Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I’ve returned from three weeks away! Now, while helping out with VBS, I am working to get back into the swing of things, before I head out again next week to visit my family in Iowa. (I still plan to be around on the weekends!)
You may not have noticed that I was gone. Or you might have been wondering where I was and what I was doing. Either way, I’d like to briefly share what God has been teaching me through the past three weeks. During my first week away, I was visiting Angie’s side of the family and recuperating. I had been feeling tired and empty and, at points, somewhat helpless. But God used the week with family to refresh and encourage me.
On July 21, I flew back to Boston so that I could catch an international flight to Croatia. For the past two weeks, I had the privilege of traveling with the Ockenga Fellows 2.0. The Ockenga Fellows are a group of pastors in New England, who come together to talk about the church in the public square. There have been 4 rounds of fellows, and this is the fifth and final round. This Fellows 2.0 program has already discussed globalization and secularization. We’ll be talking about Race Relations in November. Our discussion on Secularization brought us to Croatia, Bosnia, and Czechia (The Czech Republic).
While in Croatia and Bosnia, we travelled around to learn about how war has affected Christians and how the church has responded during war and since the war ended. Through meeting various pastors and hearing different stories, I was encouraged to be reminded that God cares for and protects His people. God will provide as He guides us to walk in His path. We simply need to follow His leading! If you want specific examples and stories, just ask. (BTW, Split, Croatia is a cheaper vacation spot than Italy and boasts many similar and picturesque places, so more and more tourists in Europe are heading there to visit the Adriatic coast).
While in Prague, Chechia, we learned a lot about the history of the region, and how the reformation began there earlier than that better known Protestant reformation started by Martin Luther. If you’re curious, search up John Hus. Through conversations with ministry leaders, I was reminded of God’s strange and fantastic providence. God knows how to bring people to himself, even through the most unlikely circumstances. We can continue to serve our Lord because He is still bringing people to himself.
What has God been teaching you this summer?
Also, please continue to pray for the nation of Ukraine. Pray that they would cease bringing the war to Russia – because there are no winners in a war. Here is a suggested list of prayers if you are at a loss for words in how to pray: https://send.org/story/hh_pray_for_ukraine. Thank you for kneeling on behalf of the people of Ukraine and Russia, and taking a stand (or a knee in prayer) against the forces of darkness in this present age.
This Week (Aug. 11-17, 2023):
1. Tonight, Aug. 11, 2023, the Living Stones Friday Night Bible Study is meeting from 7:30-9:30 to continue our study of mentoring relationships. In person and online groups are on different lessons (due to the missionary sharing last week). Join in person in Room A-216 or online via the following link at 7:30 pm:
Meeting ID: 685 376 249
Join by phone: +1 929 436 2866 US (New York)
Also, the Empower Fellowship continues to meet in Room A-201A this week!
2. The Living Stones Sunday School and Empower Sunday School are meeting this Sunday. The Empower Students will have a discussion (perhaps about spiritual disciplines, or a different topic). The Living Stones will be studying the Theology and Practice of Evangelism. They will use the following link for those who wish to join online:
Meeting ID: 491 248 585
Join by phone: +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
3. This Sunday, August 13, 2023, at 11:25 am, Pastor Nathan Willems will be preaching. Pray for him! Join us for worship at CBCGL!
Text: Matthew 26:41
Title: In Case of Emergency
Live stream via Youtube: https://www.cbcgl.org/live-stream/
4. Each Wednesday, such as this week (Aug. 16) at 7:45 pm, you are invited, encouraged, and requested to join our weekly prayer meeting. We will not grow in Christ without growing in our dependence on God through prayer. In August, we will be praying with JOY (and for our college students!). The link is found below in the section on prayer.
Administration / Events
1. We have a missions update (so check out the missions tab from the bulletin)! This week, we have an update from C and A, serving in Oaxaca, Mexico. They are seeking to support the work of Bible Translation with Wycliffe Bible Translators. They are also seeking to find which people they can best support (as things were interrupted due to COVID). Finally, they are looking for more individuals or organizations to provide them with financial and prayer support. Please see the missions tab for more information.
2. Save the Date, and Plan Ahead – Join CPC for a BBQ/Potluck – Aug. 19
Potluck/BBQ time: August 19 (Saturday), starting at 5 PM (Come earlier if you’re bringing something to grill). We’ll be eating starting at 5:30 pm. Plan accordingly.
Location: Main Cafeteria (Bldg B – Main Building); MPR and Courtyard
What to bring: It’s a potluck, so bring a summer BBQ food to share, or your favorite dish to feed a crowd. You can also bring outdoor games to set-up and play in the courtyard (or MPR if it is raining).
Who is invited: Anyone connected to CPC. Just bring enough food to feed the people you’re inviting (plus one – so there is enough!).
Contacts: Deacon Tony Ge/Pastor Nathan Willems
3. Sunday Lunch Service is taking a Summer Vacation. It will return in September.
4. CBCGL’s COVID-19 guidance is following CDC guidance for travel and participation in activities following travel or exposure to a positive case. Please note, wearing a face mask to church is now optional.
5. All other announcements can be found here (in our CrossPoint Community bulletin).
1. The one who lives without prayer lives as if there is no God. Truly, our time in prayer shows what we think about God! Do you see your need of Him? Or are you trying to live this life without / apart from Him? Please join our Wednesday night prayer meeting (7:45 – 9:15 pm) even if you can’t participate the whole time.
Meeting ID: 758 587 937
Join by phone: +1 929 436 2866 US (New York)
In Christ, your servant, SDG,
Rev. Dr. Nathan Willems
Associate Pastor of CrossPoint Community – A Ministry of CBCGL