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Church News Upadate (May 22)

Our church isn’t closed. Our church is deployed.    

The apostle Peter’s first letter to believers who were going through persecution closes with these words: "My purpose in writing is to encourage you and assure you that the grace of God is with you no matter what happens" (5:12). Moments before he says, "Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are" (5:9).

When you face hard and uncertain times—it is easy to think, I am all alone in this; there is no one to stand with me. Here's what I want you to remember: You are not alone. And no matter what happens, God's grace is with you.

Here are a few news items you might want to know for this week:

  • This Sunday will be our next to last sermon in our series, “Faith in Uncertain Times”.  We hope you plan on joining us for worship each Sunday.  You can find our Sunday worship services online starting at 9 am on our website (www.firstfreechurch.org/sermons), on our YouTube channel, and on Facebook.  We would also encourage you to share those services with friends or family members.
  • Next Sunday, May 31st, we will be saying “Thank You” to Beth Brown during our worship service.  Beth has been on our staff as our Children’s Ministry Director for over 15+ years and she has had a huge impact on our children and the children in our community.  Later in the summer, when we are able to all- gather together, we will have another opportunity to say “Thank you” to Beth. 
  • Climb aboard for mountains of fun at Rocky Railway! Vacation Bible Camp is happening this year,  but rather than doing it in-person, Rocky Railway will be transformed into an at home STAYcation Bible Camp (SBC) to be done at your home, and your pace during the week of June 15-19.  Please register each participant and get more details at firstfreechurch.org/vbc.  Pass this on to your friends!  Registration is open now and will close on May 31st. 
  • For the very first time we will holding our Annual Celebration/Meeting online.  Here are the important details to keep in mind:
    1. The date of our Annual Celebration will be Sunday, May 31st.
    2. It will be held in two parts.  Part one will take place immediately following the morning service – online.  And it will be a presentation of our 2020-2021 budget and our nominations.  Part two will take place via zoom later in the afternoon (I will send out the Zoom invite in the All-Church email the Friday before the meeting) with a question and answer time starting at 4:30 pm and then the actual meeting with votes starting at 5 pm.
    3. In order to be prepared for being part of this “Annual Meeting” via Zoom, you are encouraged to download and install Zoom 5.0 ahead of time.  As of May 30th, older versions of Zoom will no longer work.
    4. The Annual report and list of nomination are available on our website. 
  • With the recent news of Governor Walz beginning to open things up around the state, some of you are no doubt wondering when we as a church will re-gather in-person together.  The Council and Staff are currently working on a 4-step plan.  We will share that plan at or before our Annual Celebration.  In the meantime, remember that as those who represent our grace-giving God, we want to pursue unity, cultivate personal humility and model a willingness to sacrifice our individual rights for the sake of the gospel. 
  • Staff news: The council has granted Pastor Jay a 2-month Sabbatical starting June 1st.  Be praying for Pastor Jay—for spiritual renewal, personal renewal, and as he begins the process of being ordained in the Evangelical Free Church.
  • While you were gone . . . things continue to happen around here in the building at First Free.  New cabinets and sinks and a dishwasher have been put in the nursery/2’s classrooms, a men’s bathroom has been refreshed, and the gym floor is in process of being replaced.  Take a look at the photos at firstfreechurch.org/construction.

This week my prayer is that you may continue to stand firm in the faith because you know that God is with you and that you are not alone!

In Him,
Pastor Joel