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R.E.A.L. Faith in a Real World: What Defines You

Greetings from the blessedly cool offices of Holy Trinity! In recent days, with temperatures hovering near 100 degrees, it’s been hard for our geothermal system to keep pace, given it was operating at half capacity (see past e-news). Thankfully, we were able to install a new heat pump and air coils on Monday, which restored and even improved the system. It cost a staggering $23,000 to install, but it was a necessary repair/replacement to make our facility habitable. Stay tuned for information next month on what you might do to help us offset this unanticipated expense.

I’d like to offer a huge word of thanks for all those who made an effort to advocate for greater gun safety over the past two weeks. Thankfully, your voices appear to have been heard as our legislators work to break the ice on establishing sensible boundaries and limits. As Lisa and I participated in Saturday’s “March for our Lives” in Cedar Rapids, we again heard stories from those who had been victimized by this epidemic of gun violence. I am thankful for movement, no matter how seemingly small.

In worship this Sunday and Wednesday, we are going to continue our “R.E.A.L.” series by digging into a rather bizarre story found in three different gospels (see Luke 8:26-39). At first glance, it might appear to be describing a scene that is light years away from our own lives, I believe that it still resonates. How so? Well, it seems that the “demon-possessed” man in the Gospels had quite literally been defined by his affliction. His entire identity had been subsumed by that which bound him. And how many of us have been defined by our failures or limits? Don’t we often tend to identify ourselves in terms of our deficiencies and our disappointments? Perhaps not always, of course, but often enough to rob us of the abundant life God hopes that we experience and share.

Truth be told, there are so many voices and cultural forces trying to discourage us that we might still call them Legion – for they are loud and plentiful indeed! Yet against all of them stands the still, small, but oh, so mighty voice of the one who still crosses oceans and boundaries to tell us of God’s love and call us back to grace-filled awareness and our forever identity as God’s beloved. Join us in worship this week as we recall how! And while you’re at it, register for Vacation Bible School or join us on Wednesday for worship and ice cream, starting at 6:30pm. Let’s celebrate summer TOGETHER!


Pastor Tim

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