Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Dear Linwood Friends,

On Sunday we launched the 2013 season with worship in the Chapel.  According to my calculations this is the 130th year (without a miss!) that the Christian community has gathered at Linwood Park to celebrate and declare God’s love in Christ.  What a wonderful record of faithfulness!

There are a couple of things that make this record so significant.

The first is consistency.  Think of how much has changed in the past 130 years.  And yet, Sunday morning worship at Linwood Park has remained a consistent presence and witness.  We gather in celebration of a God who is the same – a constant, faithful presence with us – yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  Yet, He is also the God who is “with it” – reliable and relevant in each day and its circumstances.

The second is a witness to the “law of the generations.”  There was no one in attendance Sunday who was present 130 years ago!  That means that all of us have been the recipients of the worship and witness that was established long before us.  Sunday worship at Linwood was not our idea, but the idea of our grandparents and great grandparents.  That also raises the question as to whether or not we are going to pass this blessing along to the next generations.

The third is the power of relationships.  Some churches ask their worshippers to enter in “reverent silence” – and either quietly pray or listen silently to the prelude as they prepare for worship.  That does not work at Linwood (and I doubt that it ever did).  This is my fourth year as your Park Pastor, and I am now used to the fact the first few Sundays each season are going to be almost raucous as people gather for worship.  Why?  It is because they are so glad to be back together again.  It is almost like we go through a death and resurrection each year!  All of this is a testament to the strength and significance of the relationships that have been formed here and will last forever.

And fourth (I know – sermons are supposed to have three points, but this is an e-mail so I am allowed four), more than anything else this is a witness to the incredible faithfulness of God.  We consider 130 straight years of Christian worship and witness to be quite a feat, yet God is a God who is faithful to “a thousand generations.”  Not only is that a long time, it is a way of saying that God’s faithfulness is without end.

Our theme this season is “Footprints of the Faithful.”  Each Sunday we will be looking at various Biblical characters and how their faithfulness can inspire, direct, and encourage us to be people of faith today.  Please join with us for worship each Sunday at 10:45 a.m.

Also, on Thursday, June 6th, we will begin our weekly Bible studies.  We will meet in the Chapel at 9:30 a.m.  This summer we will be studying the first 10 chapters of the Book of Acts.  Please bring your Bible.  We welcome everyone – Bible study novices and Bible study veterans.

Worship services and Bible studies are open to both those in the Park as well as those who live outside the Park.   There is no gate fee to attend.

Looking forward to a great summer together.

Yours in Christ,
Hu Auburn
Linwood Park Pastor

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