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Lydia Cruttwell's blog

The Chiasm ends, but the Revealing continues!

With last week's sermon on Revelation 12 (see the 'sermons' tab above for the recording), our great experiement in reading Revelation chiastically comes to an end! However, this doesn't mean that we're done exploring Revelation -- this Sunday (November 10th) we're pleased to have John and Betty Heinrichs speaking to us about pacifism in the Revelation of Jesus Christ, and two Sundays from now we'll be incorporating Revelation into our Eternity Sunday service.

... and then, after a two month break (for Advent, Christmas, and then a pulpit exchange with other local Mennonite Churches), we'll return to Revelation for five Sundays in February 2014! So continue reading and praying through this last book of the bible -- and if you've got any particular topics or passages that you'd like us to cover in February, feel free to talk to Greg or Lydia!

Sermons!

Just in case you haven't moseyed on over to the 'Sermons tab' (up top in the black bar) lately, you should -- we're all up to date on sermons for our Revelation series, and you don't want to miss out on all the uncovering, revealing, and apokalysis-ing going on in these messages!

A Petition for Peace

The Mennonite Central Committee is calling on all of us to sign a petition in support of Ricardo Esquivia, the found of Sembrandopaz ('Sewing Peace'), an MCC Partner. For those of you who were in church this Sunday, this is the person whom our new attender Shalom talked about, since she knows him personally and is very concerned about the situation in Colombia.

Below is a summary of the situation (from the petition site, moveon.org):

According to credible sources, Ricardo Esquivia faces the threat of detention by the Colombian authorities. Ricardo and Sembrandopaz work with conflict-affected communities of the Caribbean Coast in Colombia to peacefully reconcile differences and build a better future.

Ricardo Esquivia has been a driver of peace and community development in the region for over 40 years, as evidenced by international peace awards from the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding and the Fellowship of Reconciliation. He is Co-founder and Director of the Commission for Restoration, Life and Peace of the Evangelical Council of Churches of Colombia (CEDECOL). He is also the founder and former Director of Justapaz, the Christian Center for Justice, Peace and Nonviol ent Action of the Mennonite Church of Colombia. For many years he represented all non-Catholic religious groups on the National Council of Peace, which advises the President of Colombia. Despite his record (or perhaps because of it), Ricardo has been repeatedly threatened with detention or legal action. It is time to end this harassment of a proven servant of the Colombian people.

Small Groups and Sunday School and Potlucks -- oh my!

Just to highlight what was in our bulletin this week, there are three ways you can get more involved in the FUMC community this coming week:

1. Small Groups: Lydia will be leading a small group at 7:30pm this Monday at Randy and Mary's house -- contact her (or just show up) if you'd like to join in! Other small groups include Anthony and Shelley Dyck's group meeting on Thursdays (starting Oct. 3rd, at 7pm), and the St. George group led by Greg (which meets on Tuesdays at 7pm).

2. Adult Sunday School: Next Sunday, Sept. 29th, in the Ed. Building at 9am. Come on out to find out why "Everyone is a Theologian, whether you know it or not"! Greg Thiessen will be leading with a mix of teaching and discussion.

3. Potluck! After a hiatus of many months, our regular potlucks are returning this coming Sunday (Sept 29th) after our worship service. Those with last names from A-K are asked to bring casseroles and those with last names starting L-Z please bring salad or buns. Bring a friend, and bring enough to feed a crowd!

And, we've also still got spots on our 'Dinners for 8' signup sheets -- so check those out on doors of the church!

Prayers for the World

Our world is broken, and battered, and bleeding. It's always been that way, but the speed and scope of modern media allows us to see the sins and the pain of our fellow humans with rapidity and detail never before imagined. Whether it is a single shooter in a US Navy Yard, Colorado communities devastated by a flood, a Saturday afternoon at a mall in Nairobi turned into a hostage crisis, a suicide bombing at a Pakistani church, or the tears from recounted stories of abuse at residential schools, everywhere we turn there is suffering.

...and that's just the news headlines of the past week.

Lord have mercy.
Christ have mercy.
Lord have mercy.

Only God knows the untold stories of pain going on that don't make it onto our tv and computer screens -- the private stories, the ongoing stories after previous shootings and previous disasters, the stories of poverty and war and conflict.

In these troubled and troubling times, we need more than ever to cling onto what is good, and right, and true. To continue to watch amidst scenes of tragedy for those who care for others, to honour and thank those who continue to work for peace and walk the hard road of forgiveness and reconciliation, and to know that goodness and light still shines through the cracks. To laugh, to love, and to find joy in the good gifts of our God.

And more than ever, we need to cling onto the vision of Christ as seen in Revelation 1 and Revelation 22 -- he who is the King of Kings, He who is the great High Priest, He who sees all, and knows all, and has the power and authority to bring a final end to all the madness and the brokenness of this tired world. He who is coming to make all things new, and to bring true peace to all of us. Let us pray to the One who spoke through his servant John long ago, reminding his weary people to persevere in faith, hope, and love.

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