Weekend VBS: June 29 – July 1

We will be doing a weekend Vacation Bible School this year!
Rocky Point Lighthouse: Where Kids Shine God’s Light

At Rocky Point Lighthouse VBS, kids learn to shine God’s light through incredible Bible-learning experiences that kids see, hear, and touch. There will be team building games, cool Bible songs, and active Bible adventures! We will also be participating in an outreach project for our community. For children 3 years old through 5th grade.

Please join us on:

  • Friday, June 29th, from 5:30pm to 8:00pm (kids only)
  • Saturday, June 30th, from 1:00pm to 3:30pm (kids only)
  • Sunday, July 1st, from 9:30am to 10:30am (everyone during Sunday morning Worship!)

For more information, and to register, please call the church office at 970-482-2173 or email office@abcfortcollins.org.

Please register by Monday, June 25th, and include $5 to help with the community project. Thanks!

Missional Opportunities

Summer is unofficially here. School is out and thousands of students are thinking about their plans for the summer. What will they do for summer and to prepare for next fall? For the graduates, they are thinking back on all of the events and milestones that lead to their graduation. They too are making plans for summer, but also for the next chapter of life. For at least the past several months, they have been asked numerous times, “What are you going to do after school?”

The question of “what to do” even comes from your pastor. In recent days, you have received a chart of Missional Opportunities that was basically compiled at our Wednesday Night meal in April. The group that evening brainstormed a list of missional opportunities as additional projects that we might want to undertake. Our church has had a missional church emphasis for the past couple of years and through a process led by Glynis LaBarre from ABC Home Mission Societies, we chose to be involved with the Faith Family Hospitality Network. As well, about that time, we had the opportunity to become involved with Dunn Elementary School as its partner church. These two missional opportunities have brought excitement and purpose to our church.

The original goal of the Missional Church initiative was for ideas to come forth and have people gravitate toward them and work on them. Then as projects got underway, more ideas would spring up and others would be interested in them and gravitate toward them. In that spirit, the Missional Opportunities chart was developed and sent to you in late May. This is the next wave of ideas that are coming forth and we would like to make the opportunities available for you to be involved in a project for which you are passionate.

As you study it, you will see the ideas there categorized into six categories, including: Evangelism/Outreach/Hospitality, Education/Dunn Elementary School, Hunger, Homelessness, Parish Nurse/Health, Shepherding. It is my hope that you will see something on the list that you are interested in or a category which sparks your imagination and stirs your spirit. On June 3rd (and likely the weeks that follow), we will be talking about this list in Discussion Time. We will also be meeting in groups according to your interest and sharing your thoughts with the larger group.

At the beginning of my article, I had my “tongue in cheek” as I said that I wanted to ask you what you would do with these missional opportunities. Our ministry as a missional church is more than doing and planning. Rather, it is living out the call of God on our lives and striving to serve our Lord with all of our time, talent and treasure. I look forward to our discussion the next few weeks to see where the Spirit guides us. Remember that June 3rd begins our summer schedule, so worship will be at 9:30 and Discussion Time at 10:30. An All-Church Picnic is scheduled for 11:30 on June 3rd.

— Pastor Bill

Graduate Recognition

Congratulations to our seven high school graduates! (Six from local high schools, and A.J. in Bulgaria)

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June 3 Picnic

Join us for a picnic on Sunday, June 3, following discussion time, at 11:30 am at the Elderhaus Pavilion (across Shields St. from the church). Please bring a salad or dessert to share. Hamburgers, hot dogs, buns, condiments and drinks provided.

Summer Worship Schedule

The summer worship schedule will begin Sunday, June 3. Worship will begin at 9:30 a.m. and Discussion Time will begin at 10:30. Children’s Sunday School will be from 10:00-11:00 a.m. We will keep this Sunday schedule until September.

A Season of Formation

Recently I read an article that asks the question “How was Jesus formed spiritually?” Obviously, Jesus was God in human form, but he still learned and grew as he lived on this earth. Although a veil of sorts largely covers the early life of Jesus, through small glimpses we know that Jesus was formed spiritually. The article even refers to the verse in Luke 2: 52 which tells us that Jesus grew “in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” Still, the question is “how” did Jesus gain this wisdom?

