Dear FPC—
Thursday morning found us with (yet another) aftershock AND some snow flurries! But the lovely flowers keep blooming and the trees are beautiful. That seems like a great image of our world too—hard things, scary things, beautiful things all keep happening. Thankfully, we do NOT have to live in fear! The good news of Easter is that Christ has won the victory! All the things that drag you down, that isolate you, even death—none of those things can separate us from God’s love for you in Jesus!
This is a time for renewed patience, prayer and trust. I encourage you to reach out to others today! Here are some great ways to show God’s love during this time:
• Greet people. Say hello as you walk along your block or work in your yard.
• Go out front. Be intentional about spending time in the more public parts of your yard or building. Rather than sitting on your back patio, put chairs in front of your house.
• Go first. Often people are just waiting for someone else to take the initiative. They may be open to connecting but just haven’t gotten around to starting the connection. Go first by introducing yourself, sharing information, and asking questions.
• Gather contact information. Collect names, phone numbers, and email addresses for those on your block or the floor of your apartment building. Express how you want to help people be connected to each other in times of need. Ask people their permission to share the list on the block.
• Give and receive. Be the neighbor who offers to give help to others, whether it’s loaning out a tool or a cup of sugar for a neighbor’s baking project. Also be willing to receive. Ask for help when you need it, as that can break down barriers.
• Get creative. Consider what makes your neighborhood unique and how you can love and serve your neighbors. Your own actions in your neighborhood may be different from what works in another setting.
• Go before God in prayer for your neighbors. Pray specific prayers when you know neighbors well enough to know their situations. Observe and pray for those you don’t know as well. For example, a house with toys scattered out front is home to a family—even if you don’t know them, pray for God’s grace on their family relationships.

Another way to connect is to start reading the Bible with some friends. Look at our “Nites In” page for resources, and my Facebook posts about Nites In.
I hope you can join us in worship on Sunday. We are starting a series on Following the Risen Jesus, where we’ll be guided by Peter— who was both the leader of the apostles and a repeated example of how NOT to follow Jesus. But over time Jesus shaped him into a remarkable person of faith—just like he wants to do with each of us! See you Sunday!

Pastor Steve

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