From the Pastor’s Heart, My heart has been heavy in reflecting on the recent event in Charlottesville. But, I’m thankful for the ministry of Pastor John and his team who chose to be present to worship and pray in the midst of the turmoil. That was an example of taking the light of gospel into a hostile and broken situation. I commend our sister Restoration Cornerstone ministry for their courage and obedience. Last week I sent out a report of our last ministry team meeting. I want to explain further the decision we made to offer a course on emotionally, healthy, spirituality. I believe this will be helpful at many personal and relational levels, friends, family, marriage, parenting, work, community and church. This particular eight week course will not only be practical for everyone personally but I think it will be important for our church in preparing us to make a decision about our future. In this course we will learn eight things we have to quit in order to change our life that I believe will also impact the way we function together as a congregation. Here is the list of things we need to quit: One, Being afraid of What Others Think; Two, Lying; Three, Dying to the Wrong Things; Four, Denying, Anger, Sadness, and Fear; Five, Blaming; Six, Overfunctioning; Seven, Faulty Thinking; and Eight, Living Someone Else’s Life. The reason we need to quit these things is due to the likelihood we all do them and it often causes dysfunction in our relationships even in the church. In light of that if you are concerned and wonder about the future of our church, I want to encourage you to participate in this study. My request is that you make a decision and commit to fully engage. So, what does that mean? Two things: One, attend Sunday morning celebration every Sunday for eight weeks beginning Sunday, September 24 and ending Sunday, November 12. For some reason you do miss a Sunday you will be able to make it up by listening to the message on a CD that will be available. Two, attend a weekly small group meeting for eight weeks at a place and time of your own choosing for interaction, discussion, and application. During these eight weeks I suggest that all other regular weekly meetings be suspended unless the priority of attending this course is assured and you are able to do more than two meetings a week, one on Sunday morning and one during the week. I know this may seem pretty stringent. But there are times when stringent measures are needed in order to break out of dysfunctional patterns. At this point I only ask that you begin to pray, seek God, and consider participating. In a couple of weeks you will have opportunity to sign up for the course. A book and workbook will be provided for you at no charge. Bless you, Pastor Gerald PS: Don’t forget our fellowship meal this Sunday after the morning celebration.