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Newsletter for the Week of
August 14, 2016

Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him all the earth!
Spotify link to this Sunday's worship songs

This week's Sermon: "God's Presence Restores" (Ezekiel 37:14)
 
Life is full of brokenness and beauty. What helps make sense of it all is God’s presence. When we work to make God’s presence our governing reality that changes everything about the way we view our world. We understand that God is always working. That even when we do not understand what is happening, or why it is happening, God does. And God is good. And God is for His children. His presence changes everything. God worked through Ezekiel to help His people understand that no matter what His presence would be with them. The same is true for everyone that follows Christ today. You have been brought into God’s family and presence, through the work of Jesus, is restoring and renewing you. And one day God will restore and renew all of creation. God’s presence is the hope for humanity.
 

Sermon Application Questions / Sermon Slides 
This sermon series: A Year of Biblical Literacy

Question #32: What do justification and sanctification mean?
 
Answer: Justification means our declared righteousness before God, made possible by Christ's death and resurrection for us. Sanctification means our gradual, growing righteousness, made possible by the Spirit's work in us.
Announcements:

One Take-down volunteer needed to help take storage boxes, tech equipment, parking signs and small tables down to storage after service once a month. Hugely helpful to our church! Please email Janice if you are interested!

Next public member affirmation Sunday, August 28. If interested in membership, please pray, read booklet and fill out a membership card by August 21. 

New to Christ Church? Please join us for our Welcome Lunch next Sunday, August 21, after service. We'd love to get to know you and answer any questions you might have. Email Michelle if you are interested!
Mission Highlight: Thank you Josiah and Darren for sharing with us about the family trip to Zambia and South Africa. Here is what Josiah shared: 

Last year I asked my parents if our family could go to Africa. I wanted to go because I wanted to see my auntie Michelle,and also the kids there. We prayed about it and we felt like God said yes. I think God called us to Africa to see the difference between Africa and the U.S. For example,many people in America can have three meals a day and of their choice but in Africa people there barely get any food each day. The kids that we saw with Hands at Work had one meal each day but only on weekdays. They were still grateful but we often complain. 
 
God is faithful and loving. He showed it through volunteers and care workers. One care worker stood out to me at the Chibuli community. Her name is Jean she showed the love of God. We went to a home where a gogo, which means grandmother, she took care of nine children. This Gogo’s name is Judith. The first thing Jean did was asked how may we help. The gogo said, “you can help me fetch some water at a nearby well.” So we helped her do that. The Gogo is a very old women so she didn't have enough strength to do it herself. Jean interacted with the gogo, talking to her and asking if she needed anything.
 
The care workers have so little but offer so much. They care, love, feed and even know the kids by name. If Hands at Work were not there then the kids there may possibly die.
 
Some people may not think Africa matters because it is so poor but God loves Africa and cares for every single person there. After having met some vulnerable people in Africa, I don't know what God wants me to do but I think that he wants us to help the vulnerable in the city just like Hands at Work.
Darren: I was very humbled when I met this Gogo (grandmother) of nine grandchildren. I felt very helpless for her because she had no education, no job, no career, no health care, no retirement plan and yet she had all of these grandchildren to take care of practically all by herself because the parents of those grandchildren were dead and she was also a widow. All the meanwhile one of her own adult sons was sick as well.

As a Westerner, my impulse was to want to solve her problems because her suffering seemed so unbearable. Other than help draw buckets of water for her, I honestly felt speechless though because other than help draw water from the well for her, I honestly felt like I couldn't help her. I felt speechless because even saying, "Don't worry, Jesus loves you," would seem like I would be trivializing Judith's suffering because I haven't walked in her shoes or by her side.

Thankfully, Hands at Work has been with her and knows her name and her story. The gentleman on the far left of the video is Pastor Blessings who is a staff member from Hands at Work. He was able to encourage Judith to continually put her hope in Christ because He is faithful. Jean, who is sitting next to Judith in the video is the Chibuli Community Coordinator so she tries to visit Judith and her neighbors. Their presence in the lives of Judith and others in similar situations is truly inspiring and encouraging. Pastor Blessings and Jean told me that Judith belongs to a church nearby.

I believe God was telling me to empower Judith by asking her to teach us a praise song she learned from her church. This video shows Judith, Jean, another care worker, and Pastor Blessings singing a praise song about God being our Creator. I truly felt humbled and blessed to be in their presence and for them to ask me to pray for Judith. In Zambia, time moved very slowly. God was using the people in this video to teach me to be still, to sit, to listen carefully, and to learn from others. 
 
Recurring Announcements
  • Please join us in A Year of Biblical Literacy. This year, we are reading through the Bible together as a congregation. We have a Scripture reading schedule (never too late to hop on!), videos, and other resources to help us along. 
  • Sign up for the online newsletter! You can go to christchurchsf.org/#newsletter!
  • Youth Group Discussions every Sunday after service, 12:00 - 12:30pm Older youth welcome and encouraged to join us in the "Chill out" section of the Cafeteria!
Have any questions, comments, thoughts to share? Please email us!
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