Pastor's notes
"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."

-- Romans 8:28
News and notes from our pastor
     Our sympathy is extended to Joy and Dick Love on the recent death of their son, Rick.
     Our sympathy is also extended to Winnie Higgins on the death of her daughter-in-law, Fran, in a car accident. Prayers go to Winnie’s son, Glen, who suffered serious injuries.
     Prayers also go to Bob Peterson, who was hospitalized recently, and has now moved to Brightview Assisted Living Center.
     Continued prayers for Lois Dirkin, who is now home from Pitman Manor after several weeks of physical therapy.
     Get-well prayers are sent out to Fran Lambert and Jim Golding, still receiving treatments; to Nicholas Zorio (home from the hospital), Ginny Naylor, David Belcher (who broke his hand), Blake ReimKim DiNoiaDick Shaw, Nancy Lex, Joe McDonnell (Pat’s husband); John McDevitt (Elisha Elliott’s brother-in-law); Mary Kay Chambers (Kay and Walt Pierson’s daughter); and Dottie Reynolds (Ammie Davis’ mother); all with health issues.
     Congratulations to Kayleigh and Chris Reim on the baptism of Challen William on Sept. 17!

October sermon schedule
8: Dave Kershaw preaches: 
“Everything I Needed to Know”  
15: “Why and How I Give”
22: Rev. Paul Milio preaches: Title TBA
29: “What’s Nailed to Our Door?”
Dear Friends,
     One of the biggest news stories in recent weeks has been about a security breach at Equifax, one of the nation’s biggest credit reporting companies. 
     Their files were hacked, and the personal information of 143,000,000 people may be compromised. 
     Apparently the executives at Equifax knew about the breach for some time before they released this information to the public, and their CEO just resigned.
     I hope none of us, and no one we know, becomes a victim of identity theft as a result of this breach. Identity theft is a terrible issue to deal with.
     But as I heard about this breach, I was thinking about our identity as Christians, and the things that steal it away from us.
                                          Our identity as Christians is the most important                                              thing about us. 
                                          We were created in the image of God, designed and                                      purposed by Him to reflect His glory in all the world. We                                      were called to be His children, walking with Him every                                        day of our lives. 
                                          Through Jesus Christ, we were released from the                                          darkness into which we all fall frequently in our lives.                                                And through the Holy Spirit, we were given the truth                                      that sets us free. That is our identity.
                                          But so many things threaten it, even steal it away from us. 
     Some things are not our fault – life itself gets complicated. People mistreat us. Illness enters into our lives. And it is hard to stay focused on who we are supposed to be, even though we know God will care for us.
     But let’s be honest with ourselves: Sometimes we steal our own identity: We place other things before God; we find other priorities; we accept the false urgencies of the world around us; we allow ourselves to be less than what God wants us to be.
     And the only way to avoid spiritual identity theft is to focus first on God, to build our relationship with Him, to keep Him first. As the song we often sing goes: “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”
     Another thought: Our identity affects that of our church. If we have our spiritual identity stolen, it leaves the identity of our church wide open to the most insidious kind of theft.
     Each day, we must ask ourselves: “What am I doing to assure that my church exists as a city set on a hill? What am I doing to help my church be a light unto all the world? What am I doing to let the world around us know that my church is not a place of convenience, a place where challenges are ignored, and a place where I am not missed when I am not there?”
     Our identity as a church is tied up in who we all are. And if the world steals our spiritual identity from us, there won’t be much of an identity for our church.
So here’s a challenge: Each day, when you wake up, ask yourself: Who am I today? Am I what God wants me to be? How will I make my church be what God wants it to be?
                                                                                                      In Christ, John