The MessengerAugust, 2017

A publication of St. James on the Lake Episcopal Church                                                            in Covenant with the Anglican Communion

Rector:  Fr. Randy Melton

10707 CR 4022, Kemp, Texas 75143

(903) 498-8080

stjamesonthelake.org

 

FR. MELTON’S MUSINGS…

            Why are you a Christian? Why do you attend St. James? Why do you live your life as you do? What is your WHY? Do you know?  More specifically WHY are we a church? The Churchs WHY is very simple. The self-evident reason that the Church exists is to help its members KNOW GOD, so that we can make God known. It’s not about how much we learn ABOUT God, but how well we KNOW God, as in developing a relationship with the Lord. Anything less and were just a religious club.

            Our WHY is vital for us to know because it inspires and influences all the decisions, actions, thinking and behavior in our personal life, parish life and community life. Its the driving force behind everything. If our WHY is just an afterthought, then were likely engineering our own agenda based on personal preferences alone. 

            We come to KNOW God to the extent that we choose to participate in the full life of the Church, the Body of Jesus Christ, of which we are members and Jesus is the head (1 Corinthians 12:12-27). The physical presence of Jesus on earth, the Church, is much more than a building or religious institution. The Church is the organic gathering of Gods people, where the Holy Spirit lives and moves, to teach, convict, inspire, forgive, heal, convert, strengthen, feed and empower us to become more like Jesus. None of us can do this alone. And no one here is expendable. Gods plan is for each of our gifts to work in coordination with one another and the Holy Spirit, drawing us closer to Jesus, so that we grow into a more mature knowledge of God. We can then discern his guiding voice, and recognize Gods love made known through Gods people both now and from all times (2 Peter 3:18).

            Jesusfirst sermon is Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2). Christians are to spend our whole life repenting, like breathing. We start by asking God to heal, forgive and reorient us toward himself time and again. The Greek word for repent is metanoiameaning literally to change one’s mind.” This is important because thoughts determine behavior. We repent, or change our mind, more and more until we attain the mind of Christ more fully by our thinking (Romans 12:2).

 

            Thats another reason we need one another. The Church already has the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). But as individuals, we dont. The Bible, the sacraments, the liturgy, the prayers, the spiritual disciplines, and especially the Holy Eucharist, all express the mind of God in Jesus Christ. We belong to JesusBody in a very real way, but if we separate from the Body, our souls will begin to shrivel up.

            The Church is the vine of life. By maintaining communion, everywhere we go we are the Church. We bring Christs Body with us in every breath we take as we witness for Jesus and glorify the Father in union with the Church. Always surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, we never go or do anything alone, even when we go by ourselves. Christians always have the Church watching our back. Lone Rangersare not truly real; they’re more like phantoms. One cannot be a Christian outside of the Church in the fullest sense because at our baptism, we’re grafted into the Body of Jesus himself, where Jesus is made present to us most clearly in the visible Church (Romans 11:11-32), so that we can be partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). We become by grace what Jesus is by nature from the nurture we receive through the Body of Christ.

            In John’s gospel, Jesus says that God so loved the world that he gave his only son—WHY?—so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life (John 3:16)! And what is eternal life? This is eternal life, that you KNOW the only true God, and the one he has sent, Jesus Christ” (John 17:3). So, as we come to KNOW God (not just know ABOUT God), we also come to personally know Gods love. Were then inspired to love God back and to love all that God loves in the same way that Jesus loves. That includes people we dont like and those who are even our worst enemies.

            St. Silouan, an early 20th century Russian monk, said we know we have a mature faith when we love our enemies. Until then, Gods still got a lot of work to do with our formation. We begin to change our way of thinking when we allow Gods light to shine on our deep and painful inner wounds and our repetitive sins that are caused by our spiritual sickness. The better we KNOW ourselves, the more aware we are of our need to repent. Repentance results in receiving the grace to be transformed in our minds and hearts, so we come to KNOW God even better, and become more like him.

