Yesterday we received tragic news regarding people in our fellowship, news we’re not ready to make public, but of which people are becoming aware. It’s asking a lot of you to ask you to curb your curiosity while stirring your concern, but that’s what we’re asking.
Biblical Response to Tragedy
In the meantime, we’d like to offer you this biblical approach to responding to tragedy.
1. Mourn. It’s a verb, something that you do, and not just a matter of feeling sad. Matthew 5:4, Ecclesiastes 7:2
2. Leave everything private that can safely remain that way. 1 Thessalonians 4:11
3. Say everything that you need to say and nothing that you don’t.
It is a great temptation in the face of tragedy to respond verbally, and some things need to be said. But even the best words do less good than ill-considered words do harm. James 1:19
4. Don’t look for or accept short cuts and easy answers. Nothing good comes of trying to make short what God left long, or easy what God has permitted to be hard. The valley of the shadow of death is, indeed, long and difficult to traverse, but we have a good traveling companion. Psalm 23
5. Your grief can rot into injury or ripen into resolve. Carefully manage your grief, exposing it to the light of the Lord, to see it mature into a greater resolve to bring about the Kingdom of God, the place where the “shalom,” the peaceful, right-ordering of things prevails under God’s lordship.
6. Pray to God and for God. No grief touches us but that it grieves him also. He does not need us and he does not suffer from lack of our prayer. But he loves us and when we pray about a tragedy we have the opportunity to acknowledge the way in which sin and its direct and indirect effects have touched his Father’s heart. This is the spirit in which many of the Psalms might be prayed.
7. Let grace prevail. Look for opportunities to extend and receive grace. The impulse to publicly demonstrate your concern can run contrary to the interests of grace.
If, as you become aware of more details, you need help processing this event please contact us in the office and let us walk through it with you. (Email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 483.2531)
Written by Joel Tate
We Did it Backwards...
This past Sunday at 11:00 we had our last service at the Center Street Bar and we did the service from 9:00 at Pittsford in reverse order! We decided to arrange the service so that it built up to the act of worship and the Spirit was present and the voices beautiful in that place!
It was fresh and invigorating in the way that new things are, and it served as a test run for something exciting that we are doing starting this week!
Furnace Brook Wesleyan Church is all about making more and better disciples, and in our pursuit of that mission we’ve been blessed with a vibrant church, but there can be problems that come with growth. On recent Sundays at our Pittsford Campus we could have used more seats and parking spaces, and we believe that trend will continue as God uses us to make more and better disciples here.
Anticipating God’s continued work, we’re positioning ourselves for growth. Below are updates to our current worship times and locations, starting Sunday, March 17th.
New Worship Menu Options
1. Pittsford Service at 9am
9am Pittsford worship | 67 Gecha Lane, Pittsford
At Pittsford at 9:00 we will go on having the vibrant and compelling worship experience to which so many of you have become accustomed. Nothing will change.
2. Forest Dale gathering with Barry Tate at 9:30am
9:30am Forest Dale Gathering |1895 Forest Dale Rd., Forest Dale
At 9:30 Pastor Tate’s father, Barry Tate, will lead a gathering in our Forest Dale location. Designed primarily with the people of the Forest Dale Campus in mind, but open to anyone.This gathering will look to use a combination of Bible teaching, prayer, and simple, traditional worship to bring about healing and a deeper gospel experience. There will not be any children’s ministry or communion at this gathering. We have committed to taking this gathering through May (Barry Tate’s term of availability) and will make a decision about extending it through the summer by the first Sunday in May.
Note: the Forest Dale 10am Service will no longer occur.
3) Brandon Worship at the Town Hall, 11am
11am Brandon Worship | Brandon Town Hall, 1 Conant Sq., Brandon
And at 11:00 we will be offering a fresh and intimate worship experience at the Town Hall in Brandon. Building on the success of our once-a-month services at Center Street and employing an original order of service that makes our concluding time of acoustic worship the focal point, this service will include much of the same content as the 9:00 service but in a different format. There will be children’s church and weekly communion. This service is specifically geared towards those who are newer believers, unchurched, or may not be comfortable in any type of Church environment. Our goal is to make Jesus known, and we are specifically hoping to love our neighbors who are hurting, most in need of Jesus, and who reflect our prayer for a ‘messy Church’. We serve a powerful, chain-breaking, river splitting, mountain crumbling God, and we’re eager to see him move powerfully in our Church, and specifically in the Brandon community.
Note: the second sunday service at Center Street will no longer occur.
Brandon Worship Service: We Expect God to Work Powerfully!
We’re excited about the Brandon Town Hall service, and believe that it will become a very important part of how we accomplish our mission of making more and better disciples for Jesus at Furnace Brook. Not only does having a worship service at 11:00 in downtown Brandon significantly expand the scope of our ministry, but there are reasons to be intrigued and excited about this service in particular. Those of us who had the chance to worship at Center Street this past Sunday have an idea of what this could be and we’re thrilled about it.
But for this to happen we will need your help.
In order for Moses to part the Red Sea, God called him to take a step of faith, and put his staff in the water first. God foiled the Egyptians and liberated the Israelites, but Moses was faithful in trusting God and taking action in obedience (Exodus 14).
Pastoral intern, Abbey Elliott, and Pastor Tate will be recruiting people to commit to volunteer and attend the service through May. That means that you may get a call from one or the other of them, especially if you already live in Brandon or points north.
Here’s how to respond when they contact you:
Not sure if you’ll be able to attend the Brandon service? Throw yourself into supporting it (and the other things your church is doing) through prayer.
Questions about the service menu options? Email email@example.com.
We’re almost through week 2 of the step challenge. How is everyone doing? Has anyone done anything out of the ordinary just for the sake of the step challenge? I have been doing more snowshoeing! This is not a winter activity that I used to enjoy doing but for some reason this winter I’ve done it a bunch. It’s an activity that my grandfather loves doing as well so we’ve been out in the woods together and it has been such sweet fellowship.
When I was a freshman in college, I decided to become a plant-based vegan. It was during the Lenten season that I prayed over my health and asked God to heal me and make me healthy again. Praise the Lord, I have come a long way in my health. God has given me a passion for helping people create healthy lifestyles. I hope you find some encouragement in this.
In this season of Lent, perhaps God is asking you to be more deliberate with your food consumption.
Part of the motivation to stay active comes from feeding our bodies the proper nutrition to stay moving. With the winter months being cold and long, we tend to pack in the carbs and leave out the fruits and veggies.
Conveniently, this week is the beginning of Lent! I encourage you to evaluate what you’re consuming and see if there are some adjustments you can make.
Consider the following questions about your dietary habits:
Bottom line, is what you’re consuming edifying to God? Lots of rhetorical questions here, but food for thought. Pun intended.
Here are some recipes that I have become staples in my diet for long days:
I love suggestions! What are your meal and snack staples? Do you have a favorite smoothie recipe?
Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. 3 John 1:2
Furnace Brook Wesleyan Church Blog