Out of the Invisible
"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by...faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible." (Hebrews 11:1-3, NRSV)
These verses from the New Testament letter to the Hebrews came to mind recently when I was thinking about prayer. The practice of prayer is so essential to our relationship with God and to the carrying out of our discipleship under Jesus Christ; yet for many of us, “prayer” can seem like a nebulous concept we can’t quite grasp. As Christians, we know we should be praying – we may even deeply believe that prayer changes things – but we may feel unsure how to go about having “a good prayer life.” We ponder questions such as, “How much prayer is enough?” Or, “What counts as a prayer?” Or, “How can I talk to someone I can’t see?” We might see a movie like, “War Room,” or hear about people who are “prayer warriors,” and be inspired by what prayer can accomplish, but still feel unsure about how to go about living a prayerful life of our own.
Even as a pastor, I still sometimes think about these questions; and I know I’m not alone. It’s no wonder that we seek out programs and books to help us do something that should come as naturally as breathing to those of us who are seeking after Christ. Prayer is, after all, a conversation; it’s a conversation with a Person who loves us supremely and in Whom we can place ultimate trust. Prayer is amazing in the way it brings visible things out of the invisible. And yet, we struggle with the conversation.
In thinking about fall preaching, I’ve been drawn to the subject of prayer. But rather than giving a series of sermons “about” prayer, or about “how” to pray, I’ve decided to look at passages from the Bible that describe conversations between people and God. We’ll see what we can learn from these passages that might encourage us and inform our own practices of prayer. We might even encounter a few surprises to our way of thinking about prayer. The series will begin September 9th with a passage from Genesis, and end on November 18th with a passage from Revelation. We’ll take a break on Heritage Sunday on October 21st, when Walter Mann will be our preacher.
There are all kinds of good things going on at Hebron Presbyterian Church. I hope you’ll take time to read through the announcements, below, and join us in what God is doing in and through this blessed congregation.
Connie S. Weaver
The sermon text this Sunday, September 2nd, is Ephesians 5:21-6:9, as we wrap up our series on this New Testament letter. The sermon title is “Subject to One Another.”
This Sunday is our last Summer Choir Sunday – That means you can come and rehearse during the Sunday School hour (at 9:00 a.m.) and sing with the choir this Sunday, even if you are not a regular choir member. Regular choir rehearsal resumes on Sept. 5th.
Have you signed up, yet? We’ll be continuing to capture Hebron Church memories on video as part of our 175th anniversary observance. Our thanks to Megan Compton, who will be in the Ralph Fields room after worship again this Sunday to capture your memories. There is a sign-up schedule on the office door, but please come on down if you are ready to share a memory this Sunday. These brief recordings of your special memories will be shown during our Heritage weekend in October.
New Hymnals & Bibles – As part of our upcoming 175th birthday celebration for Hebron Church, you have the opportunity to sponsor a new Bible & hymnal set for the sanctuary, including (if you choose) to have your name or the name(s) of others noted inside the book. There will be an insert in this Sunday’s worship bulletin. You may also contact the church office to have a form emailed to you. Please plan to complete your form and return it with your $25 (per set) payment by Sept. 23rd.
Women's Bible Study - Our Tuesday and Thursday Bible study groups resume on Sept. 4th and 6th. The Tuesday group will be using a Beth Moore study on the book of Daniel. The Thursday group will be using a Precept study on the gospel of Luke. For more info and to register, contact Lori Alford at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Children’s Worship – On Sunday, Sept. 9th, we’ll begin fall Children’s Church for kids aged 4 through 2nd grade. Children will begin worship in the sanctuary and then be dismissed with Children’s Church leaders after the “Drawing Near to the Word” portion of our service. Sunday evening Youth Activities will also resume on Sept. 9th.
Stewardship Kick-off September 9th - We seek to be good stewards of God's gifts all year long, but on Sept. 9th, we'll kick off our annual stewardship emphasis. This will be a time to give prayerful consideration to your giving plans for 2019. Dedication Sunday will be October 14th.
Prayer for Schools - After worship on Sunday, Sept. 9th, all who can and wish to do so are invited to remain at church to be part of car pool teams to Randolph Elementary School, Goochland Middle School and Goochland High School. The purpose of this event is simply to travel to the schools, find a place to pray together there, and to ask God's blessings and protection on all who will study and serve at our local schools during this coming year. We recognize that other schools are represented in our congregation, and all area students, teachers and administrators will be included in our prayers. Traveling to our public schools on Sept. 9th will be a way for us as a congregation to extend our witness and care into our local community.
Wednesday Night Special – Beginning October 3rd, we’ll enjoy a weekly meal together through mid-November. Our study this fall will be taken from a book called Concentric Circles of Concern by Oscar Thompson. The “concentric circles” concept helps us look at how we talk about our faith in the context of our personal relationships. If you would like a copy of the book, please let us know in the church office, and we’ll order one at a cost to you of $11.00. It won’t be necessary to have read the book to participate in the study, but your appreciation of the material will be enhanced if you’ve had a chance to read the book.
Heritage Concert, Friday, October 19th - As part of our 175th anniversary heritage celebration, there will be a concert on the Friday evening before our Heritage Sunday. There is more info on this event in our September church newsletter.
Heritage Sunday, October 21st – Hebron Presbyterian’s 175th “birthday” as a congregation will be celebrated with a special service of worship and a luncheon to follow. Our guest preacher will be the Rev. Walter Mann.
Our Operation Christmas Child "Packing Party" is set for Friday, Nov. 2nd. Watch for more details, and in the meantime, pick up a few more items to place in the tubs in the hallway outside Holman Hall. Thanks so much for all you've donated so far!