Posted by Michael Dean

Greetings in the Name of Jesus,IMG_3451

Last week was marked by weeping and rejoicing!  We are still in shock and saddened by the sudden loss of a dear brother.  Please continue to lift up the Hood Family in your prayers.  Yet, even in the midst of sadness, we were able to rejoice at the decision of 5 young people to publicly declare Jesus as their Lord and Savior!  Tanner, Caleb, Kaylee, Mason and Eve were baptized and made public declarations of their commitment to Christ.  In addition to these 5 young people, Jonathan and Kathy Guth and Alexis Halden reaffirmed their commitment to Christ and were welcomed into membership!  I think both of these events in the life of East Bend help to illustrate God’s mercy and grace!  We are reminded that as God’s Children we are part of a family that transcends all of the man-made boundaries, and instead, is bound together through the blood of Christ!  Praise God for His abiding love!  As John reminds us in 1 John 4:8-11,  “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1 John 4:8–11, NASB95)

Here are some announcements to keep in mind:

  • JAM activities begin at 6:45. – JAM Bible Studies include activities for preschool-High school as well as various Adult Studies, including Men’s and Women’s Studies and a Parenting Study.  All are welcome.
  • Tomorrow morning around 9:30 Mennonite Women begins.  Women of all ages are welcome to quilt and to knot comforters.  Bring a dish to share for the noon-meal.
  • This Sunday there is a Fellowship Meal planned after the Worship service.  Please bring a dish (or two) to share.  Following the meal we will have an informational meeting to discuss our future affiliation.  Please be sure to bring the information that was placed in your church mailbox, along with questions.
  • Sunday is Sanctify of Human Life Sunday.  Jesus tells us in Matthew 25:40,  “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’” (Matthew 25:40, NASB95).  We will be challenged to consider who the “least of these” are in our daily walk and how to offer God’s hope and grace to each one!
  • Monday, January 18 at 7pm is the Blue Grass Jam at East Bend.  All are welcome to come and join in.
  • Tuesday, January 19 at 7pm is the Church Council Meeting.
  • If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out East Bend’s new APP – it can be downloaded at either the Apple App store or GooglePlay for Android.  It has the calendar, weekly sermons, a Bible portal and more.

As a kid, most of us disliked the choosing of teams on the playground – because there was always the fear of either not being chosen, or being chosen last.  Thankfully, on God’s team, that’s not an issue because you are already chosen!  Paul tells us in Ephesians 1 that even before the world was formed, God loved us and chose us, in Christ, to be holy and without fault!  May that knowledge help to guide your thoughts and decisions this week!  Choose Holiness!  Choose to reflect the ONE who has chosen you!

Serving the ONE who is making all things new,

Pastor Michael

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