Dear Faith Community Church Family,
This evening we will gather for our Lenten prayer service at 6:30pm in the Worship Center. As I shared in last week’s Midweek Update, Lent is the season of preparing our hearts to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. One focal point of Lent is repentance. For the Christian, repentance is not a one-time thing. It is a way of life. Here is how Sinclair Ferguson, in his brief book, The Grace of Repentance, describes the importance of repentance in the Christian life:
Repentance is as necessary to salvation by faith as the ankle is to walking. The one does not act apart from the other. One cannot come to Christ in faith without turning from sin in repentance. . . . Faith is trusting in Christ; repentance is turning from sin. They are two sides of the same coin of belonging to Jesus.
Repentance prepares us to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection by removing everything in our lives that distracts us from enjoying and glorifying God. The author of Hebrews compares this process to running a marathon, calling us to lay aside “every weight and [the] sin which clings so closely” in order that we may run with endurance toward Christ, our reward. No one wakes up one day and decides to run a marathon (if they do, they are in for some serious injury!). Instead, people train and prepare carefully for the big race day. Lent is like training for a marathon. Let’s think carefully how to diligently prepare ourselves to enjoy God with all our hearts, so that when it comes to Resurrection Sunday, we have the stamina, interest, and attention to keep the great celebration of Easter.
The text for this Sunday is Acts 20:1-16. In this passage we see Paul and his companions return to Greece to strengthen the churches that he had planted. We also hear the miraculous story of God bringing Eutychus, a young Christian in Troas, back to life.
In order to celebrate the Lord’s Supper this Sunday, take time to prepare your hearts beforehand in prayer and confession of sin prior to Sunday’s service.
Click here to access the livestream of this Sunday’s worship service (9:30am).
Prayer for the Church in Ukraine
Our denomination’s foreign missions arm Mission to the World partners with missionaries and churches in the Ukraine. MTW has provided information for prayer on their website and is seeking to raise funds to care for the churches and refugees. If you would like additional information on how you can give financially to support relief efforts through MTW and how to pray for the Christians and the church in Ukraine, you can find more information here.
Shirley Woomer Visitation and Funeral Service (Saturday, March 5)
The visitation and funeral service for Shirley Woomer, Amy-Jo Wierenga’s mother, will be held this Saturday, March 5. The visitation will take place at 10:00am in the Worship Center, with the funeral service at 11:00am. Interment will follow at Glen Oak Cemetery in West Chicago. Afterwards a meal will be served in the Mission Center. If you would like to bring a side or dessert, please contact the church office. We will also need volunteers to assist with cleanup following the lunch. Memorial contributions can be made to Northern Illinois Food Bank, Kindred Hospice, or Wounded Warrior Project. If you have any questions, please contact the church office.
Amy-Jo Wierenga and Family: Please continue to lift up the Wierengas as they grieve the loss of Shirley, Amy-Jo’s mother.
Family of Carol Day: Please continue to pray for comfort and encouragement for the family of Carol Day.
Marilynn Wright (Dave Wright’s Mom): Please pray for wisdom for Dave Wright and the Wright family as they make decisions as to how best to care for Marilynn.
Karla and Gary Van Der Molen: Please pray for our sister Karla and her husband Gary as she manages her ALS.
Bryan Van Zanten: Thank you for continuing to pray for Bryan as he undergoes chemo treatments.
Richard Kepner: Please pray for Richard who was admitted to Central DuPage Hospital on Sunday for chest pain. Richard was discharged on Monday and is recovering at home.