Has the world ever heard such good news? The Holy Spirit empowered Peter, the fisherman-disciple, to boldly invite everyone who could hear his voice to turn to the Lord. His preaching drew a crowd on that first Pentecost long ago. (see Acts 2) When the people heard Peter’s proclamation of Christ, and the invitation to salvation in his name, they responded with a critical question. They asked, “Brothers, what should we do?”
God’s Holy Spirit still stirs in people’s hearts today! And still today people search for ways to respond to what God is doing in their lives. The church is that community where we help one another sense the leading of God’s Spirit, and then we encourage one another to respond. The Holy Spirit reminds us of the teaching of Jesus. The Holy Spirit comforts us in times of trial, and inspires us to live faithfully as disciples. It is the Holy Spirit who equips us for ministry with spiritual gifts to be used in service to God and God’s people. The Holy Spirit convinces us of our need of Christ, and it is the Holy Spirit who leads us to open our hearts and receive him. How is the Holy Spirit at work in you today?
Peter responded to the question asked by those in the Pentecost crowd, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38) That admonition remains the central teaching of the church. What a joy it is to see our loved ones and friends respond to God’s Spirit! We rejoice with the young people who were baptized last Sunday and we look forward to celebrating the baptism and confirmation of 45 sixth graders and their families this coming Sunday. Confirmation will take place during the 11:00 Generations service.
Let’s pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to move in our lives and in our church, and that we will have the faith to respond to all that the Spirit wants to do within us!
Striving to be Faithful, Dr. Ray Crawford
FUMC Claremore is blessed to be a blessing to others! Here are some ways you can help this week:
Giving4Needs is collecting antiperspirant and deodorants during the month of May.
Annual Conference is collecting for UMCOR Layette and School supply kits.
The Military Support Committee is replenishing supplies after sending six boxes to our troops for memorial day!
For more information about these and other needs, please click here and here.
Faith to change!
Throughout this Easter season we have been exploring what it means to live as an Easter Sunday Christian in a Good Friday world. Living out our faith in this broken and difficult world can be a true challenge. The good news for us is that the same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead is at work in you and me today! (see Ephesians 1:19-20)
Across the weeks we have considered the example of the early disciples. Thomas grew into an authentic faith in spite of honest doubts. Mary Magdalene was sustained by faith even when her heart had been broken. Peter had faith when he didn’t have a clue. Philip had faith enough to share with others.
This week we will examine the life of the Apostle Paul, who had the faith to change. Change is not easy, especially personal change. If we are going to change it will take faith, and the help of the Holy Spirit. Paul is a wonderful example of how God’s Spirit can work real, lasting change in one’s life.
What kind of changes would you like to make in your life? What’s holding you back? Let’s ask God for the faith to change!
Striving to be Faithful,
It is time to start looking at summer activities for our youth. Youth Force is just around the corner and we need your help!! We need God Squad leaders to help lead our teens during this time of service to the community. The dates are June 9 through 14. The cost is $185.
District camp will be June 24 – 28 and we need adult leaders for that camp as well and the cost is $50.
We are also in need leaders for our Wednesday night program. If you can take a couple of hours out of your schedule to help on Wednesday nights, it would be a BIG help.
If you are able to help with any of these events, please contact Jaimie at the church.
Have you ever wanted to walk where Jesus walked, see what Jesus saw? People who have taken the Holy Land pilgrimage trip have said it brought new meaning to their spiritual lives. You can experience the Holy Land with your faith family March 17-26, 2014.
A Holy Land Pilgrimage Orientation meeting will be held on Monday, April 29 at 7:00 p.m. in Fellowship Hall. If you think you might be interested in taking this pilgrimage, please attend this meeting to get important details. Everyone is welcome!