Based on the title of this blog post, you're probably guessing I'm at least going to mention something about Disney World. Spoiler alert: I'M NOT!
No...it turns out the happiest parking lot on Earth isn't at Disney World, It's right here at Christ the King.
Parking lot worship has made it's return to Christ the King. In the most recent covid surge, we realized it might be helpful to add another option for worship to our weekly line-up. For some families, they're not ready to return to indoor worship out of concern for their young people. For other families, they've got enough time in masks and they like worshipping without one, and still for others, they like coming to our parking lot service because they can SING! Whatever their reasons, the return of parking lot worship services has been a JOYFUL one!
In the past two weeks, we've had a small but JOYFUL crew of folks at our parking lot worship service. We're not just talking 1 person per car here, we're talking full FAMILIES in their cars who are singing, laughing, and happy to be together in a physical way that works for their family.
Awhile ago in this pandemic, I heard someone talk about how we're all in the same storm but we are not in the same boat. As a pastor, I was reminded of that as I have watched cars come in for worship. Everyone who has joined us at 10:30 has a different reason why, and yet-- with their mere presence the Holy Spirit has mightily blown through to make her presence known and our time together holy.
Once again through all of this, God has shown us time and again that when we get creative and open to the possibilities, God's love will STILL come to life!
Peace be the journey,
I’m not talking gifts, like presents you receive for a birthday or Christmas. I’m talking about the God-given spiritual gifts that we all have. God gives each Christian at least two important gifts. The first is the gift of faith in Jesus Christ. The second is the gift of one or more abilities. The purpose of these gifts is for unifying the body of Christ to promote the growth of God’s Kingdom. Say what?
You have these gifts. We do not choose them they are given to us through the work of the Holy Spirit. Not sure what your gifts are? The ELCA has a 60 question spiritual gifts assessment tool for you to discover what your gifts are. (www.elca.org/Our-Work/Congregations-and-Synods/Faith-Practices/Spiritual-Renewal/Assessment-Tools?_ga=2.179732644.1884314897.1634133694-1686221459.1583793038) By knowing what your gifts are, you can engage in service to bring together the community. The ELCA list puts focuses on the gifts that are service related. It does not include some of the spectacular gifts like speaking in tongues, healing, miracles, prophecy or even martyrdom or celibacy. No matter what your gifts of God are, they are always with you.
Our Fall Appeal this year is calling upon everyone to understand you have gifts from God to be shared. Christ the King’s ministry invites you to volunteer on Sundays to help with worship, participate through mission trips, share in community service work, and participate in God’s Work Our Hands opportunities to name a few. All these opportunities are ways we use and share our gifts of faith to promote God’s kingdom! Continue to fill out the four cards sent to your home or find extras on our website (www.christ-the-king.org) and click on the “Think Outside” icon to learn more.
1st Corinthians 12:4 reminds us, “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all.” Discover your gifts and say “Yes” to God to use them well. When you can do this, we all will see God’s love come to life!
Christ’s Blessings & Peace,
The Doughnut Whole Gang begins each Saturday morning session with a fellowship time where men share “what’s new and what can we do?” Todd shared that the letters on the CTK sign were faded, so he painted them. Now, he said, the background looks dingy and the wiring on a light was burned out. Would Sparky possibly help to to rewire it and could we use “Wholy Funds” from our weekly DWG offerings to purchase new background material? Dave and Dane chimed in that the wiring has been investigated, and it was beyond expensive repair. I shared that three of my customers had recently purchased electronic signs for their stores, and had commented to me that new billboards had brought in people they had never seen before, inquiring about what was advertised on them. One Sunday, while talking about CTK’s dilapidated sign, I mentioned this to Pastor Nate, and he pondered if there might be someone in the congregation that might be willing to donate to a new sign? The next day, a salesperson for electronic signs showed up inquiring if CTK might be interested in a new electronic sign? No, I had not set him up! Several months later in our Christ In Our Home devotional, a fellow named Rick shared that after many years away from Christianity, he had driven by a church and the sign outside read, “All Are Welcome.” The devotion went on to say that Rick now leads the homeless ministry in his congregation. This summer, Loren came up to me and made a donation to start out the fund towards an electronic sign. Some of the other Doughnut Whole Gang members have since made donations as well. Sparky suggested that we hold a brat fry during the CTK Craft Sale to raise funds for the new sign. We applied and were approved for Thrivent Action Teams funds to purchase the supplies to hold our outdoor fundraiser on Saturday, October 9th from 10:30-2:30. But, in the end, we know that the ultimate sign from God is the cross. It’s a sign that we are truly loved beyond all measure.
Rick Barnaal 920-750-0379 firstname.lastname@example.org