Dear Westminster Family:

I want to express my appreciation to all those who contributed to the success of our Easter events.  We had over 4,000 people in attendance over the week-end.  Those people heard a clear and compelling presentation of the Gospel, they were challenged to embrace in a personal way the reality of the resurrection, and they were shown the kind of hospitality and care that is consistent with the family of faith.  Many of you reached out to neighbors, friends and co-workers with personal invitations to attend these events.  I am hearing some amazing stories coming from those invitations.

This week we return to our “Finding Our Voice” series.  For the next four Sunday’s I will address the challenge of finding our voice in family.  Let me ask you a couple of questions in preparation for our times together.  When you think about family what images come to mind?   If you are like me I immediately go to the network of people who share my DNA.  I have pictures of those people all over my house…But when God thinks about family what images come to His mind?  I believe that God thinks about all the people who have ever been “born” and all the people who have been eternally “born again.”

Note the Apostle Paul’s statement to the men of Athens in Acts 17…“The God who made the world and everything in it – made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth – In Him we live and move and have our being…For we are indeed His offspring.”  Or Paul’s encouragement to the Church at Ephesus in Ephesians 3…“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.”  Or John’s reference to spiritual birth in John 1…“But to all who did receive Him (Jesus), who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”

Over the next several weeks I will challenge you to broaden your understanding of family  by embracing God’s perspective.  I will also challenge you to accept the responsibility of reaching and nurturing this “whole” family according to God the Father’s plan and purpose for His children.

This Sunday we will experience several pictures of God’s family.  We have baptisms in both services and a family dedication in the second.  I will also talk about how you can reach the broader family of God through our Alpha Course and the Pirate’s Landing Outreach at Crossroads Park.  It should be a great Sunday.

We are the family of God,

Yes, we are the family of God,

And He’s brought us together

To be one in Him,

That we might bring light to the world.

          We Are the Family of God,  John Byron, 1976

See you in church.

Pastor Gary