Zoom in with Zack
I love this time of year. I love the chill in the air, the orange and red leaves falling from the trees, and trips to the orchard and cider mill. But I also dread this time of year because I know that all the things I love most about it are signs of what is to come. Change can be exciting, but then when winter comes it can be dreadful.
As we continue through our season of change, excitement can roll on. Randy has been on his stage as our worship leader for the last time. But we have a candidate coming to visit us on October 18 to potentially serve as a worship and youth minister. But as we engage in what can be an exciting period of change, we need to maintain our focus. What is the mission of God? What is his purpose in the existence of the church? How are we to conduct ourselves in order to further that purpose.
Winter in the church can extend for a long time if we find ourselves distracted from God’s purpose. As we have been learning on Sundays, God’s purpose has been to restore his family. He desires to bring his children home. He pursues you with a passionate love. He pours the blessings of his presence upon you, but with a purpose in mind. As with Abraham, you are blessed to be a blessing. Our mission has to be the children of God. It is easy to get overcome with concerns about the buildings, about staffing, about sounds and light, about paperwork and cleaning. All these things are necessary things, but we need to be sure that in working on these things that they are in service to our mission, not becoming our mission. Our mission must align with God’s, restoring his children to the blessing that he has in store for them.
I think a great way for us to evaluate our impact as a church is to ask this question. If the church shut its doors today, would the community around us even notice? This is not a question that I can answer, I haven’t been here long enough. You are probably the best qualified to answer that.
However, I did receive a phone call last week that encouraged me in my evaluation of that question. Someone from Ascension Providence (Crittenton Hospital) called asking for help. At some recent time, a group from Meadowbrook (Sisters in Service) had made heart shaped pillows for patients in a certain section of the hospital. The caller said that it had made such an impact and was so greatly appreciated. They were calling to ask if Meadowbrook could do this again. I don’t know about the rest of the community, but I do know that this employee at Ascension would notice if Meadowbrook left.
How many more of these phone calls will I receive? Well that all depends on you. How far will you carry the message that has been entrusted to you? The church is known in its local community, not for what happens on the stage during a Sunday service. It is known by its membership and their actions in everyday life. Isaiah 52:7 says, “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’” We have got some beautiful faces, now how about some beautiful feet? I look forward to the work we will do and witnessing the fruit of your faithfulness.
October note from the Elders
September was a very busy month at Meadowbrook! Zack started a new sermon series dealing with the mission of God. We gave a warm send-off to Randy and Jerri Gilbert as their official worship leader role came to an end. Junior Worship started up again. Planning started for the eventual resumption of Life Groups. The praise team is stepping into some roles we haven’t been in before.
As a congregation, we are stepping forward into a new era. Lots of changes are being considered and prayed over. Whatever ‘normal’ was before the pandemic and staff changes, we don’t expect it to ever be the same.
Last month we asked for specific prayer as we continue the search for our next staff position. At about the time the September Messenger was published, we received a couple of resumes. We are happy to tell you that we have had a series of very positive phone calls, emails, and remote interviews with one candidate. Based on our conversations so far, we are inviting this candidate and his wife to visit Meadowbrook this month. They will be in Michigan between October 15th and 18th (Thursday through Sunday). Specific plans for their visit are still in the works. Those plans will include various ‘meet and greet’ sessions (while observing mask and distancing guidelines), introducing them to the Rochester area, participating in a youth activity, practicing with the praise team, and leading the Sunday worship service. Thank you for your prayers! Please be praying for this process going forward.
September was also a month with many prayer needs, and those needs continue. Please keep Fred Williams and his family in prayer as they recover from COVID infection. Pray for Bonnie Iseman as she recovers from a heart catheterization and subsequent procedures (it went very well!). Pray for Shelley Gilbert (Randy’s sister) as she is hospitalized with health issues. Pray for June Thomas, who fell late last week. Pray for Don Edwards, who underwent surgery earlier this week. Pray for the Rose family, as they mourn the loss of Mike’s brother.
We greatly appreciate your continued prayers for Meadowbrook’s leadership. We are constantly looking to God for His leading as we enter new territory – new to us but known completely to Him! Please ask God to pour out His wisdom. May all of us remain faithful and committed to the mission of proclaiming Christ in our community and the world!
For the elders,
Sisters in Service plans an out-reach project for October meeting
Sisters in Service (SIS) will be meeting Monday, October 26, in the fellowship hall starting at 5:00pm. Yes, 5:00. The ladies decided on the earlier time in order to end the meeting in time to drive home before dark, however, latecomers are welcome.
The project for the evening will be to prepare “weighted shawls” that can be rice-filled and warmed up if desired for the residents of MediLodge in Rochester Hills. Everyone will be able to spread out in the entire fellowship hall for social distancing. A few of the ladies will be sewing, but the main focus for most will be cutting fabric and filling the vests with rice. Please bring scissors, straight pins, and a small funnel if you have one.
As we enter the month of October and the fall season is upon us, the 2020 missions rally for TCM has drawn to a close. The missions committee had asked the Meadowbrook congregation to support special donations for TCM to help them furnish their dining room at Haus Edelweiss with five new tables, for a total of $2000. As a result of the fund drive, $1367 was collected at the close of the rally September 13. The mission’s team is augmenting this dollar amount with contingency funds such that a special donation in the amount of $2000 can be sent to TCM. Thank you all for your generosity.
His House ministries has reported that this year’s Cycle the Campus event has been a success. The final tally for the event was over $58,000 raised by 67 riders toward their goal of $60,000. Thanks to all who participated.
Also, in September, Meadowbrook has sent our first support check to our newest mission in the Karamoja region of Uganda. The Karamoja group is very excited to receive our support, and they are sending us updates as their work develops. They sent us pictures from their recent visit to Karamoja where they are looking over land that can be developed for the new Bible training center. On their way to the work site they came across a flooded road where they had to push the vehicle through the water. Nothing can stand in the way of God’s work!
Tom Schwartzenberger – October 2
Arleen Rossol – October 3
Kathy Couture – October 8
Denis & Kathy Couture (Ann.) – October 8
Gene Paul – October 10
Carolyn Bennett – October 16
Dan & Elaine Bright (Ann.) – October 17
Wendy Kapusta – October 20
Pat Wundrach – October 20
Ron & Theresa Meegan (Ann.) – October 21
Wayne Thomas – October 21
Jim Martin – October 24
Nona Wundrach – October 26
Jeremy & Brandy Cox (Ann.) – October 28
Mary Koster – October 31
Stephanie Ciuba – October 31