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Two Areas of Service

We’re preparing to move from the last week of Lent, Holy Week, when Jesus purposefully faced his fiercest enemies in Jerusalem and prepared his closest disciples for the agony of Good Friday followed by the victory of Easter morning. In the spirit of Jesus’ close fellowship with his disciples, please consider two areas of service:

First, your Board decided to collect a special LVE offering in April – an offering for those international Emmaus members praying and planning the formation of new Walk to Emmaus communities in Africa. As the International Emmaus Office points out, this effort is one of the Central African church’s response to the terror of ISIS and Boko Harum they encounter in their daily lives. You can give your offering through LVE’s Gathering offering – just note on your check or note on the envelope “UR Gift”.  Alternatively, you can go to the Upper Room website http://emmaus.upperroom.org/leaders/gift and make an online donation.

The other opportunity to serve as Christ’s hands and feet is to prayerfully support Karen Brooks, Catharine Guest, and Kristy McMaster as they form and lead the LV84 Conference Room Team and LV84 Outside Support Team. During the April 22 Gathering, we will review several tangible opportunities to serve LV84: sign up for 30min time segments on the LV84 Prayer Chain; provide snacks; and create agape for the LV84 pilgrims and team. Your anonymous expressions of love and prayerful support through letters and splash agape provide tangible evidence to pilgrims and team members as they make their Walk. Please look forward to LVE emails with team member’s and pilgrim’s names. If you don’t see these emails by the end of April, please email Gail Haddock (LVE Board Secretary) at info@lvemmaus.org.

Finally, please remember we will meet on the fourth Saturday this month, April 22, for our monthly LVE Board and LVE Gathering:

  1. Consider arriving around 4:30 at the next Gathering to share your fourth day experiences and color table mats with fellow believers. This simple spiritual exercise is a great way to get to know other LVE members and to share God’s personal love with others.
  2. Invite and bring friends to Loudoun Valley Emmaus’ monthly Gatherings. If someone has an interest in The Walk to Emmaus or you believe that someone should have an interest, the easiest “next step” is to bring them to our Gatherings. Plan to arrive with those friends and an extra dish to the Pot Luck Dinner which starts at 5:30pm, then accompany those friends into an hour’s singing, praising, and sharing at the Gathering (6:30pm until 8:00pm).

Regards,

Don Holt
Central Texas #109, Table of St. Paul

Lent: Letting Go to Move Forward

Jesus said, “I am the way [piety], and the truth [study], and the life [action]”                  (John 14:6)

The three themes of piety (giving our hearts to Christ), study (giving our minds to Christ), and life (giving our hands and feet to Christ) serve as three pillars that support our Fourth Day lives.

For those of us who follow the liturgical calendar, we are about to move into the season of Lent; 40 days of spiritual preparation in anticipation of the miracle of Easter. How do we prepare for Easter? During Lent, we prepare by giving something(s) up that tie us too closely to this culture’s life in order to intentionally make space in our lives to listen to God so we can follow Him more closely (I think that’s the core idea of piety).

There are numerous Lenten prayer and devotional guides to guide us as we wrestle with who God wants us to be in this very confusing culture (that’s Study). I have been attracted to guides centered around Psalms; a God-breathed collection of prayers that challenge me to be honest with God about myself. The Psalms set a high value on personal honesty while praying; as honest as David was when he was in despair, found in sin, and in moments of praise and worship for God’s grace in his life and in the life of his people.

I believe this time of preparation is enhanced when I intentionally share my spiritual progress (or lack thereof) with one or more fellow believers and then listen as they share where they are on their journey. I’ve also found that sharing my victories, doubts, and confusion with fellow believers and listening to them gives me greater insight into God’s direction and comfort from His presence as expressed in the words of those I am sharing with.

Please remember the following persons and LVE opportunities:

  1. Pray daily for Merv Greenwood and Karen Brooks as they form their respective teams for the upcoming Walk to Emmaus weekends.
  2. Consider arriving around 4:30 at the next Gathering (March 18th at Mt. Olivet UMC) to share your fourth day experiences and color table mats with fellow believers. This simple spiritual exercise is a great way to get to know other LVE members and to share God’s personal love with others.
  3. Invite and bring friends to Loudoun Valley Emmaus’ monthly Gatherings. If someone has an interest in The Walk to Emmaus or you believe that someone should have an interest, the easiest “next step” is to bring them to our Gatherings. Plan to arrive with those friends and an extra dish at the Pot Luck Dinner which starts at 5:30pm, then accompany those friends into an hour’s singing, praising, and sharing at the Gathering (6:30pm until 8:00pm).

