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From the Pastor's Desk: February Happenings

 

                             

 

Glorify God,   Grow in Christ,

Generously Share  God's Love and Grace

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I’ve lived in Nevada just long enough to know that spring is around the corner; and I can’t wait. Perhaps like yourself, by this time each year I find myself yearning for longer days, sunlight, and outdoor activities.  Just as we need sunlight to stimulate our minds and replenish our bodies with Vitamin D, spiritually we grow when we make room in our daily lives for time with God. 

As I look to the year ahead, I’m excited about numerous learning and growth opportunities at GVPC.  I’ve been given the opportunity to help lead an 8-day trip to Israel with Collette Tours from October 28 to November 5.  I hope you will consider being a part of this trip as we explore the landscape of Israel with its rich Biblical history and visit iconic sights such as the Church of the Nativity, the Sea of Galilee, Qumran, Masada, the Western Wall, the Mount of Olives, the Garden of Gethsemane, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.   For more information, reach out to me or plan to attend a meeting with a Collette representative on Wednesday, February 20 at 6 pm. 

Our Membership and Outreach Committee is planning a New Member Inquiry Class on Saturday, February 23 at 9 am.  If you’ve ever thought about exploring membership at GVPC, I encourage you to sign up for this class.  It promises to be a fun and informative morning of learning and making new friendships. 

On Wednesday, March 6, we will begin our observance of Lent with our traditional Ash Wednesday Communion Service at 7 pm.  Our service will also include the imposition of ashes.  This year during Lent we will be exploring guideposts on the journey of faith as we look at the stories of men and women in the New Testament who had life-changing encounters with Jesus.  Each week during Lent, I will also be leading a Wednesday evening worship service with a meditation designed to help us focus on our need for God’s gifts of grace. 

Have you ever wondered what takes place at a meeting of Nevada Presbytery?  Consider stopping by Westminster Presbyterian Church in Las Vegas from March 11-13 to learn more about how the churches in our presbytery work together, share ideas, and make decisions in order to help expand our collective ministry and outreach throughout Nevada.  

Following her popular presentation last spring, we will be welcoming Rev. Lydia Sarandan to present a workshop on “Faith, Perseverance, and Resilience in an Ever-Changing World.  Join us on Saturday, March 30 for this opportunity to explore practical ways to cultivate the Christian characteristics of perseverance and resilience as we encounter and work our way through life’s expected and unexpected challenges.  Our morning will begin at 8:30 am with refreshments and our class will begin at 9:00 am. 

Spring is coming and God’s abundant grace is always near.  Take time to bask in the Light of Christ. 

Rev. Adrian N. Doll

 © Adrian N. Doll, Green Valley Presbyterian Church, 2019

 

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From the Pastor's Desk: Invest in a Young Person!

 

 “Share a memory of a person who had a major impact on your youth.” This was the instruction given at a recent gathering of pastors. One by one, we went around the table and described someone who influenced our life in a positive way. What struck me is how many of us summarized our comments with the following expression of gratitude: “Without his/her influence, I would not be the person I am today.” As I described my friend, Harlee, an older gentleman who made a big impression on my young life, I could not help but wonder where God might be inviting GVPC to make lasting investments in our young people.

When I think about Harlee, I remember how he expressed his genuine interest in my life. When I was in junior high, he would stop me in the halls of our church to ask me about my after-school activities. During high school, Harlee would inquire about my future aspirations. And when I came home from college, he and his wife always made a point of inviting me to dinner. Harlee made a lasting influence in my life because he chose to love and encourage me even with all my insecurities and immaturity.

So often I hear conversations focused on a repeating theme: “We need more young people in this church.” I could not agree more. But I wonder how many of us purposely stop to talk to our students on Sunday mornings or take the time to learn about their lives. One of the most beautiful sights I can remember seeing in a church was an older woman kneeling down so she could talk to a child and look him in the eye as a sign of respect and love. Children and youth long to be acknowledged, valued, and loved.

As I begin to own up to the fact that I have reached mid-life, I sometimes question what role I might have in a young person’s life. At times I feel completely out of touch with popular culture and the temptation is to assume I’m the wrong person or someone else will make a better connection. But then I think about numerous studies on Christian community and Millennials (persons who came of age in the early 21st century). Millennials and young people disdain insincerity; they value substance over show and authentic relationships over the superficial. And that is something all of us can offer, sincere hearts and voices that express interest and love for a young person. So maybe it’s time for all of us to find ways to look a child or teenager in the eye and say, ”It’s so good to see you today because I think you are very important and I want to get to know you.” We may never know the results, but we will know we are following the example of a godly saint who made a lasting mark on our life.

Rev. Adrian N. Doll

 © Adrian N. Doll, Green Valley Presbyterian Church, 2018

 

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