First Congregational Church
305 N. Camburn
PO Box 926
Stanton, MI   48888
Ph. 989-831-5240

Love for Truth  *  Passion for Righteousness  *  Enthusiasm for Service


Open Door Newsletter

Taking the Next Step

             -- Pastor Bob Norris (Interim Pastor)

This past Sunday, we began a journey through the book of Acts, and one of the observations made from the first chapter was the importance of prayer as the disciples waited upon God.  There was no doubt what the task was for them to accomplish.  The Lord had made it crystal clear as the book of Matthew came to a close - Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."  (Matthew 28:19-20).  Jesus also told them, shortly before He returned to heaven, that the Holy Spirit would come in His place to empower them to be witnesses in their community, country, even to the ends of the earth.  But until that occurred, they were to wait.

Acts 1:14 informs us that they all joined together constantly in prayer.  They realized their assignment would be more than they could accomplish on their own.  It would require the Lord to prepare hearts and to give the disciples everything they needed to partner with Him in making disciples of all nations.  We find ourselves today in the same boat and rely on the daily prayer prompts to corporately come before the Throne as we partner with God in fulfilling the Great Commission.

Another observation from the early pages of the book of Acts is that the disciples had also prepared themselves for the days ahead.  In their case, they were down a man in their leadership ranks and determined to find just the right individual to fill the need – someone who had been with them all along and had witnessed the resurrected Christ first-hand.  In the same manner, our leadership has appointed a Transition Team to take a close look at our past and present circumstances in order to prepare for the days to come.

The church health assessment has been completed as mentioned last month in the Open Door article and has been reviewed by our Transition Team.  I will be sharing it with our Diaconate at the monthly meeting on Wednesday, October 13 and then with the entire congregation at our annual meeting on Sunday, October 24.  I would ask that you continue to pray that God will guide and direct us as we prepare for the days to come.

Those early followers prayed that the Lord would use them – and that season of prayer was answered way beyond what they dreamed possible as the Holy Spirit came on the Day of Pentecost.  They shared their story of how the resurrected Lord had changed their lives, and it led to 3,000 people joining them in faith that day.  Their numbers would grow daily as they devoted themselves to the apostle’s teaching and to the fellowship along with the breaking of bread and to prayer (Acts 2:42).  May God do it again in our midst as we walk in faithful obedience to Him!