What does it mean to give our hands and feet to Christ?

Jesus said, “I am the way [piety], and the truth [study], and the life [action]”.

 John 14:6

The three themes of piety (giving our hearts to Christ), study (giving our minds to Christ), and life (giving our hands and feet to Christ) serve as three pillars that support our Fourth Day lives.

What does it mean to give our hands and feet to Christ?  St. Paul, writing to the Corinthian Christians (1 Corinthians 12 – 14), makes some very bold statements.  He tells us that the Holy Spirit equips us with spiritual gifts so that we can serve one another.  From my perspective, this means there is no Sunday worship without weekday service to others.  The other point that comes so clearly is none of us are equipped with all God’s gifts and abilities; each one of us is uniquely equipped to, “play the position”, the Holy Spirit assigns us.  Among other things, that means there are fellow-believers out there who the Holy Spirit has equipped us to meet their needs… and there are fellow-believers out there who are equipped by the Holy Spirit to meet our needs.

So how do I discern the gifts and abilities the Holy Spirit has equipped me with?  Gwen Hess, LVE’s Assistant Community Lay Director, suggests you start by taking the UMC’s Spiritual Gifts Assessment (http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/spiritual-gifts-online-assessment), then prayerfully ask God for your, “next steps” or what you will do with what God has shown you.  As with any self-discovery process, there are bound to be questions.   Consider talking with your pastor.  Consider sharing your reactions and questions with a fellow-believer you trust and will be accountable to.  Finally, look for opportunities to exercise the gifts God has given you.  In other words, Play Your Position.

Please remember the following persons and LVE opportunities:

  1. Pray daily for Merv Greenwood and Karen Brooks as they form their respective teams for the upcoming Walk to Emmaus weekend.
  2. Consider arriving around 4:30 at the next Gathering (Feb 18th at Pender UMC) to share your fourth day experiences and color table mats with fellow believers.  This simple spiritual exercise is a great way to get to know other LVE members and to share God’s personal love with others.
  3. Invite and bring friends to Loudoun Valley Emmaus’ monthly Gatherings.  If someone has an interest in The Walk to Emmaus or you believe that someone should have an interest, the easiest “next step” is to bring them to our Gatherings.  Plan to arrive with those friends and an extra dish at the Pot Luck Dinner which starts at 5:30pm, then accompany those friends into an hour’s singing, praising, and sharing at the Gathering (6:30pm until 8:00pm).

Regards,
Don Holt
Central Texas #109, Table of St. Paul

Next Steps

Jesus said, “I am the way [piety], and the truth [study], and the life [action]”.

John 14:6

The three themes of piety (giving our hearts to Christ), study (giving our minds to Christ), and life (giving our hands and feet to Christ) serve as three pillars that support our Fourth Day lives. As we start the new year of 2017, I invite you to join me in asking/praying for specific steps in these three areas to continue our growth as Christ’s hands and feet in our personal lives and in the life of Loudoun Valley Emmaus.

The key “next steps” for me are:

  1. Pray daily for Merv Greenwood and Karen Brooks as they form their respective teams for the upcoming Walk to Emmaus weekends in May.
  2. Prayerfully inventory the spiritual gifts and abilities God has graced you with and ask where the Holy Spirit is leading you to invest those gifts and abilities in 2017. If you haven’t already, talk to your church’s Pastor about your prayers with respect to your church’s ministries. Loudoun Valley Emmaus has many opportunities to be “Christ’s hands and feet” across the Community’s monthly activities. Please contact me or Gwen Hess (2017 Assistant Community Lay Director) about your interests and questions.
  3. Invite and bring friends to Loudoun Valley Emmaus’ monthly Gatherings. If someone has an interest in The Walk to Emmaus or you believe that someone should have an interest, the easiest “next step” is to bring them to our Gatherings. Plan to arrive with those friends and an extra dish at the Pot Luck Dinner which starts at 5:30pm, then accompany those friends into an hour’s singing, praising, and sharing at the Gathering (6:30pm until 8:00pm).

Regards,
Don Holt
Central Texas #109, Table of St. Paul