Friday, February 17, 2017

02-19-2017


Tim’s Tidings

 

On March 1 Christians around the world begin the season of Lent.  Lent is the season 40 days before Easter (not counting Sundays which are feast days) where believers repent of those things that are separating us from living in the fullness of God’s abiding presence and rededicate ourselves to doing those things that bring us closer to God.  Mirroring the 40 days Jesus was in the desert tempted to sin, we model Jesus’ life through focusing on Godly living informed by scripture, prayer and worship.

 

Here are some communal ways we are observing Lent:

On Wednesday March 1 at 7 p.m. Eastminster will mark the beginning of Lent with an Ash Wednesday Service.  This service will unite both our Saturday and Sunday worshipping community as we repent of sin and as those who desire receive a cross on our foreheads to remember, “From dust we come and to dust we return.”  It is a beautiful service of music and art which hopefully humbles us and focuses us on the road ahead, a road of introspection, fasting, service and prayer.

 

On Wednesday March 15 at 5:45 p.m. Eastminster will start a four Wednesday series of “Soup, Salad and Study of Luke.”  Our Congregational Care Committee will provide the Soup and Salad.  There will be a brief period of music and singing.  Then, I will lead a study “Unlocking the Wisdom of Luke” which will give added understanding to the “Ready … Set … Go!” series we are currently engaging in worship.

 

On Sunday March 19 for five weeks our worship schedule will change slightly for Lent and Easter to allow more opportunity for spiritual growth.  The Lent Schedule for March 19, 26, April 2 and 9 will be:

9:00 a.m.          Lenten Music and Meditation

9:45 a.m.          Fellowship

10:30 a.m.        Lenten Worship

11:30 a.m.        Fellowship

 

The addition of the Music and Meditation time on Sunday mornings at 9:00 a.m. will bring some of the best music and spiritual practices to our church as we prepare our hearts to live as renewed Christians.  This time of worship will foster inward reflection through music meant to quiet the heart and mind, thereby preparing the soul for prayer and reflection. Children’s and Adult Christian Education will continue on their regular schedule and Fellowship will be offered after each worship event.

 

On Good Friday April 14 at 7:00 p.m. there will be a presentation of Haydn’s Seven Last Words of Christ by the Eastminster and the Florida Institute of Technology Choir and String Orchestra.  This will be a worship highlight of the year.  Plan to arrive early and be blessed!

 

On April 16 we will celebrate Easter at 6:30 a.m. (Sunrise), 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. worship.  May these events and your personal lives of devotion and service prepare us all to mature as a Christian Community focused on Jesus Christ as “Led by the Holy Spirit Eastminster glorifies Christ by loving God and others in worship, word and deed.

 

Blessings,
Tim
 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

02-05-17

TIM'S TIDINGS

Today Eastminster will have its 67th Annual Congregational Meeting.  The meeting will be efficiently run, and I encourage all to remain for it. It is held for three purposes: 1. To begin the process for selecting our next class of church leaders, 2. To give a financial update and present the 2017 budget, and 3. To present a very high level view of Vision 2025, our emerging Strategic Plan that will enable us to go forward prudently as a congregation.

As you enter today each family unit will receive a 2016 Annual Report.  It is my hope that you enjoy reading and reflecting on what God has done through Eastminster in 2016.  This report, like the meeting, is designed so that visitors and seasonal residents can learn about Eastminster in the same manner that members are informed.  Through the meeting and report all may see what’s up at Eastminster and how Presbyterian churches function.

As for me, this has been an incredible year.  You may read my letter in the annual report.  What I want you to know is that my love for you and this church has grown.  I believe a lot of that is due to my faith growing as a result of our serving together.  Thanks for showing me Jesus in your sacrificial lives of worship and service.  You have immense talents, and as we offer them to God together, wonderful things are happening.  I trust that the future will be bright as we build on the momentum that we have.

I’ll close now with two thoughts from Vision 2025.  One is that our values will show us the way.  The others are that the goals you set through the congregational survey are solid.  Here they are:

   Values

 

God exalting worship incorporating the Biblical witness and worship arts.

 

Vital community life of fellowship, support, and spiritual formation.

 

Inspired service which transforms individuals and organizations through Christian love.

 

Goals

 

  1. Make necessary changes to attract families with children and youth to our church.
  2. Develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to reach new people and incorporate them into the life of the church.
  3. Provide more opportunities for Christian education and spiritual formation at every age and stage of life.
  4. Work to renew and revitalize the community around the church by building coalitions with partners that share this vision and commitment.

