• Ray Hileman


We have had an exciting time here this past Holy Week: two presentations of our "7 Last Words of Christ on the Cross" interactive Labyrinth, an Easter Egg hunt, plus Palm Sunday worship, Love Feast, and Easter worship. You'd think it would be time to take a deep breath and relax for a spell. But no, we're just getting started.

The next step in our journey of revitalization and growth is to establish an updated vision for our church, along with Mission, Goals, and Values Statements.. These will flow out of the vision we feel God is leading us into along with our history and identity as Brethren.

We are still comparatively small, even though our Sunday attendance is growing. But we cannot let that stop us from having a big vision, or as someone put it several years ago, a "BIG, HAIRY, AUDACIOUS" vision. Why? Because our God is, as Nehemiah put it, a "great and awesome God" (Nehemiah 1:5; 9:32), and He still wants to do great and awesome things through His church.

With that in mind, Outreach Pastor Sue Smith and I will be team teaching a three-week series on finding our vision. In the midst of that. at our Spring Congregational Business Meeting, or CBM, we will give everyone opportunity to add what they would like to see happening here in the days, months, and years ahead. On the basis of these things, the Leadership Team will formulate our vision to present back to the congregation at a later date.

But one thing is certain. For this to be a God-glorifying vision, it must be big enough, even, shall we say, scary enough, that if God isn't it, it won't happen. If we come up with anything that we can pull off by ourselves with our own intellect and talents. it might be a nice vision, but it won't be God's vision for us.. The question is never, "What can we do for God?" but "What can God do in and through us?" Anything less simply won't fly.

These are exciting and daunting times. And it would be easy to look at our current situation and feel overwhelmed. But after Nehemiah walked among the ruins of Jerusalem, he rallied the people to rebuild the wall for God, because he knew God was with them - and in spite of threats by enemies and some inner turmoil, they completed the project in record time, 52 days. Now it's time for us to rally and to stake our total trust on the God of Hosts.

There is no doubt in my mind. The best days for Celebration of Christ Church are before us, because God is with us. To Him be all the glory!..

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3651 71st St. N. St. Pete, FL 33710

3651 71st St. N. Saint Petersburg, FL 33710

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