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Thursday, October 26, 2017

Growing Together

As I continue to become more familiar with our congregation here at Faith Moorpark, I frequently ask the question, “How can we grow together?”

As we move forward, I take heed to the words in the book of Acts 2:42, “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and prayers”. Hearing the Apostles teachings, the early church grew together in God’s Word. They faithfully came together to hear God’s word in the law and Gospel (Lk 24:47). They continued to break bread together (Holy Communion), praying together, “and the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved” (Ac 2:47b). What a great picture of unity within the early Christian church! A model in which we ought to follow, yet we must first ask, what was the mark of their togetherness? How was the early church unified? Were they unified because of their personalities, philosophies, or social networks? Were they unified by team building strategies or other unifying methods? No, they were united in the word. They communicated by the word, lived by the word, had all things in common by the word, broke bread by the word, and prayed by the word. Through the vitality and refreshing gift of the word and sacrament, they were equipped and strengthened by the forgiveness of sins. Walking the walk, the early church grew together in the word which brought great joy to their lives. Not only did they receive great joy in Jesus Christ and His word, they truly understood the importance of sharing this redemptive gift to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth (Ac 1:8).From inside and out, the early church flourished within but their favor and witness continued to grow outward into the community (Acts 2:47a). As the Lord added to their number daily, it is a great reminder how God works through the power of the Holy Spirit and His word.

We too share in the same gifts of joy. At Christ’s church we confess our sins and hear the gracious words of Absolution. We also receive the preached word of the law and Gospel where there too, we are forgiven. Not ending there, we also receive the means of grace in the Lord’s Supper, Christ’s body and blood for the forgiveness of our sins. And thus as we mirror the faith of the early church, we also proceed together in the word of God. By the power of the Holy Spirit, we are strengthened, renewed and restored by His gracious promise in the Gospel. Not only will we grow together in Christ but we also grow outward as we become the united as beacons of light to our community. What a blessed opportunity for all of us here at Faith Moorpark!

Here are several ways we can grow together in the word of God. I highly encourage you to join us!

Sundays
- 9:15am Divine Service
- 10:30am Bible Study on Colossians

Tuesdays (Beginning Nov 7th)
- 7pm Adult Instruction on Luther’s Small Catechism. Bring a friend!

Wednesdays:
- 10am and 7pm
- Study of Luther’s Large Catechism

Have a blessed November!
+Pastor Jeong

The full newsletter can be found here:
http://www.faithmoorpark.com/files/pdf/2017/2017-11-Newsletter.pdf

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Transitions by Pastor Jeong

Transition: Noun - The process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.

Speaking of "process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another", the past month has been quite a transition. From the moving arrangements [U-Haul, apartment, school etc.], to the drive from Washington state, this has been a whirlwind of a month. Just the other day as I was going to the DMV for new California plates, it was during this time that I finally realized we were turning over a new leaf. When filling out all the paper work, the DMV mandatorily requested my old Washington license plates in exchange for new California plates. As I was handing them over, I knew that we were truly starting over. Transitions, at times, are very stressful. For in this new call, we also have been given a new place, new environment, new routine, new residence, new school, new friends, and as a Pastor, a new congregation. But it is in this autobahn-like transition, that we are reminded of the greatest transition given through Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" Colossians 1:13-14 "He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."

Many of you have endured and lived through many different transitions. Whether it was a new job, a residential move, marriage, becoming a parent [or a grandparent], retirement, facing illnesses, or even a loss of a loved one, these times are very overwhelming to say the least. But through the endless transitions faced in one’s lifetime, we dwell upon the greatest transition [and hope] that is given through Jesus Christ. From "one state or condition to another" our gracious Lord delivers His glorious exchange in Christ Jesus. Without His graceful exchange, how could we possibly make this glorious transfer for ourselves? We thank the Lord that He sent His Son to be our Savior who faithfully went to the Cross as our sacrificial lamb [John 1:29]. And three days later, rejoicing in the promise fulfilled by way of the empty tomb [John 2:19]. From one condition to another, Jesus grants to you the greatest transition from death to life, from eternal condemnation to His pardon, from sin and separation to forgiveness and reconciliation. Through all endurance and perseverance, we continue to be resolute to the fact that in faith God delivers through His gracious Word [John 1:14]. Though we live in a world that goes through constant change, we continue to live in faith, knowing that in the water and word of Baptism, we have been brought from one condition to another. "Don’t you know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him like this in His death, we will certainly be united with Him in His resurrection." [Romans 6:3-5].

May the Lord grant you joy in the midst of all that you have and continue to face in the upcoming days. May His word be your refuge knowing that in midst and all things, there we stand with all boldness knowing that by God and His promises, we are covered by His kingdom which has no end.

May you have a blessed month of October!

In Christ,
+Pastor Jeong

P.S. As your new Pastor, I want to thank you for the warm welcome to my family and me. We appreciate all that you have done and continue to do for us as we make our transition to Moorpark. We pray that this may be the beginning for many more years to come as we continue to walk together in God’s word and sacraments. If you ever need a visit, or just a moment to chat at the office or even over a cup of coffee, I am always here for you. Please feel free to give me a call anytime [714-356-6321] or send an email. We love you all in Christ Jesus!

The full newsletter can be found here:
http://www.faithmoorpark.com/files/pdf/2017/2017-10-Newsletter.pdf

Faith Lutheran Church • 123 Park Lane • Moorpark, CA 93021 • (805) 532 1049 • Send Email