May 2011 Newsletter

Dear Friends in Christ,

The apostle Paul writes these words to the early Christians in Corinth.

"I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind - just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you - so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord."
1 Corinthians 1:4-9

Paul makes a habit of beginning his letters to the early churches with prayers for their spiritual nurture and their growth in Jesus Christ. You and I pray for many concerns. We pray for the sick, the homeless, those who have lost their jobs, those who are in mourning, those recovering from personal traumas and from natural disasters. We pray for peace in our world among nations and within nations. We pray for the wisdom of political leaders, the safety of those serving in dangerous places, the needs of the poor. We do not, however, pray as earnestly as Paul did for the spiritual health, the Christian nurture and the growth in discipleship of those within our families and communities, in our neighborhoods, schools and places of employment. Often we neglect to pray that Jesus Christ would become known and loved by those who are currently indifferent or even hostile to the Lord we serve.

The apostle Paul believed, and the church has affirmed for 2,000 years, that Jesus Christ is the greatest gift ever given to the world. Jesus shares our humanity, he experiences our temptations, he bears our sins on the cross and he rises to new life so that you and I might have everlasting life. Easter is a glorious celebration of God's gift of love in Jesus Christ.

If we truly believe that Jesus is God's most incredible gift, a precious treasure, the light of our lives, and our hope for eternity, doesn't it make sense, that we would want everyone to know the joy that comes from faith in Christ. If the church, the body of Christ, strengthens us through worship and prayer, study and service, while surrounding us with a community of grace, what more could we want for friends and loved ones than for them to find a haven of support within Christ's family.

During Lent, Fishkill United Methodist Church began a new ministry of prayer that we will continue into the future. A prayer team has been established to pray specifically for the spiritual lives of people outside the church, people who may need a vital relationship with Jesus and the gift of a church home. If you know of someone who may be searching for God, or someone who seems closed off to God, you are invited to put their name (first name is sufficient) on a special prayer card in the pew. The prayer card is entitled "I'll pray if you will!" After filling out the card, place it in the offering plate. The name (or names) will be passed on to our new prayer team that is specifically committed to this evangelistic prayer outreach. If you would like to become part of this special prayer team you can indicate that on the prayer card as well. Have questions? Feel free to speak to the pastor.

The great good news of Easter is a remarkable blessing to all who believe. May we share that that joy through this new, continuing outreach of prayer.

Christ is Risen!

Peggy Ann Sauerhoff