Metro East September Newsletter

By Metro East on September 1st, 2018


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A MESSAGE FROM ANTHONY HODGES

Metro East Family,

For our September newsletter, I want to spend a few moments considering how significant it is that we can use the word “family” in the address of this email. Reflecting on the privilege it is to be considered the family of God will most certainly bring us encouragement. There are multiple occasions in the New Testament which point to the fact that a central part of the salvation process for believers is the adoption into the family of God. The more we consider this idea of adoption, the more we realize the beauty of it!
 
Galatians chapter four is one of the places in which Paul mentions the adoption of believers:
 
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. (Galatians 4:4-7)
 
It is in God’s love for us and His pursuit of us that He sent His son to redeem us so that we might receive adoption! Church, this is great news—for it it is in this privilege of adoption that we, believers in Christ, find much hope. Throughout the Bible, God is seen and experienced as many things, but it is now through adoption that we can relate to God as our loving Father. Paul goes as far as to use the endearing and intimate language Christ used in His prayer at the Garden of Gethsemane, "Abba! Father" (Mark 14:36) in describing this adoption relationship.
 
So it is here, in what is coined as the Theology of Adoption, that we can rest in the relationship with our Heavenly Father. It is in this aspect of our salvation that we can find much joy and contentment as we receive the blessing of being God’s children. It is also in this theology that we can find much courage, hope, and comfort as we endure pain and suffering. The richness of our adoption can be seen in the Greek word from which ‘adoption’ is translated. When uiothesian is used in verse five[1] and at different points throughout the New Testament, there is a distinct sense of a shift or change in legal status. The preceding act of justification changes our legal standing from guilty (our deserved sentence) to not guilty based on Christ’s work on the cross. It is now in adoption that our legal familia status changes from that of children of this world to ‘children of God.’
 
As adopted children, we can rest in the fact that we have a Heavenly Father who gives us many good gifts (Matthew 7:11). We give thanks to God for the gifts and blessings of this life, for the amazing gift of the Holy Spirit, for the promise that we will share in the inheritance of the kingdom (1 Peter 1:4), and the fact that our Father will never leave us. (Deuteronomy 31:6). This stands in stark contrast to what our society wants us to believe. “If you work hard then you will receive your just reward," is the common refrain we live amongst. While truth does exist in that statement, it doesn’t do justice to our Father who gives and who takes away (Job 1:21). As adopted children, we receive many undeserved blessings and gifts from our gracious Father.
 
Another gift that is given to us as adopted children is that when we face the fiery furnace of life’s pain and suffering, we do so sharing these experiences with Christ. Hebrews paints a beautiful picture of a high priest who isn’t aloof but one who shares and has experienced life’s hardest moments so that we may “...draw near to the throne of grace” (Hebrews 4:16). Our Father’s nearness during suffering can be seen clearly in the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These three men were given to the punishment of death and thrown into a furnace for not worshiping King Nebuchadnezzar. As he watched this happen, King Nebuchadnezzar found himself astonished by the fact that he then saw a fourth man in the furnace. This fourth man resembled what seemed to him a “son of the gods” (Daniel 3). Adoption into God’s family never promises that we will avoid the many fiery trials of life. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego didn’t face the furnace alone, and neither do we!
 
And it is through adoption that we can experience life’s many currents, not just with Christ, but also with our new family. Familia language is used throughout the Bible when talking about the Church, and it isn’t used just for imagery. As adopted children, we get to share in the vast experiences of life with our fellow heirs. So when we say ‘Metro East Family,’ that carries much weight. We do so with the hope in our Father who gave everything in order that we may collectively have the opportunity to call Him, from the bottom of our heart, "Abba! Father.”
 
Adoption is something that is very close to home for our Metro East family, as many of us care for children through adoption and foster care. And many others have given much in support for these parents as they are loving and parenting these children. One of the clear callings of a Christian is to care for orphans (James 1:27). Recently, I have been thinking about this a great deal. In living out the James passage, we are pointed to the fact that we too were orphans before God called us to faith and gave us “...the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).
 
Your fellow brother and heir with Christ,
 Anthony


[1] Galatians 4:17; Romans 8:15,23, 9:4; Ephesians 1:5

 
ONE CHURCH WORSHIP NIGHT
 
Sunday, September 30, 4-7 p.m.
The Journey Hanley Road

Bring your family and come ready to make new friends as you connect with your Journey family from locations across the St. Louis area! Dinner will be available for purchase from our fantastic food truck lineup! After dinner at 5:30 p.m., we’ll all gather in the Hanley Road sanctuary for a time of worship. We hope to see you there!

LET US KNOW YOU'RE COMING
 
UPCOMING EVENTS & NEWS

Newcomer's Lunch is more than just a free lunch! It's also a great way to meet the staff at The Journey Metro East, become more familiar with the church, and hear about ways you can get connected. So whether you've been with us for a few days or several months, you're invited to join us September 9, following the 11 a.m. service in the Multipurpose Room. Lunch will be served, and childcare available if you register!

REGISTER
 
Join us for our all-church prayer this Sunday, September 9, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. This is an informal event where we pray for personal, church, and global things going on in the world around us. Kids are welcome to participate! 
 

Our mission is to partner with your family to help your children love God more today than they did yesterday, be discipled in the love and truth of Jesus, and to trust Jesus with their today, tomorrow, and eternity.

We are passionate about walking alongside your family and believe that everyone needs a safe place to belong where they can discover more about the hope that Jesus offers. Join us every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month from 4:30-6:30 p.m.

 

Friday, September 28, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

We’re hosting a block party for families involved with the Restore Network in St. Clair County at Metro East, complete with food, bounce houses, games, and more!

There are 110 children involved with this ministry throughout our county that we desire to bless this fall. One of the primary ways we’ll be doing that is by providing these children with new winter coats. We’ll be raising money for these coats in service during the month of September. Thanks to some partner organizations we are able to afford new coats for roughly $35 a child.

I would love to serve alongside you this year as we seek every avenue we can to enjoy grace, embody love, and engage culture! Sign up to help out here

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Charlie

 
Check out the September song of the month! 
 
Friends! We know how much you all love your coffee. We have some exciting changes coming with our coffee which means we need your help. To ensure we can continue providing coffee on Sunday mornings, we are looking for 5 more volunteers to help out. Email Corrinne Watson if you would like to help out. 
 
LADIES! We will not be having a women's Bible study this fall. Please look for upcoming events on our Facebook page and take advantage of the next movie night at the church happening Saturday, September 29, from 7-10 p.m. in the sanctuary!  
 
Parents! We wanted to give you a heads up that we will be doing our Family Sunday on October 7. As a reminder, kids 3 years and up will be joining you in service that Sunday. 
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