By: Dr. Michael Gardner
It’s been a great month at Old Mission Church so far. First of all, no fooling, Easter Sunday was downright amazing! It was my joy to have so many people here in worship. But Easter was about more than that.
I heard from our out of town guests from Wichita, and from the families of an engaged couple whose wedding was last weekend, some longtime friends, as well as first time guests on Easter -words most of us here already know. “It just made me glad to be in Church.” “The music was amazing.” There was no let-down on the Sunday after Easter, often called “low Sunday.” All three of our worship services were full of hope for our times. And at 9:45, we packed the house again for our Confirmation Sunday, when seven dedicated students, many of whom grew up here at Old Mission claimed the faith of their Baptism as their own faith and joined Old Mission as adult members.
Pretty amazing stuff! And last Sunday, for the sixth year in a row – can it have been that long? – we celebrated “Living 6:8” weekend. Thanks to Rev. Karen Nyhart, our Associate Pastor, for the original vision to “Take the Church to People!” And this year a BIG shout-out to our growing Young Adult Life Group for taking the lead and organizing the entire worship service, and our service to the community.
In a time when many Churches are bemoaning the lack of young adults and young families, and when Christianity’s influence on the culture is in decline, Old Mission is reaching and empowering young adults for ministry. And they are serving, leading, modeling Christian faith, and living for Jesus. Wow!
It’s a pretty sweet time to echo the sentiments of the Apostle Paul, who said, “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor. 15:57) But that victorious life, where hope is stronger than fear, is never easy. I will be continuing our sermon series, RISE, this Sunday on that very subject.
We will be focusing on John 20:19-23, where in the weeks after Easter, the disciples had heard of Jesus rising from death, but they still locked their doors in fear when they met together. Most of us are not afraid that we will be harmed because of our faith, but we are afraid of other things. We fear economic uncertainty, global conflicts, and most of all, we fear change.
In my message Sunday, I will be reminding us that God’s perfect love, when we trust in it, casts out all fear. So, join us at 8:30, 9:45 or 11am for my sermon, entitled, “Beyond the Power of Fear.” See you Sunday!
If you would like to revisit a past "Beyond Believing" article, please refer to the archive.