Pastor's Note

February 7, 2020

Dear Church,
 
On Wednesday I put on my warmest clothing and made my way downtown to celebrate the Chiefs with a million or so new friends. It was a blast! There was this sense of pride and excitement for our city that’s just contagious. 
 
But then it hit me. The team that won this Super Bowl won’t be the same team next year. Players will leave or be traded, new teammates will join. Strategies will change and so will the competition! While we’re celebrating today, change is inevitable. We could win years in a row, or we might lose the spark we’ve had (knock on wood!) 
 
And the same is true of our relationships. We celebrate commitments and the wins we make in life... (sometimes with the energy we bring to football); but the future is never predictable! Sometimes we can’t anticipate that the       relationships we love don’t work out. So what do we do? Just hope for the best? What do Christians believe about the end of relationships? 
 
Well, you might be surprised! Join us as we continue “Love, Heartbreak, and Trainwrecks”!
 
Pastor Chris
Posted by Chris Abel

January 31, 2020

Dear Church,
 
This week I excitedly dove into my taxes, feeling preemptively accomplished about getting them out of the way so early. And then, about halfway through the process, the big RETURN numbers in the upper left of the screen changed from the happy GREEN to a bright RED. The number that sat there on my screen seemed to fill my vision, my stomach dropped, and I started doing the math of how my life would be different for the next year. 
 
I couldn’t understand what I did wrong! And to make things worse, I’ve heard story after story of pastors who got their taxes wrong and went into tremendous debt. Suddenly I had BECOME one of those statistics! 
 
So I went over it and over it, even going online and filling out my information on another tax site. And then, praise God, I found out what had happened. I had misunderstood one question. Just one. I changed my response and the red went back to green.
 
And you know what’s funny? I’ve done clergy taxes for 5+ years with no problems. I walked into this confident, secure, and anticipating I’d have no problems. But a routine process suddenly looked a lot different when I had a simple misunderstanding.  
 
This weekend, we’re starting a sermon series called “Love, Heartbreak, and Trainwrecks” where we’ll be talking about relationships and how the Christian faith impacts love and romance. You might be in a long-term relationship, be single after a relationship, or be single and wanting to BE in a relationship. But while relationships can be routine and simple enough (especially when we’ve grown familiar with someone), a few simple mistakes can change the trajectory from GREEN to RED. (And not Chiefs RED. More like San Francisco red.) When we get the little things right or wrong, it can make a BIG difference in our relationships! 
 
I hope to see you this weekend as we dive into how the Christian faith can help you and the people you love. And who knows… maybe if you come to church, the Chiefs will do even better ;) 
 
Chris
Posted by Chris Abel

January 25, 2020

Dear Church,
 
I arrived back home Wednesday morning from Florida where I was celebrating a late Christmas with my mom, stepdad, and Beth. It was a great time and it’s always heart-warming to see family! Every year I head down that way and it’s become a rhythm in my life where I have a chance to reflect on how I’m doing compared to previous years. It’s funny to look back and see how I’ve have had a different predicament each year. I’ve spent some years complaining about my work; others, my dating life; others, my self.... But looking back, the thing that jumps out to me the most is how far I’ve come from the insecure, anxious young man plagued with self-doubt. I think back on my early 20’s and who I was and sometimes can’t believe that I’m the same person! 
 
And when I’m honest with myself, most of my personal growth came not from my discipline or determination (of which I have very little) but from...God. Being a Christian has done more for my life than any other decision I’ve ever made. It’s made me care about others more, given me boldness at vital moments, and helped me have a sense of purpose when I easily could have drifted in a million aimless directions. 
 
But that’s not just my story. Even in the scriptures we see Jesus’ disciples go through a transformation. His ragtag group of friends spend three years with him, and the night he is taken to be executed, all but one run away! Even at the end of three years of learning from Christ, they just run. It seems the Christian movement is doomed to fail. 
 
But decades later, those fearful men have left their small villages and small mindsets and traveled the world changing lives. And not only that, but those same men who ran away in fear from the possibility of joining Jesus on the cross...end up being crucified themselves. There’s an incredible change that happens in their lives, and this weekend we’re going to close out “Foundations of the Faith” by talking about how that growth happened and happens—how fearful followers became brave leaders—and how that can happen in our lives, too.
 
Can’t wait to explore this topic with you! 
 
 
Pastor Chris 
 
P.S. We’re looking for some folks to help us get our new Caring Ministries going. We have a meeting about it this Sunday at 12 p.m. in room 117! We’re especially looking for some men to be part of this group. Hope to see you there.
Posted by Chris Abel

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