From “Faith and Health in the Bible” by Reverend G. Scott Morris, MD, and Susan Martins Miller
Points to ponder:
- Take to heart what Jesus thinks about healing.
- Healing announces the kingdom of God.
- Early church stories are full of healing.
- Jesus calls us to care about what He cares about.
- Wellness is a pursuit of the wholeness God wants for us.
Three questions to ask ourselves:
- What paralyzes us or what keeps us from moving forward to better health?
- How might lack of meaning in our lives show up in lifestyle choices?
- How might comforting ourselves, masking our pain, and taking risks show upas threats to our health?
With summer approaching, it is time for a reminder to guard against sun damage to our skin. Remember the sun is most intense between 10:00am and 2:00
pm. Protect your skin with clothing, hats, sunscreen, or avoid going out then if you can. Be certain to apply sunscreen frequently to our little ones when they play outdoors or in the pool.
Pat Vest, RN
Faith Community Nurse
With our session’s blessing, I was privileged to attend a presbytery training event in Dallas on March 6 through 11 with five other members of our presbytery’s Commission on Ministry. The training took place at King of Glory Lutheran Church in Dallas and was provided by the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center. It was superb training, and it was mentally exhausting! Sessions started at 8:30 in the morning and lasted until 5PM, and I found myself heading for bed by 8:30PM!
Having grown up in a heavily Mennonite community in Ohio, I was familiar with the Mennonite tradition of non-violence and peacemaking. In fact I was born into a religious tradition (The Apostolic Christian Church) which has much in common with Mennonite theology. The training event I attended focused on mediation skills, and our teacher, The Rev. Richard Blackburn, was excellent. He helped us understand conflict as it occurs interpersonally and in congregations, and he taught us invaluable skills in managing, intervening in, and resolving conflict.
One thing we were reminded of is that conflict is not necessarily destructive. Conflict can be constructive and can bring about healthy change and growth. For example, the first recorded instance of conflict in the New Testament church occurred in Acts 6:1-7 when the church was experiencing tremendous growth and the needs of some were being neglected because the leadership was overwhelmed. It was out of this conflict that deacons were appointed to share in ministry, and the passage ends by recording that the word of God continued to spread and their numbers continued to increase.
But we all know that conflict can have awful consequences if not managed well. Unfortunately that happens all too often in churches. Our mediation team will be available to pastors, sessions, and congregations who are experiencing conflict and need help in managing it constructively, and will be invited to work with them towards reconciliation. Thank you for the opportunity to attend the training and for your support as our team has opportunity to serve the presbytery.
If you had stopped by the church early on the morning of February 12 you would have seen a variety of vehicles loading up wheelbarrows, rakes, and shovels, as well as food, water, and snacks for our annual mission trip to Mexico. Once again this year a mission team from EPC and Palo Cristi Presbyterian Church, along with a few friends and relatives, headed off for Rocky Point, Mexico, to build a house over Presidents’ Day weekend.
Our team spent two- and-a-half days digging sand, mixing cement, nailing 2x4s, and troweling on stucco to create a home for 23- year-old Judith and her family. It wasn’t a large home (about 11 feet by 22 feet) and it wasn’t grand (no electricity or running water). But the home was solid and safe and secure, and a place to call her own for
a young mom who had been living with her children and her parents and her brother in an equally small dwelling.
Judith is a single mom with a four-year-old son and a nine-month-old daughter who works as a cashier at the local Sam’s Club and brings home just under $50 a week to support her family. She was there at the work site waiting for us the moment we arrived and worked with us mixing cement and driving nails. Judith’s little daughter Jenifer found two good friends in Annika Raub and Ethan Bintz who were just her age. And Judith’s little brother Jonathan and her son Axel quickly made friends with our own Claire Juby. It was a privilege to become acquainted with Judith and her family, including her mother Alma who was at the work site every day. Judith’s determination, her faith, and her commitment to providing for her family in very challenging circumstances was humbling for us to witness.
Included in this issue of “The Word” are several pictures from our trip to Mexico. They will give you a glimpse of our work there. Thank you to all of you who helped support this year’s mission trip with your finances, your prayers— and your cookies! And thanks to everyone who joined our 2016 mission trip. This was a very special opportunity to offer the labor of our hands and the love of our hearts in Jesus’ name, and it was a wonderful blessing to all of us who were privileged to participate.
What: EPC First Annual Women’s Retreat
When: Saturday, April 23, starting at 10:00am – Sunday, April 24 ending at noon
Where: Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center, Carefree, AZ (about a 20 mile drive from EPC)
Who: All EPC women are invited (friends are welcome, too!)
Cost: $100 includes overnight lodging and three meals (scholarships are available)
Please join us for a weekend of fun, faith, fellowship and relaxation. Our theme for the weekend will be “Our Spiritual Journey.” Come and hear inspiring speakers and engage in small group discussions and fun activities surrounded by the beautiful and peaceful landscape of the Carefree desert. There will be time to socialize, to grow in our faith, to laugh and play games, to relax and to just get away from it all. Watch for more information in our Sunday bulletins and in upcoming issues of “The Word.” Registration will begin in March so mark your calendars now and plan to attend this fun and faith-filled weekend.
February promises to be a busy month at Emmanuel, and I invite your prayers for the following events that will be taking place:
Financial Peace University continues on Saturday mornings under the leadership of Dirk Van Dyke and George Saylor. Pray for the participants from our congregation and the community who are learning about handling money in ways that provide financial peace.
Lent arrives on Wednesday, February 10, and we will be observing Ash Wednesday with our friends from Crosswinds Presbyterian Church. I hope you will plan to participate in this special service as we enter the holy season of Lent.
Our Amor mission team will leave on Friday, February 12, for Puerto Penasco, Mexico, where they will be building a home for a family in desperate need of safe shelter. Please pray for safe travel, good health, and cooperative weather as our team undertakes this ministry of caring.
Confirmation classes will begin on February 21 for our youth in 7th grade and up. The confirmands will be meeting weekly with Pastor Mary to learn more about the Bible, our church, and what it means to be a follower of Jesus.
Thank you for your prayers and your participation in the life of our congregation as we seek to learn, worship, serve, and witness together to the love and justice of Jesus Christ.
Join with members of Emmanuel and Crosswinds Presbyterian Churches in a special Ash Wednesday service at Crosswinds Presbyterian Church on Wednesday, February 10, at 7PM. The service will feature a combined choir, communion, and the imposition of ashes. Mary Saylor will be preaching. Please plan to include this service in your schedule as we enter the season of Lent.
Crosswinds Presbyterian Church is located at:
20125 N. 15th Ave., Phoenix.