I am realizing that between a week of vacation, a trip to Columbia Seminary, and lots of other things happening around the church, I have been lax on getting the Pastor’s Pen to you the last few weeks. I think it is about time to remedy that.
The last two Sundays we have talked about two different parables, that both started with the words, “there was a rich man…” Jesus then continued by telling two stories that highlighted the ways in which certain things in our lives – in particular money and comfort – have a tendency to blind us to the world around us.
As we considered how money and comfort can lead us to places where we fail to notice the needs of others, I referenced Brian McLaren’s e-book: Why Don’t They Get It: Overcoming Bias in Others (and Yourself) as well as a podcast, Learning How to See, in which these biases are discussed.
The thing is, it is pretty easy for us to look at these two parables (both found in Luke 16), and see cash bias and comfort bias at work in the lives of the rich men, and the dishonest manager. It’s even pretty easy to see these kinds of biases play out in the world around us. What is harder, is recognizing them in our own lives. And yet, there are likely a number of areas in which we suffer from bias of some kind that blinds us to those around us in some way.
I would encourage you to take a look at McLaren’s book, and listen to the podcast, starting with the beginning of season 1 in order to hear all about these biases and how we can overcome them in order to understand others, and ourselves.
For those unable to join us in-person, Sunday morning worship is livestreamed on our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/GulfShoresFirstPresbyterianChurch. The service airs each Sunday at 11:00 a.m. and will be available to watch after that as well.
From September 12-14, Thelma Considine and I travelled to Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA for the ReKindle Gathering, where all of the churches who have been awarded a ReKindle Grant met together to learn aobut what it means to be a thriving church, and to be encouraged as we embark on the various endeavors that will be funded by the grant money. It was a great event at which we learned much and were energized to come back home and get busy launching our social enterprise – Hand-in-Hand Business Center.
Speaking of the business center, we now have two of our classrooms-turned-office-space filled with full-time residents! Craft Farms POA and Red Door Marketing Agency are our first two businesses to occupy our space, with others contacting us to set up visits about the possibility of sharing our space. If you know of someone looking for office space, have them reach out to me and we will see how we can meet their needs.
On Tuesday, we held our first business seminar on Cyber Security, and a number of local businesses participated. We look forward to hosting our next seminar on financing small buisness in early November.
In addition, I will be hosting a table to share information about the Hand-in-Hand Business Center at Thursday’s PowHER Hour event, a Coastal Alabama Chamber-sponsored event that highlights woman owned and run businesses.
This weekend, from Friday, September 30 through Sunday, October 2, Mike and I will be travelling to San Antonio for the Oikos Gathering, during which we will be visiting some successful social enterprises in the area, and learning more about how to be successful as we continue to build our own social enterprise.
- If you know of those who need a place to park during their visit to Gulf Shores and they would like to use our parking lot, here is the link to share: https://www.premiumparking.com/P2658. You can also pick up postcards at the church to pass on to those who might be interested.
- Our first CHANGE4CHANGE CASH-IN netted over $350! But let’s not stop there! Keep collecting that loose change and bring it every week to add to the collection! All of the loose change will go toward the ongoing ministry of the church, as we continue to spread the life-changing good news of God’s love.
- Want to help the church just by doing your normal Amazon shopping? Now you can! Just go to https://smile.amazon.com/ch/63-0859397 and make all your purchases through this link! Each quarter the church will receive a donation equal to 0.5% of your total purchases. You can also set it up so the Amazon app on your phone automatically purchases through Amazon Smile. For help setting that up, see this link: https://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&node=15576745011.
- The church can now receive donations through Facebook, either by clicking on the “Donate” button on our Facebook Page, or through Fundraisers you can host on your own Facebook page.
- If you have more ideas about how we can creatively fund the ministry of First Presbyterian Church of Gulf Shores, reach out and let me know!
- For safety reasons, at 11:00 a.m. each Sunday, all the doors of the building will be locked EXCEPT the north door that leads into the narthex. If you find yourself running behind, just remember to park up front by that door and enter there.
Thank you for your continued support of the Blessing Box! With the current inflation, we are struggling to keep it filled. Your donations are desperately needed. Keep bringing those non-perishable items to church on Sunday, or dropping them at the box during the week. With rising costs of everything from gas to food, the box is being used very regularly, and your donations are key to helping us bless those who are in need of what our box can offer.
- In October, because of so many people traveling and out of town, Presbyterian Pints will not be held. We will meet again the first Sunday of November.
- The Lord’s Supper will be celebrated in worship on October 9, instead of October 2.
- Lorrie Palmer will bring the message on Sunday, October 2.
- Bible Study – Wednesdays at 1:00 p.m. both in-person and on Zoom.
- Join the in-person group in the church Fellowship Hall
- Join the Zoom meeting at this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81951398375?pwd=S0FBSEFxRmhhUWt2QnN3WERUY1dOUT09, entering the meeting ID and password below, if prompted.
- Meeting ID: 819 5139 8375
- Passcode: 846358
- This week’s scriptures: Lamentations 1:1-6; 3:19-26; Psalm 137; 2 Timothy 1:1-14; Luke 17:5-10
Some of you may have seen the announcement on Facebook that I have been accepted into the Doctor of Ministry program at University of Dubuque Theological Seminary. It’s true! A couple of people have asked me if that means I am leaving the church and the answer is a resounding “No way!” The program is online, with the exception of one week each spring when I will travel to campus. Not only that, the program will dovetail beautifully with what we are already doing as a church, and bring more wisdom and insight as we continue down the path to discovering new ways of doing ministry moving forward. This D.Min. program, slated to begin in early 2023, is entitled: Looking Beyond Crisis: Redefining Ministry for a Recovering World. Both the Session and the Moving Forward Team will be important pieces of this doctoral work which we believe God will use to further our ministry here in Gulf Shores, Alabama and beyond. I appreciate your support and your prayers as this journey begins.
As always, you are welcome to reach out to me via email, text or phone with any needs or just to chat!
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord!
Rev. Chrisy Ennen
firstname.lastname@example.org, (618) 980-9899
"Let all that you do be done in love.”
I Corinthians 16:14
Posted in Pastor\'s Pen