FPCO Columns - August 2008

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Vol 48, #8 August, 2008

David Swanson Owith NDr.TH TH ED.W AY Dear FPCO Family and Friends, One of my professors in seminary said the key to being a

In the time I spend with couples, this is often a problem.

good pastor was learning to be “a kee keen n observer of life.” You

It most often starts with children. Once children come along,

have to watch what is happening and somehow interpret those

couples tend to drift. They invest all their time in their children,

events in light of God’s revealed Word. As I was trying to do

 but not each other, and they lose that sense of connection and

that recently, I “observed” something in the Wall Street Jour-

partnership. Before too long, spouses start feeling as if the oth-

nal  that  that I found telling. It was an article on the front page of the

er does not know them or understand them. How could they?

 Personal Journal  Journal  section  section and the title was:

They are leading separate lives. I say this as a means of challenging you to think about your

 Mor  Moree Coupl Couples es Find Find Marria Marriage ge L Leave eavess Th Them em Alone Alone Togeth Together er

marriage and to encourage you to sign up for the FPCO marriage retreat this November. Leigh and I will be leading this

Now, I don’t know about you, but when I read that, my rst thought was, “Great!” In my marriage, I am always trying

event, and it is our prayer that God will use it to renew and restore the marriages of many many in our church and community. community. The

to nd balance in my life such that I can nd time with Leigh.

theme is “marriage matters.” I believe that it does, and if you

The headline seemed to suggest that more couples were ndnd -

do, then I hope you will make that weekend a priority so that

ing that time alone with each other and, as a result, marriages

 you can connect with your spouse even as you live in a culture

 were better.

 where that is happening happening less and less.

Sadly, that was not what the headline meant. It actually meant that more and more couples are leading separate lives even though they are “together.” A Penn State University study

 With joyful expectation expectation in the Lord, I write

followed 2000 couples – one group in 1980 and the other in 2000. They found the likelihood of couples spending time

Under His Mercy,

together doing things such as visiting friends, sharing recreational activities, dining, shopping or sharing projects around the house had fallen by 28% in those 20 years. In other words, couples are together, but they do more and more things apart. To be clear, I think couples need to have healthy lives independent of each other. We all need outside same-sex friendships to support and strengthen us. However, good marriages are found when husbands and wives partner in life together. It is in that partnership that emotional bonds are formed. It is how couples connect.

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By Rev. Donna McClellan

 Would you like to experience a fresh encounter with the living God? Are you seeking a more intimate relationship with God? Would you like to access more power from the Holy Spirit in your daily life? Several of us are meeting weekly this summer to pray and prepare for the Prayer Ministry. You are welcome to join us any

3. To act as a res resource ource for the persecuted church.   Acts 4:31 4. To be a means of personal deliver deliverance. ance. Acts 12:4-5 5. To serve as a means of suggesting suggesting missionary    operations. Acts 13:2-3 6. To be a rst step in a new work for Christ. Acts 16

 Wednesday, from 6:30 – 7:30pm, in the EMC  Wednesday, EMC Resource Room. Together we have prayed, looked at various prayers in the Bi ble, and shared our own experiences experiences in prayer, but mostly…we have prayed. And God has met us! I am excited to announce the start of a weekly prayer meeting here at FPCO. We will meet beginning September 3 in Lee Fellowship Hall from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Please join us for our rst meeting as we will have a short time of worship, hear David

Somehow I think that the purposes for prayer meetings in 2008 are not that different from the purposes Spurgeon outlined in 1868. God has not changed, and our need to depend on God and to look to Him for guidance has not changed either! One of the things I most appreciated from his sermon was this quote; “It is a very useful thing for Christians to pray with each other, even apart from the answer.” Our desire for our prayer ministry is not just to get answers, but to encounter God

Swanson bring us a word on prayer and as we spend time together as a church in prayer. Cleat Simmons, who is leading our efforts, shared some thoughts taken from a sermon Charles Spurgeon preached in 1868 on prayer citing Acts 1:14; “They all joined together constantly in prayer.” Here is a summary of what Spurgeon sees as the purposes of the prayer meeting from that sermon. Purposes of the prayer meeting

in ways that will deepen our faith and give us strength for the  journey (both personally personally and as a church.). Please keep Cleat Simmons, Barbara Francis, Cary Burchak and myself in prayer as we (along with others) continue to pray and plan for this ministry. We know that the t he enemy is not at all pleased with these new efforts on prayer and we are dependent on God and His power to lead us and provide victory. n

1. To encourage a discoura discouraged ged people. Acts 1:14 2. To serve as an appointed place to receive power   from the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:1.

WEEKLY Y PRA PRAYER YER SERVICE WEEKL Wednesdays; 6:30 – 7:30pm Lee Fellowship Hall Beginning September 3

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BEGIN SEPTEMBER 14 Our fall programming is moving from Wednesday Wednesday nights to Sunday afternoons beginning September 14 through November 15. Please plan to join our time of study and community from 4:30 – 6:30pm. Adult classes require registration, which can be done online at www.fpco.org/re www.fpco.org/register. gister. For registration assistance, assistance, contact Lori Needham at 407-423-3441 407-423-34 41 x1463 or [email protected] For general questions, contact Donna McClellan, Associate Pastor for Discipleship and Spiritual Formation at 407-423-3441 x 1488. No trafc, plenty of parking, relaxed weekend schedules…Plan to spend you Sunday afternoons with the Son.

The Bethel Series The most purchased, yet least understood – The Bible. The Bethel Series is an intensive study of the Bible which will assist you in developing: • a comprehensive view of the Bible • an u understanding nderstanding of the historical background   •    

which shaped the biblical events an ability ability to discern the major themes of  scripture which show the purposes of God for His people

This September, a Bethel class will be offered on Sundays, from 4:30-6:30pm. This class will require some reading and homework and the study will be on the Old Testament team taught by Revs. Donna McClellan and Sam Knight along with

lay leader, Kim Allen. Registration will be limited, and there t here is a $25 fee to cover the cost of study materials.

FIT..Faith, FIT ..Faith, Integrit Integrityy & Technique Technique Become FIT (Faith, Integrity & Technique) – Why should  we be healthy healthy and t? We are are told in 1 Corinthians Corinthians 6:19-20 “Do  you not know that your body body is a temple of the Holy Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your body.” Join in with others to learn how to be good stewards of our bodies so we may serve His purpose. Simon and Kris Morgan, along with a nutritionist will complete the team to provide basic education and motivation to be FIT! Class fee is $25 per person and child care is available  with a reservation. reservation.

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