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Sunday Recap for August 19, 2018:
Unity Through Humility

Mission Highlight: This Sunday, we presented our candidates for deacons and deaconesses. Here is what was said:

Hello! For those of you who don't know me, my name is Janice and I am a deaconess at Christ Church. Nine of us were affirmed as a part of Christ Church's first diaconate two years ago. And today, I present to you the candidates for the second diaconate cohort. Could the diaconate candidates who are here today please come up? They are Amanda Baumann, Andrew Baumann, Luke Breuer, Stephanie Breuer, George Chang, Jeff Jakosalem, Carter Kennedy, Nancy Lee, Sung Jin Lee, Vanessa McGraw, Shane McGraw.

As the Bible describes, deacons and deaconesses are chosen, not by elders, but by members "amongst themselves." Fellow brothers and sisters nominated these candidates based on the qualifications found in Scripture, which are: "must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. Deaconesses, likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things." For those of us that are married, it should be to one spouse, and for those of us who are parents, we are to manage our children and households well.

Though we were nominated by our fellow members and endorsed by the elders, each of us also went to God in prayer. These candidates have been called by God, both through fellow members and in prayer. Deacons and deaconesses are called to be servant leaders who make sure no one is left out or overlooked in our church and to work towards strengthening our unity in Christ.

Today, we will begin a three week period of prayer and affirmation. Every member will be emailed a form which asks if each of these candidates meet the spiritual qualifications, and also for comments on their experiences and knowledge of each candidate. Like the nomination process, all members will be asked to pray over this process. But unlike the nomination process, every single member will be asked to respond.

After this period of prayer and affirmation, we plan to install our new deaconesses and deacons on September 16th. Each new deacon and deaconess will receive from the elders a personalized charge incorporating feedback from the members.

And now, could the current deacons and deaconesses present please come up to lay hands on these candidates? Let's pray:

God, you are holy, good, and loving and we exist to give you glory, enjoy who you are, and to share the love of Christ you have first extended to us. We thank you for showing your church the need for deacons and deaconesses, the qualifications we should look for, and for calling these brothers and sisters here today to step forward as diaconate candidates.

Lord, please pour out your Spirit onto each one of these diaconate candidates. They do not step out alone, but with the support of their brothers and sisters, and in your presence. Prepare their hearts, minds, and coming days for the work you have set aside for them to do. Help them remember that while deacons care for the physical needs and steward the resources of the church, the goal for their gifting is to build up and encourage one another for the common good and unity of the church, to serve others administering God’s grace, and to support the ministry of the word. Help them express this ministry in ways that are spiritually and relationally up-building. Guide the work of their hands, show them how to gently lead the rest of the church as you call all your people to serve, and help them to always remember all good things are done, not by our strength, but through your grace.

God, please pour out your Spirit on our elders: Toby, Seng, and Jon-Paul. I do not envy the weight on their shoulders of shepherding your church, but I do find immense comfort and assurance that you are with them, guiding them and calling them. Please give them your wisdom, your peace, your love and your power to guide us and pray for us in this process.

Father, please pour out your Spirit on the members of Christ Church. Please help us to see that this is not an opportunity to outsource our servant identity to the deacons and deaconesses, but that with your help, each of us is actively engaged and growing in loving and serving and being the church. Please protect us from division and strife; help us be of one Spirit. Grow our faith, our understanding, and our love for you and your kingdom as we affirm the diaconate.

Lord, please don't let this be the last prayer all of us pray before the diaconate is affirmed in September. God, I confess we don't pray or even like to pray unless your Spirit helps us. Please move our hearts to pray for the diaconate and for our church, that you would send us a revival. We want your presence to cover this earth, and as your children, we want to participate in that.

Thank you God for listening to this prayer, to every prayer we pray. Thank you in advance for providing your church with a diaconate and empowering them to serve. We bless your name forever. In Jesus name, Amen.

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.
This Week's Sermon: “Unity Through Humility" (Philippians 1:27-2:14)

“Each of the divine persons centers upon the others. None demands that the others revolve around him. Each voluntarily circles the other two, pouring love, delight, and adoration into them. Each person of the Trinity loves, adores, defers to, and rejoices in the others … Each divine person harbors the others at the center of his being. In constant movement of overture and acceptance each person envelops and encircles the others.”

– Timothy Keller, The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism

Handout with Application Questions
This sermon series: Have This Mind

-Member Directory photos in every Sunday in September in the parking lot after service! If you are a member, please be sure to have your picture taken!
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