Dearest Friends,

This is quite an eventful summer to say the least!  VBS is right around the corner, the River Raisin Festival is through, and July’s mission trip to Sault Ste. Marie was a great success.  Not only was the trip a wonderful balance of relationship-building and hands-on work, it was an opportunity for all of us to encounter God through humble service.  Thank you to all who prayed for us, who donated to support this trip, and who participated in it.

The last couple of weeks have been hugely important in the life of this church.  We have celebrated the marriage of Austin and Taylor Leader, and have mourned the loss of two wonderful people: John Hutton and Eileen Eisenmann.  And, though we do not mourn like those who have no hope, we do mourn.

In Romans 12, Paul famously writes that “in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”  Just a few verses later, he encourages us to “rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another.”

As the Church – the global Body of Christ in the world – we are called to spread the    gospel and to work for social justice.  But by mourning with those who mourn and          rejoicing with those who rejoice, we are practicing community.  We are fulfilling      Scripture and treating each other with the same heartfelt compassion that God has for each of us.  When the Church shows compassion in that way, when we are the face of God in life’s struggles and joys, perhaps that is the Church at its best.

Let us remember the lives of those who have gone before us.  Let us pray for the Hutton, Comiskey, and Eisenmann families who are adjusting to life without their loved ones nearby.  And let us kneel before the Father, asking that He might richly bless the     marriage of Austin and Taylor.

Before I end this month’s newsletter, I want to give you one more reason to rejoice.  In Sault Ste. Marie, Kylie Deer, a young woman who’s a part of our church, came to understand that she is a child of God!  She will be baptized before the summer is out.  Praise God!  Thank you for being a part of His work!

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Zack


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