            KNOWING God leads to an enthusiastic (en-thus = in-God) desire to make God known to others because then we actually have the personal knowledge, experience and natural inclination to do just that. Acts of love are the fruit of faith. But the WHY that drives those acts begins with knowing God, then making him known.  Do you know how your personal WHY fits into the Churchs WHY? How are you being called to KNOW God and make God known? Thats the gift of eternal life!

Fr. Randy+

 

 

 

 

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…the Church, is much more than a building or religious institution. The Church is the organic gathering of Gods people, where the Holy Spirit lives and moves, to teach, convict, inspire, forgive, heal, convert, strengthen, feed and empower us to become more like Jesus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CALENDAR OF EVENTS FOR AUGUST

9th        Daughters of the King – 4:30 pm

            Praise & Worship – 7:00 pm

30th      Evening Prayer and Parish Dinner – 6:00 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ONGOING EVENTS…

                    Men’s Reunion Group – Every Tuesday @ 7:00 am

                    Women’s Reunion Groups – 1st and 3rd Tuesday/month @ 9:00 am and 5:00 pm

                    Prayer Group – Every Tuesday @ 4:00 pm

                    Men’s Bible Study – 2nd and 4th Monday/month @ 6:30 pm

                    Men’s Bible Study – Thursday @ 6:00 pm ON HIATUS UNTIL FALL

                    Evening Prayer and Parish Dinner – last Wednesday/month @ 6:00 pm

                    Daughters of the King – 2nd Sunday/month @ 4:30 pm

                    Praise and Worship – 2nd Sunday/month @ 6:00 pm

 

 

 

SUNDAY MORNING MINISTRIES AUGUST…

Remember, it will be up to you to get a replacement if you cannot fulfill your obligation.

 

Date

 

Greeters

Altar

Guild

 

Acolyte

 

Crucifer

Lesson

Reader

 

Chalice

Coffee

Hour

Sunday

School

 

Fred

6

O’Connors

Nancy

Willene

Terry

Bill

Sunny

Exodus 34:29-35; Psalm 99 or 99:5-9; 2 Peter 1:13-21; Luke 9:28-36

Paul

Gail

Gail

Deanna

Dawn

Young kids:

Gail

Older kids:

Bob

Phil

13

Davises

Nancy

Willene

Art

Terry

Marian

Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28; Psalm 105, 1-6, 16-22, 45b; Romans 10:5-15; Matthew 14:22-33

Bill

Paul

CarolM

Annette

Dot

Young kids:

Kelley

Older kids:

In church

Vicki

20

Jenkinses

Sharon

Denise

Gary

Tina

Ray

Genesis 45:1-15; Psalm 133; Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32; Matthew 15: (10-20), 21-28

Gail

Sharon

SusanD

Patsy

RitaF

Young kids:

Martha

Older kids:

Linda

Paul

27

Tissy

Gail

Sharon

Denise

Paul

Phil

Kelly

Exodus 1:8-2:10; Psalm 124; Romans 12:1-8; Matthew 16:13-20

Sharon

Bill

RitaD

Bari

Claire

Young kids:

Sharon

Older kids:

In church

CarolM


 

 

AUGUST BIRTHDAYS…


  1        JoAnne Tuttle

  4        Jackie Weems

  6        Hannah Gowan

  9        Tina Wage

 l0        Jim Dill

11        Valerie Stacy

            Fr. Randy

 

15        Josey & Mallory Scott

            Barbara Austin

18        Dawn Striplin

19         Debi Jost

21        Sandy Hale

29        Denise Waldrep

Canon Jerry Morriss

Rose Mary Blaase


 

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AUGUST ANNIVERSARIES …

  2        Marshall & Nancy Barton

11        Phillip & Kelley Boughton

23        Gil & Deanna Drab


 

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AUGUST MEMORIALS…


              1        Burke Stanard

                        Helen Hedden

              6        Buzzy Hale

              8        Ryland Bradley

            12        Lena Wilcox

            14        Ed Corbett

            17        Lois Olsen

            20        Joyce Hankins

            21        Ola Stout

            22        O. D. Hankins

            23        Barbara Acquisto

            Dale Holt

            26        A. P. Waldrep

            27        Al Olsen

                        Denice Denton

            28        Jack Moffitt

                        Dennis Lane



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