06-09-19 @North Heartland: New series begins!

Good afternoon family and friends of North Heartland,

I’m sure you’re aware of the recent decisions of many state legislatures (including Missouri) to virtually eliminate abortion rights. I’m sure you’re also aware that other states (such as Virginia, New York and Illinois) have passed bills expanding those same rights. In almost every state, the tension between pro-choice and pro-life supporters is rapidly rising, with each side demonizing the other for their “unconscionable” position.

When you add this to the tension that already exists over other issues such as immigration, healthcare, gay marriage, gender, guns, etc., the political divide is greater than it has ever been in my lifetime. In fact, the gulf between liberals and conservatives is now so wide that, according to some commentators, there are essentially two distinct nations occupying the same borders!

That may be overstating it a bit but, in any case, there is little doubt that more and more you and I are living in The Divided States of America – which is the title of the series that begins Sunday.  

Before I explain what the series is going to be about, let me say what it won’t be about: I have no interest in telling you what to think or how to vote with respect to any of these issues.

Instead, my interest and concern has to do with how those who follow Jesus should conduct themselves at this time because – and I know this is hard to hear and even harder to do but it’s true: before we are politically “right” or “left,” Republican or Democrat, or anything else we are first followers of Jesus.

And that ought to mean something.

So that’s what this series will be about.

Here’s the week-by-week agenda.

Sunday Choosing Sides
Are you pro-choice or pro-life? For “traditional marriage” or “marriage equality”? On almost every issue, we are forced to take a side. Could there be a better way?

06-16 But First …
Regardless of which social or political causes you champion, Jesus said if you’re His disciple you must first do this one thing.

06-23 Rules of Engagement
Everybody has an opinion on just about everything. But before we talk about it we should probably talk about how we should talk about it. So, can we talk?

06-30 Plan “B”
All of us are acutely aware of how our background and/or experience has hurt and hindered us in some way. Could that knowledge affect the way we look at divisive cultural issues?

07-07 Church, State & Power
Our nation’s founders sought to protect the institutions of government and religion from each other. Could understanding their wisdom make a difference today?

I realize it’s summer and time for vacations but I strongly challenge you to be present each week if you are in town. The lake/park/course will still be there after church. Plus, we have two service times to choose from. And if you’re out of town, make sure you go to church somewhere and listen to the message online at our website.

One more thing ... we are fortunate to have Victoria Guerra as part of our staff for the summer. Victoria is handling our video and social media production which means you might see her at various times and places with camera in hand. This Sunday she'll be in the commons before and after services recording "Best Dad Jokes" ... which we'll be showing on Father's Day. So, dads, come ready to give us your best stuff (like "why did the lobster refuse to share his lunch?" - answer below.)

That's all for now. See you Sunday!

Rick

****** Stats from Sunday *****

Attendance    
    
09:30    393
11:00    272
Total    665
    
LiveStream IPs    34
    
Ministry & Operations Fund
    
Offering    $20,412
Goal    $30,000
YTD    $491,319
Goal    $562,000
Status    -$70,681

Joke answer: "He was shellfish."

Rick McGinniss