Certainly Jesus’ parents were instrumental in his formation. Jesus grew up in their home and Jesus obeyed his parents. As well, we can gather that Jesus learned from his friends and elders. I can imagine that he had some interesting discussions growing up as a boy and in traveling with his family, for instance, to Jerusalem for the Passover. He also learned from (and taught) the teachers in the temple as we read in Luke 2: 41-50. The verse about Jesus’ growing in wisdom and stature concludes this story in Luke’s gospel.

Just as Jesus grew spiritually, I have been spiritually formed. Indeed, we all have. As I think about how I have been formed, I am thankful for countless individuals who have invested in me and helped form me spiritually. The list is too long to recount, but quickly I think of parents, Sunday School teachers, pastors, friends, seminary professors and of course, church members. Each of these people and more took time to invest in my education and development. Like Jesus’ mentors, my mentors cared enough to love me and nurture me in the faith. As well, I attend to my own spiritual formation as I seek to develop regular spiritual disciplines in my life. These practices, such as regular Bible reading and personal devotional time, are vital for the Christian seeking to deepen his or her faith.

As I think about that article, perhaps it appeals to me because we are in the season of formation. A definition of formation is “the act of giving or taking form, shape or existence”. And that reminds me of new life. This is the season of Easter where we celebrate the power of the resurrection of Jesus. The resurrection calls us to new life and forms us since it is through faith in the risen Christ that we are called Christians and followers of Jesus. As well, in this season of spring we see the formation of God’s creation. Trees are leafing and flowering. Buds are blooming. Grass is growing. And unfortunately for some, pollen is blowing as our stuffed up sinuses tell us.

The thought of the formation of our creation was made more real to me last week as Priscilla and I had an opportunity to spend the night at a camp west of Woodland Park. It was at an elevation of 9,200 feet. The following morning, we took a hike to see the beautiful setting of the camp. Walking through the woods let us see the new pine trees and undergrowth sprouting up. Walking the labyrinth and sitting by the lake provided an opportunity for quiet and peaceful reflection. The mirror reflections of a nearby mountain peak and trees in the lake were an impressive sight and they reminded me that we too mirror the majesty of our creator as we seek God and remain in right relationship with him.

As Christians modeling our life after Jesus, we seek to grow as he did. We understand that we need formation as Jesus did. We are called to cultivate relationships and practices which will help us grow emotionally, mentally and spiritually. How is your formation coming along?

— Pastor Bill

April 2012

This is the time of year when our church supports the America for Christ (AFC) Offering. This offering supports ministries which touch lives and transform people throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. We promote this offering with our gifts because we believe that all people are made in God’s image and are loved by God.

The theme for 2012 is Engaging Discipleship: Open Eyes, My Heart, My Hands. It is a powerful reminder that we are all sent into the world to be ambassadors or ministers of God’s love. As we share God’s love in the world, our primary criteria is found in Matthew 22:39 to “…love your neighbor as yourself.”

With the high calling to love others, we have a choice to make. We can ignore the calling and get busy doing church by singing hymns, listening to sermons, giving our offerings or being involved on a committee or in a Sunday School class. These activities are important, and make us feel spiritually good, but they don’t fully embrace God’s calling on our lives. In fully embracing God’s calling for him, Jesus continually engaged people and developed relationships and so God calls us to daily follow the incarnational practices that Jesus modeled. Active discipleship is a selfless love that responds to the need, hurts, and pain of those who are at our door and who are throughout the world. Our response should be open my eyes, my heart and my hands that I might be of service to others.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer reflects on the love of God in this quote from “A Year with Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Daily Meditations from His Letters, Writings and Sermons” He writes,
“God loves human beings. God loves the world. Not an ideal human, but human beings as they are; not an ideal world, but the real world. What we find repulsive in their opposition to God, what we shrink back from with pain and hostility, namely, real human beings, the real world; this is for God the ground of unfathomable love.”

As God’s children in this world, we are called to engage people. As we meet people every day, we are to share the love of Christ in word and deed. Let us, as God’s people, extend our hands daily to lift and encourage others around us who may need hope and a touch of love that is transformative. This year’s theme encourages us to come along side people. It encourages us to see people in need, let it break our hearts and with our hands, comfort and be a blessing to others. Please consider how God is calling you to support this offering and to be an engaged disciple. Your support of this offering will be a witness to those who will receive it with joy.

— Pastor Bill

Christmas Caroling

Church members visit nursing homes and shut-ins to bring some Christmas cheer.

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VBS 2011: Pandamania

Our Vacation Bible School for 2011 used Group’s Pandamania theme.

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