This last week Rebekah, Mary Emmaline, and I had the opportunity to go to the beach. Rebekah’s brother, his wife, and three little ones joined us. We are very close in age and stage of life, very close as family, and very close as brothers and sisters in Christ. It made for a great week!
During the vacation, I had to miss a day to go to Presbytery. This is where I (alongside another elder from our church) represent Centennial in a larger meeting of Associate Reformed Presbyterian Churches. We take care of all kinds of different things during these meetings like supporting and planting churches, examining new ministers, providing a forum for ideas and needs of churches, and much more. We also begin and end worshipping! As I was driving back from Presbytery not only to my immediate family but to some of my extended family, I praised God for the sweetness of connection within our denomination. The sweetness of sitting with other representatives of churches is just like the sweetness I feel when I’m able to sit across the table from my brother-in-law who is as close to me as a blood brother. We have a big family at Centennial, and we have a bigger family in the ARP!
I would like to encourage each of you at Centennial to grow in connection within our denomination. Off the top of my head, in the next couple weeks Centennial is connecting with other churches in some wonderful ways. October 21 is a meeting of the women of our churches in this geographical area (called a Presbyterial to mirror the above Presbytery). October 24 is the date that Centennial hosts a meeting of fellowship and worship for the elders of our Presbytery. November 3-5 shows that our kids aren’t left out. Those are the dates for our Presbytery Middle School retreat (usually around 200 Middle Schoolers from our churches!). And this is only in the next few weeks! We are in a denomination that calls out loudly that we are not alone. This connection strengthens us to continue in our own service and fellowship at Centennial. I have two prayers that run alongside one another. First, I pray that God continues to bless our fellowship at Centennial through deepening relationships and the building of new ones. Second, I pray that God continues to bless our fellowship in our denomination through deepening relationships and the building of new ones in our denomination. May we always remember both of these prayers!
We may not go to the beach with other churches like I went to the beach with my family, but we definitely have real family ties to more than just Centennial. What a blessing God has granted to us in this extended family of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church!