 

I want you to know that I fully support the values and goals of Eastminster and the vision that: Led by the Holy Spirit Eastminster glorifies God by loving Christ and others in worship, word and deed.”  

 

May God bless Eastminster to the extent we have been and will be faithful in the adventure ahead!

 

Blessings,

 PASTOR TIM

Thursday, January 26, 2017

01-29-17


Tim’s Tidings

 

Imagine interviewing for a job and your prospective boss calls you into the office.

 “You are very important to this cause,” the boss begins.  “You were created wonderfully, you are gifted abundantly, and you have a purpose and destiny that can only be fulfilled if you take care of yourself and work in harmony with others.”

 By this time some questions might be forming in your mind, even as your heart is warmed.

 “This organization is all about health, wholeness, and hope.  For you to be a fruitful employee, I need you to model these values, to represent them in who you are and what you do.  I need you to take care of yourself and regularly regenerate, spending a day a week in contemplation, prayer, rest, rejoicing.  This is vital to success of our mission and is non-negotiable.”

 You think about this and respond, “And what about performance?’  How will I be evaluated?”

You will be evaluated not just by what you do but by who you are becoming as a human.  You will be evaluated by what you leave aside so that you focus on what is ultimate.  You will succeed to the extent that you are open to a power greater than yourself working in and through you in good times and in tough times—and there will be both!”

 “And what about our clients?,” you ask.

 “Our mission is to seek and save the least, lost, last and lonely.  This is counter-intuitive at first.  We do not discriminate but welcome all.  We are not in business for what we receive, but for what we can give as our organization spreads.  We seek to value all the resources with which we are provided and distribute them as there is need.”

“So what’s the bottom line?” I ask.

 “Care for yourself spiritually and physically.  Be available and open to be used.  Know that you will fail at times, but you will be forgiven as your heart opens to love. Trust me.  For I have plans for you.  Healthy plans not harmful ones, hopeful plans that open to a bright future

After a pause, the boss asks, “Can you do this?  Are you open to following me in this cause?  Are you able to embrace a rhythm of rest, renewal and service?  Do you trust me to equip you in every way?”

 

Will you take the job?

 

Blessings,
Pastor Tim
 

 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Tim's Tidings 01-22-16


Tim’s Tidings

 

Happy 67th Birthday Eastminster!  It is exciting to be part of a church old enough to retire that still has lots of “gas in the tank.”  Like a human, Eastminster has gone through a lot in its 67 years.  It was born, grew quickly into adolescence, reproduced in founding other worshipping communities like Palm Bay Presbyterian locally and mission outposts abroad, and matured through the ups and downs in its life.  That Eastminster is healthy and vital today is a source of praise!

 

The first members drove across a rickety wooden bridge from Melbourne to get here.  The bridge was coated with chemicals that could catch on fire when a car backfired, so it had to have buckets of water along the shoulder so motorists could put out the fire and save the bridge!

 

Yet on January 22, 1950 Eastminster was dedicated and led Indialantic into the modern era.  The building we now know as Melvin Hall, named after our founding pastor, was the first air conditioned building on the island.  As such, it quickly became the hub of community life during the week as well as on Sundays.

There are many stories to be told about the life of Eastminster and the faith of its members. They are best told first hand.  Therefore, I will ask several long time members to give brief vignettes about their experiences in the coming weeks.  Suffice it to say God has been faithful and there are many “wonders to proclaim!”

 

We look back and praise God for God’s faithfulness.  We also look forward into a future filled with hope.  Today, we install the Rev. Kristy Ray as our Associate pastor.  Kristy is faithful, talented, creative, kind, selfless and called to serve with us as we seek to know and do God’s will.  We are blessed to have Kristy and Director of Music Ministries, Robert McBride, join our staff at this time as our congregation moves forward with faith in God and confidence that God will supply every need.

 

We are moving forward purposefully.  Last Tuesday the session adopted a strategic plan, “Vision 2025:  Into the Future with Hope.”  This plan is based on the recent congregational survey, prayer, and discernment led by a Steering Team of capable members.  As a rolling plan, there is much to be added as God gives insight, yet it keeps the question, “What would God have us be and do as a church on our 75th Birthday?” in front of us.  Elder Jack Rowley will give a synopsis of this plan on February 5.

