Faith UMC of Orland Park
"One thing I always do. Forgetting the past and straining toward what is ahead. I keep trying to reach the goal and get the prize for which God called me through Christ to the life above." - Philippians 3:13-14
I've started exercising this week. Again. Trying to schedule a regular exercise routine in my life is like trying to sleep during a thunderstorm. There are always interruptions - some are personal, others are professional. Then, there are always excuses - some are valid, others are lame.
My most recent motivation to exercise came after I filled out a Health Quotient questionnaire - for health insurance purposes. The results pointed out that I am slightly more healthy than other male clergy my age. However, it's not by much, and I have several key health issues that I need to address. Of course, my body has been sending the same message for a while.
So, I started a new exercise regiment - biking. Now, I own a bicycle. However, I haven't biked regularly since high school. I heard there were some amazing bike paths in Minooka. I spent the last week discovering some of them. After a couple of rides, my body has stopped its moaning and groaning. Now, I'm looking forward to future rides and the next time I have to take this Health Quotient.
Interruptions are a regular part of life. They disrupt our physical exercise regiments. They also disrupt our spiritual and relational lives.
In his letter to the Christians in Philippi, the apostle Paul describes the journey of faith to an athletic event. He writes that while interruptions may come (in his case, he's writing his letter in a jail cell,) he keeps his eyes fixed on the prize. Our prize is to reach the goal to which we are called by Jesus Christ. Our prize is becoming more like Jesus every day.
Friends, whatever interruptions you're facing this day (physically, spiritually, emotionally, relationally,) let me invite you to keep your eyes fixed on the prize. As children of God, we are redeemed by the blood of Jesus, who loves us and invites us to follow him this day and always. Prayer Loving God, thank you for unwavering grace. No matter how often we've failed and fallen away from you, you have always been faithful and true. Thank you for your faithfulness. Help us to hear your call again to follow you. Help us to follow the leadings of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.
- Pastor Caleb
Faith News & Notes
Hoops Here It Is - We finished our jr high boys basketball tournament this week. Congratulations to all our competitors. Thanks to the coaches, helpers, and members of our Athletic Committee (and their families) for coordinating this month-long event.
Laser Tag - We had over a dozen youth come out to play laser tag last Saturday. Thanks to our chaperones for helping our youth have a safe and fun time!
Faith Fantasy Football - We had our Faith Fantasy Football draft last Sunday. With the NFL season just weeks away, we're ready to rumble!
Movie Night - Join us TONIGHT (Aug 28) for the final installment in our "Movies in the Park-ing Lot" series. Location: church parking lot. Time: dusk (previews begin at 8 PM). This week's movie, "Frozen," will begin at 8:15 PM. Note: this is a free event. Bring your lawn chair, snacks, friends, and family.
Singspiration - The Summer Singspiration Benefit Concert is coming up. When: THIS Sunday, August 30 (3 PM). Where: church. Who: community chorus. We will receive a love offering to benefit the ministry of "My Joyful Heart" (www.myjoyfulheart.org).
Small Groups - Small groups are a great way to deepen relationships and grow in faith. Our fall small groups will begin on the week of Sunday, September 6, and meet for six weeks. We will go through the teaching series "God Is Closer Than You Think." A limited supply of books ($10) and small group participant guides ($8) are available at the Connection Center. All small group participants are asked to purchase a small group participant guide. Contacts: Mary Kough (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jill Damrow (email@example.com).
Sunday School Teachers - Sunday School teachers are needed for our 2015-16 Sunday School year. Sunday School classes begin on September 20! There is an informational meeting for anyone interested in teaching on Monday, August 31 @ 7 PM. Location: church. Contact: Kim Clifton (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Backpack Blessing - Students are invited to bring their backpacks for a special backpack blessing on Kick Off Sunday (Sept 13). This is the day we'll start our fall programming for children, youth, and adults. Note: this blessing is open to anyone who'd like bring their bag (backpack, briefcase, etc).
Attention All Bakers - Do you love to bake? Would you be interested in baking bread for communion? Then, we hope you'll join Faith's Communion Baking team. Contact: Bev Carriel (708-349-9211)