Tuesday, November 13, 2012

It's Thanksgiving!

Thank you, thank you to everyone who participated in our Harvest Dinner on Sunday evening! The food was delicious and the fellowship was very special! I loved hearing your 22 reasons for being thankful!!! And we were able to show Christ's love in a tangible way to a young man who came that evening...awesome night! And weren't you blessed in the morning worship service by Pastor Tim's message on the grace and truth paradox!

Thanksgiving will be here in just a few short days...mark down on your calendar to come to our Thanksgiving Eve service on Wednesday, November 21st, at 7 pm! What better way to start this special holiday than gathering together as the family of God to express our love and gratitude to our heavenly  Father!   Have an awesome time with family and friends as you gather together on Thanksgiving...know how thankful we are for you!!!

Last of all, our sympathy is extended to Linda Jech and family. Linda's aunt Norma passed away today. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Be Sure To Vote On Tuesday, November 6th

I have been working on a letter to send to you in regards to Tuesday's election; however, today I received an excellent letter from a pastor friend who said it so well, so I will share a portion with you.   Thanks, Pastor Mike! 

Over the last few weeks I have felt an increasing prompting to write a note to you in regards to the upcoming election. Now, with the election just a few days away, I felt it was time to share my heart and call us as a Church to respond.
Writing this note reminded me of a story a friend of mine tells about an elderly gentleman who was sitting on a park bench, basking in the sun one afternoon, when another elderly fellow sat down. They looked at each other for a moment but did not speak. Both men sat there, staring straight ahead. After a while, one of them heaved a big, heartfelt sigh. The other jumped up immediately and said, "If you're going to talk politics, I'm leaving."
Probably all of us are ready for the commercials and the political claims to be done and for us to get back to life as normal, but do not let the reality of this moment slip by. As Christians, we have a privilige and, I beleive, a calling to be front and center this election day.
Whenever I begin to talk about this with Christians, there are three key questions that often come up:
  • Why should I vote? Some of the reason we ask this question comes from the question as to whether one vote really will make a difference. This is the wrong question for a believer. The reality is, we have been given responsibility and authority to influence our world, and we should seize every opportunity to do so.
  • How do I vote? As a Christian, our obligation is to vote in a way that best represents and opens the door for the Lord's influence to be fully felt in our world. This means that we have to spend time prayerfully researching each issue and candidate. Use the 10 Commandments as a baseline. Does the issue/candidate allow for freedom to worship and follow God? Does the candidate/issue protect the innocent from murder? How does the issue further Biblical values for the family? Are the economic issues morally right (not stealing), honest, selfless, and provide provision for those who are in need? For specific help on how to vote, we have provided links in this letter to voters' guides.
  • How do I repond if I disagree? In one word, we are to respond with "civility." Romans 13 makes it clear that all authority is to be treated with respect and honor, even if we disagree. We have lost civility in our culture when it comes to conflict. We prefer to accuse rather than actually discuss. It's time Christians model what it means to have conflict with civility and love.
The issues in this election are critical for the future of the next several generations. This election is so critical that Billy Graham, who has typicaly been somewhat silent on politics, posted the following word's to a national advertising campaign this last week:
The legacy we leave behind for our children, grandchildren, and this great
nation is crucial. As I approach my 94th birthday, I realize this election
could be my last. I beleive it is vitally important that we cast our ballots
for candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles and support
the nation of Israel. I urge you to vote for those who protect the sanctity
of life and support the Biblical definition of marriage between a man and a woman. Vote for Biblical values this November 6th, and pray with me that America will remain one nation under God. ~ Rev. Billy Graham
My prayer is that everyone from Anoka Wesleyan Church would vote.

Dr. Jo Anne Lyon, our General Superintendent gives the following update on Hurricane Sandy as well as ways you can get involved! See the end of this post for ways to contribute online or through your cell phone!    She writes..."Thanks to the many pastors and church families who have been praying for and asking for direction about the best way to support those affected by Hurricane Sandy along the east coast. Here is the current situation for The Wesleyan Church.

District Superintendents have reported that all damage to churches has been minimal. Some roofs have been disturbed and a number of churches have some water damage. However, there does not appear to be major church building damage at this point in time. Most, but not all, churches have reported in to their districts.

However, the greatest need is with our church families and individuals in the heavily affected regions of coastal New Jersey, New York City, and Long Island. To this end our executive team has begun to coordinate relief efforts in partnership with the Church of the Nazarene, which also has numerous churches in this region.

This morning at 8:30 an assessment team was mobilized to meet in Jersey City and begin an evaluation of the damages through onsite visits in the areas I have mentioned. District Superintendent Karl Eastlack has joined this assessment team to represent The Wesleyan Church today in this planning group. Their task will be to agree on and establish staging areas for volunteers to be hosted and to coordinate relief efforts. They will establish a list of priority needs to respond to with the financial gifts and offerings received for these specific relief efforts. Their goal is to have this priority list, staging areas, and the first responders lead team established early next week.

As you are no doubt aware, only official search and rescue efforts and utility teams are authorized to be in these affected areas at this time. But we want to be prepared to offer a clear, safe, and effective way for the many volunteers to serve who have already contacted my office. As soon as we have that information we will post it on the Wesleyan.org home page.

Pastors, please share with your church family that all gifts given by individuals or churches for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts will be used and directed by our approved leadership team on the ground in the affected area. All funds received will be used completely for these efforts.

Donations may be made in several ways.

1. At Wesleyan.org you will find the button marked “Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund.” This offers an option to give online immediately.

2. There is an option to give by text message via cell phone. Text 104Sandy to 20222 to give $10 for Hurricane Sandy relief.

3. Finally, I have heard of many churches that are planning to take up an offering during a weekend service. Please let your treasurer know that any donation by checks can be made payable to The Wesleyan Church and should be noted in the memo line for Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund. As is our usual practice all such gifts may be mailed to The Wesleyan Church, PO Box 50434, Indianapolis, IN 46250.

The initial feedback from the assessment team today indicates a great need for bottled, safe water and for bleach to stop mold. We have arranged for two key churches to help deliver these necessities to the first approved staging site in Jersey City, New Jersey, as soon as possible. Your gifts and offerings will be used to purchase the water and bleach for this delivery and other needs as soon as they arise.

We will have regular updates on Wesleyan.org, in WesLife, and on Wesleyan Pastors Facebook page.

Thank you for your prayers and your incredible generosity. This is the Wesleyan way!

Jo Anne

You Get An Extra Hour of Sleep Tonight!

Our clocks go back on Sunday morning, November 5th, at 2 am!!!

Our "Trunk and Treat" Was A Fun Night!

What an awesome night at AWC's first ever Trunk and Treat!!! We had over 75 kids stop by the church. They enjoyed special treats from each car and then were able to enjoy cookies and something warm to drink before going on their way! We had a spectacular finale to the evening - "Flame Throwers" Adam and Abby gave an amazing demonstration of their skills! Thanks to everyone who donated goodies...and a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who participated in this fun evening! Was fun to see "Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny", Minnie Mouse, a nurse, two Superwomen, a couple Ninja Hunters, some movie stars, a gangster and even a zombie! We're hoping some neighbor kids we met will come join us next Wednesday evening for Kids Klub and Youth Group!!!