 

The cornerstone of our original building is a quote from Isaiah 56:7.  It reads, “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all people.”  May we always be led by the Holy Spirit, glorify God, and show our love of Christ and others in worship, word and deed.  May God’s Spirit “melt us, mold us, fill us, use us” just like it has in the past as we worship today and in the future. 

 

Happy 67th Birthday Eastminster!  You’ve got lots of gas in the tank!

 

Blessings,
Pastor Tim
 

 

Friday, January 13, 2017

01-15-17

Tim's Tidings
 
One of the wondrous facets of the Judeo-Christian tradition is the rhythm of Old Testament prophesy and New Testament fulfillment.  We saw that last week as Rev. Juliann Whipple preached on the story of the Magi following the star to find Jesus and bring him gifts as prophesied in Isaiah 60.  Her challenge to let our lights shine in all we do still resounds with me, and I hope with you too.

 

Today we encounter Jesus as an adult back in his hometown of Nazareth.  He was recently baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist.  Luke 4:22 says “as he was praying heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove.  And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’” Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led into the wilderness where he fasted for forty days and was tempted yet prevailed.  Now at home, he enters the synagogue as was his custom.  There he was handed the scroll of the prophet Isaiah and he reads:

 

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,

because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives

and recovery of sight to the blind,

to let the oppressed go free,

 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."

 

 

This prophesy comes from Isaiah 61.  It is a prophesy of what the mission of God’s anointed Messiah will be.  After Jesus read these words in the synagogue, Scripture tells us, “Then  he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat back down. And said, “today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

 

Here Jesus is saying that he is the promised Savior coming to fulfill God’s mission.  As we look as our mission as a church, as we consider where God would have us join Christ in ministry, what do these words tell us?

 

I look forward to discerning God’s will and particular mission for Eastminster as we journey on.  Get Ready … Get Set … Go!

Blessings,
Tim
 

Friday, January 6, 2017

January 8, 2017


Kristy’s Reflections

 

It has been quite the season and an incredible 110 days with you at Eastminster. We thrived through an inspiring Fall and Christmas Season. On the 67th Anniversary of Eastminster Congregation we will gather together to Install me as Designated Associate Pastor. This is an exciting time in the life of the church and milestone in my journey as Minister. It has been a joy serving with you these few months and I look forward to each new idea, vision and opportunity to do ministry here. To be a minister truly is an Odd and Wondrous Calling. To walk with people through all different facets of life. To stand in the pulpit and proclaim the Good News of the Gospel. To teach young ones, share stories, and build relationships. Today in worship we are celebrating and reflecting on the scriptures described as Epiphany. Following the Star. The Magi were looking towards and in search of a new king. We are following a new journey as we look forward in the life of the church and celebrate all the years of ministry that has happened here and in the world to get us where we are today.

 

May we follow God in the journey life takes us on. I look forward to Jan 22nd when the Presbytery participates in the worship service of Installation as your Associate.

 

Joyfully,   
 
Pastor Kristy

 


 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Tim's Tidings 10-02-16

Tim’s Tidings

Last Tuesday the College of Elders met to hear the report of “Vital Signs” of Eastminster Presbyterian Church as expressed in the congregational assessment tool many of you completed.  The results are astounding!  I can’t wait for you to hear them and to discuss them!  My expectation is that each worshipper will take 90 minutes this October to meet in an area Home Group to listen to the results and to prayerfully interact with them.  Your “stewardship of time” by attending a Home Group and sharing your insights will be a great service to Eastminster.

Today following worship you will have the opportunity to sign up to attend a Home Group to be held in mid-October through early November.  Please do so!

At the Home Groups you will hear about the level of satisfaction and energy the church has, the growth of worship, the top priorities listed according to the survey, and where the church stands theologically and in flexibility to meet the challenges of the future.  You will be given a “performance dashboard” that shows where we stand in relationship to 1100 churches in terms of hospitality, morale, conflict management, spiritual vitality and readiness for ministry.  You will hear about how the congregation as a whole discerns a call to grow and to meet the needs of children and families, outreach to the community, education, spiritual growth and mission. 
Most importantly, your voice will be heard as we put these factors into a solid plan for the future considering the financial state of Eastminster.

We have turned some important corners from challenge and uncertainty to opportunity and hope in the last three years.  Eastminster’s story is termed by our consultant, David York, as “miraculous.”  Sign up for a Home Group today and hear what the members of Eastminster, collectively, sense God has done and desires to do through Eastminster … and be a part of the continuing conversations!

Love,


Tim