commitment to work as teachers and leaders in the discipleship ministry here at WFPC.

The sanctuary was packed with enthusiastic worshippers, and the campus was overrun with children.

The theme for discipleship this year at WFPC is “Do. Love. Walk.”

He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God? – Micah 6:8

After worship, and then some hands on mission projects, we gathered in the CLC to check out all the available discipleship opportunities. In addition to WFPC’s huge focus on ministry for children and youth, there are now six regular adult education Sunday morning classes, a wide selection of new small groups meeting throughout the week, a growing men’s ministry, an expanded women’s ministry, and a renewed spirit of promise and belief that it’s impossible to do anything other than “roll” with!

There’s a renewed spirit of promise and belief here that it’s impossible to do anything other than “roll” with!

So, yes, my heart is full. So much going on; so much excitement; so much of “Living Like We Mean it!”

Discipleship event
Discipleship event

I honestly believe that this is how God intends for all of us – and all church communities – to live: with renewed LIFE; with thankful hearts, full with GRATITUDE; with growing, vibrant, FAITH; and with the kind of PASSION that can only be explained in the context of Jesus. – DEREK




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