Dear Faith Community Church Family,
The experience of Paul and Silas in the city of Philippi was quite a rollercoaster ride. They see Lydia come to Christ–the first convert in Europe, a slave girl is set free from an evil spirit by the power of Jesus, then the two missionaries are beaten and thrown into prison. This is followed by a divinely appointed earthquake, which proves to be God’s means to draw a pagan jailer and his family to himself.
In Philippi, Paul and Silas saw both salvation and suffering. Through it all, God was at work. He was transforming these two men into the image of his Son, and he was working through them to spread the message of salvation to the ends of the earth.
The small congregation in Philippi proves to be the closest to Paul’s heart throughout his ministry. Later, Paul will write the letter of Philippians to the church in Philippi. Paul writes Philippians to encourage these Christians to have joy in the midst of suffering.
This spring our adult Sunday school will follow a new study entitled J-Curve: Dying and Rising with Jesus in everyday Life by Paul Miller. This study focuses on the path of humility taught by the Apostle Paul in the book of Philippians. The Christian life follows the shape of the letter “J” (or “U” as I’ve shared in the past). We follow in the footsteps of Jesus by taking the downward path of humility and suffering which then leads upward to resurrection.
This is what Paul Miller says in his introduction to the study:
“The apostle Paul describes the J-Curve as the normal Christian life–a reenacting of the death and resurrection of Jesus–but it doesn’t feel normal to most Christians. . . . Living in the J-Curve means we don’t have to succumb to our allergy to suffering or equate God’s favor with earthly success. Embracing the J-Curve renews our hope in a dark world, draws us into fellowship with God’s people, and radically re-centers our daily lives on Christ. And it answers our deep and earnest question: ‘I’ve believed the gospel. Now what?’”
If you would like a copy of the J-Curve participant’s book, please contact the church office. Donations for the book are accepted but not required. Sunday school classes for all ages will begin on January 30 following the worship service.
This Sunday the sermon passage is Acts 17:1-15, where Paul and Silas take the Gospel into Thessalonica and Berea.
Click here to access the livestream for this Sunday’s service (9:30am).
Tuesday Night Women’s Bible Study Resumes January 18 at 7:00 pm
The Tuesday night women’s bible study resumes next Tuesday evening at Valerie Austin’s house (880 Main St., West Chicago, IL 60185). This study is on Luke 17-24. Previous attendance at Tuesday night bible study is not required; all women are welcome! If you have any questions, text or email Amy Paglia.
Congregational Meeting (Sunday, January 23)
All church members are encouraged to attend the congregational meeting on Sunday, January 23. The meeting will take place in the Mission Center following the worship service.
Embracing Hope Women’s Gathering is scheduled to resume on Saturday, February 12. More details to come!
Amy Rhody (Larry and Pat LaBelle’s daughter): Praise God for a successful surgery on Tuesday to replace a pacemaker. Please pray for strength and complete healing for Amy.
Bryan Van Zanten: Please pray for encouragement and healing following a lymphoma diagnosis.
Karla Van Der Molen: Pray for God’s continued strength and encouragement for the Van Der Molens as they address Karla’s ALS.