This will take a little preparation. First, I need you to take some scrap paper and tear it up into tiny bits. If you have a shredder, this would be the time to use it. A small pile will do. Place these scraps in a mound right beside you. Then I need everyone reading this to take an implement in each hand. Pens or pencils would be best, but any implements handy will do – fork and spoon, ruler and stapler, dirty sock and old newspaper. Now start the drum role. The announcement is imminent. Let the anticipation rise with the beating of the implements. On second thought, let’s not allow the dirty sock to be included in this makeshift drum line – strong smell, but not much sound. That’s better. Okay. Here it is. Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to announce the much needed and widely anticipated launch of our church web site. (Now would be the time to throw those scraps in the air and let the confetti fall). Hip Hip Horray!! You can find us at www.inletcommunitychurch.org. It’s still in the early stage, but even now I have the latest sermon up (I have about a dozen archived that I will try to post in the near future) and the last few e-couragements. We’ll be posting the weekly bulletin as well. The web is the primary place that people look for information. So having a strong web presence is essential to getting the word out. It also lets us to share more widely the exciting work that God is doing and allows our many occasional visitors who come year after year to stay connected to the church even when they (including many receiving this e-mail) are not in Inlet.
Another drum roll and pile of confetti. Ladies and gentlemen, we are also excited to announce a newly designed advertisement for the paper that will debut next week. I’ve attached a copy for you to get a preview. The boxed content is intended to change regularly to keep things fresh and current. The ad was sent in before our website was complete, so it doesn’t list that yet, but will in weeks to come. The two local newspapers are the main source of information locally and I can attest firsthand how much people rely on it.
And now, one last drum roll and pile up the confetti. The third and final announcement to celebrate. I am excited to introduce our three newest members, voted into membership at our quarterly meeting last week. Linda Heitsman has been attending regularly for a little over a year. You may recognize her as a cashier at Diorios. Recently, she was appointed Senior Activities Coordinator for Old Forge. We’re already talking about how we as a church can partner with her in helping with the Senior Activities. John and Danielle Swick have also been attending for about a year. John is the principal of TOW School and Danielle is a stay at home mother caring for their son Garrett. John and Danielle are organizing the Mexico mission trip through our church and preparing to take a group of 24 people (including a number of students) on this Spring Break trip.
I keep thinking of a passage I read last week through the Encounter With God reading guide. In Matthew 10:7 Jesus is sending the disciples out and tells them, “As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’” I shared with our discipleship group Sunday night that this nearness is not temporal, but spatial. He’s not saying near as if it is almost here in just a matter of time. He is saying near in the sense of right next to you. When the disciples go into the world they bring with them an outpost of the kingdom of God. Interaction with them is like rubbing up against the kingdom. I suggested that our interactions with people should have that same effect. That time with us should give people a taste of what it is to be in the kingdom. That’s a high calling. I am challenged by the thought. Maybe you are too.
In closing, please pray for my mother in law, Carol. She goes in for back surgery on Tuesday February 3 to repair bone degeneration. As I understand, rods will be installed and there will be a challenging road of recovery. I would appreciate your prayers for her.
Keep pressing on.