"I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
Pressing forward to the call of God in Christ Jesus. This is the way of faith. This is the path to salvation. This is the meaning of the cross.
In this regard, are you engaged in daily Bible reading? Are you engaged in frequent prayer? Are you engaged in sharing the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ with others?
We are to be constantly moving forward in our trust in God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
This desire, effort, and pursuit makes a difference in our world. This makes a difference in how we are perceived. This make a difference in how we act. This too makes a difference in how we see the world.
Paul saw faith as something to pursue. It was his desire to "know Christ and the power of His resurrection." He was consistently and completely working and giving his all to this endeavor. And he did what God called him to do.
Your Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) is trained and ready to pursue their goal of finding the next pastoral leader of Aberdeen First Presbyterian Church. They know what lies before them and they are up for the challenge. They are eager to share with those looking for a new place to minister in the name of Christ, who we are and what we are about.
Through the congregational efforts to inform the PNC what is important to us through the congregational survey by Holy Cow, and through the examination and writing of these conclusions in our mission statement, the PNC is prepared to write our Ministry Information Form (MIF.)
This document will describe our church and community, tell the interested pastor where we as a church and where we want to go, and inform them what skills and gifts we need them to possess to get there.
Then this form will be posted to the CLC. The Church Leadership Connection data base. Here pastors seeking new calls review potential positions and send their dossier to those places they are interested in.
The PNC will receive these, review these, select those that fit our needs, contact those individuals, and interview those they choose.
Finally, they will select a candidate to be voted on by the congregation to be our new pastor.
If this sounds like a lot of work. It is. However, this is not all they are doing.
The most important part of this process is their faithful prayer, listening to God's voice, and being open to the leading of the Holy Spirit. They will, in this time, grow closer to God and other members of the group. They will faithfully and diligently seek to follow the direction of Jesus Christ in their lives and this search. And they will be open to the leading of their hearts.
What they ask you to do, is to be faithful to God in prayer. Prayer for our church, prayer for the committee, and prayer for the new pastor who is out there looking for God's guidance in their lives.
Likewise, in the here and now: we can give our energy and efforts to be the fellowship of believers here gathered. We can worship our Lord Jesus Christ by attending service in person or online. We can take on the ministries we have selected to pursue. We can participate in leadership and involvement in these re-emerging activities. And we can support in word and deed this straining to what lies ahead as we faithfully seek "to press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
May God bless these pursuits. May God bless our faith community/our church. And may God bless us and keep us now and forever.