Cedar Creek Chronicles

11.5.19 * Cedar Creek Church * Sherwood

In my work with university-level adult students, I am reminded almost daily of the deep hurt the church has caused. So many people today are instantly defensive at the mere mention of Christianity, preparing themselves to fend off our barbs and arrows. In their experience, Christians are simplistic, demeaning, hypocritical, and judgmental, twisting our "truth" however best fits our circumstances. My first instinct is to defend our faith and try to explain why their beliefs are uninformed, untrue. But is that the approach Jesus would call us to?

N. T. Wright argues in his 2011 book Simply Jesus that the core problem lies with us. We are the ones who have Jesus wrong, Wright argues, and "if Christians don't get Jesus right, what chance is there that other people will bother much with him?"

Jesus - the Jesus we might discover if we really looked! - is larger, more disturbing, more urgent than we - than the church! - has ever imagined. We have successfully managed to hide behind other questions (admittedly important ones) and to avoid the huge, world-shaking challenge of Jesus's central claim and achievement. It is we, the churches, who have been the real reductionists. We have reduced the kingdom of God to private piety, the victory of the cross to comfort for the conscience, and Easter itself to a happy escapist ending after a sad, dark tale. Piety, conscience, and ultimate happiness are important, but not nearly as important as Jesus himself.

How do we learn to not only tell the stories of Jesus, but to show the stories - to show the truth of who Jesus was and is today in the choices we make, the words we speak, and the moods we impart as we move through our days? How we can encourage one another to encounter Jesus in the enormity that Wright suggests here?

Here is a glimpse of what is upcoming in our church. Join us Sunday mornings at 10 a.m. to hear more!

This Saturday at 9 a.m. is our All-Church Clean Up. Join us in your work clothes, and bring any yard tools you have to help clear leaves, cut black berries, and prepare our property for the winter months.

This Sunday at 10 a.m., we will hear from Louie Olivares about the ReFrame story "Ambassadors." Come worship with us at 10 a.m.!

This Sunday at 6 p.m., we will continue with Week 10 of our fall ReFrame series. Join us for a potluck dinner, viewing of ReFrame Episode 9, discussion, and prayer. Everyone is welcome.

November 11 at 5:30 p.m. is Men's Fellowship at Buffalo Wild Wings in Tualatin.

November 17 is the Sunday to bring your pledge cards as we prayerfully consider together how to financially support our church in the year ahead.

November 18 at 7 p.m. is Ladies' Night Out at Industry Restaurant in Tualatin.

November 24 is the Sunday to bring your filled shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.

Watch for a letter in your mailbox this week with your pledge card for 2020. We are excited about the good work God is building in our midst, and it is our hope that you will spend the next week or two in prayer seeking God's will for your giving this next year. Thank you for your faithfulness to our church as we seek new ways to dig into the truth of Jesus' story and carry the hope of that truth to all we encounter.

May you experience Christ's joy this week in surprising ways!


Pastor Jennie Harrop

jennie@cedarcreeksherwood.org

Cedar Creek Chronicles

10.29.19 * Cedar Creek Church * Sherwood

In Episode 7 of the ReFrame series, Dr. Bruce Hindmarsh reminded us of a wonderful moment in C. S. Lewis' book The Voyage of the Dawn Treader when Lucy and her brother Edmund are visiting their rather irritating cousin Eustace. The Pevensie siblings are captivated by a picture on the wall of a dramatic ship that looks as if it is sailing out of the frame. Eustace's mother has hung the picture in a back room, an unwanted wedding gift that she can't quite discard, but Lucy and Edmund can see that there is something special about the ship. And then the scene shifts in a dramatic way:

What they were seeing may be hard to believe when you read it in print, but it was almost as hard to believe when you saw it happening. The things in the picture were moving. It didn't look at all like a cinema either; the colors were too real and clean and out-of-doors for that. Down went the prow of the ship into the wave and up went a great shock of spray. And then up went the wave behind her, and her stern and her deck became visible for the first time, and then disappeared as the next wave came to meet her and her bows went up again. At the same moment, an exercise book which had been lying beside Edmund on the bed flapped, rose, and sailed through the air to the wall behind him, and Lucy felt all her hair whipping round her face as it does on a windy day; but the wind was blowing out of the picture toward them. And suddenly with the wind came the noises - the swishing of waves and the slap of water against the ship's sides and the creaking and the over-all high steady roar of air and water. But it was the smell, the wild, briny smell, which really convinced Lucy that she was not dreaming.

Moments later, water floods the room and the three find themselves swept up and through the frame, into the sea itself. For a lively two-minute clip of this scene from the movie, look here.

Dr. Hindmarsh uses this story to remind us that the Gospel story is not meant to remain stagnant on the pages of Scripture, there to be referenced only in moments of quiet time. We are called first to "reframe" the Gospel story as alive and active in every moment of our lives, and then - here is the greatest challenge - we are called to step through the frame and into the story itself, acknowledging God's omnipotent wisdom, the saving grace of the Son, and the startling power of the Holy Spirit that has been gifted to each of us. Our job is to step through the frame. Are you ready?

Here is what is upcoming in our church:

10 a.m. 11/3: This week Pastor Ken will bring us a word related to the ReFrame story "Strangers & Exiles." If you don't yet have a Cedar Creek Church T-shirt, come claim yours on Sunday morning! We also have magnets for you to share with friends and family.

6 p.m. 11/3: We are on Week 9 out of 12 of our fall ReFrame series. Join us for a potluck dinner, viewing of ReFrame

Episode 8, discussion, and prayer. All ages are welcome.

10 a.m. 11/6: Don Mershon is helping to facilitate a Wednesday morning Bible study at the YMCA, beginning on November 6. For those of you who have been waiting for the Y Bible study to begin again, here you are!

9 a.m. 11/9: Join us for a lively All-Church Clean-Up! We are anticipating assistance from Boy Scouts and others in the community, and all are invited to help as you are able. As we rake leaves and haul trash together, come dream with us about how we can revitalize our property in the months to come - inside and out - as we seek to invite others in and serve our community well.

5:30 p.m. 11/11: Cedar Creek Men's Fellowship will gather at Buffalo Wild Wings in Tualatin to watch the Seahawks/49ers game on the big screens together. Be sure to mark your calendars for the second Monday evening of each month for Men's Fellowship. Invite friends!

7 p.m. 11/18: Cedar Creek Ladies' Night Out is a chance for the ladies of our church to gather at Industry Restaurant in Tualatin. Bring your friends, your appetite, and a joyful heart! Mark your calendars for the third Monday evening of each month for Ladies' Night Out.

As we move into a new week and a new month for our church, how are you encountering the Gospel? Does it remain a story in the pages of the New Testament, or are you ready to enter in? What is God calling you to?

Peace on your week, and Happy Halloween!

Pastor Jennie Harrop

jennie@cedarcreeksherwood.org

Cedar Creek Chronicles

10.22.19 * Cedar Creek Church * Sherwood

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. I myself feel confident about you, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to instruct one another. - Romans 15:13-14

Are you able to hear Paul's words to the Christian churches in Rome? Take a moment to read the two verses above again. How would your day look - or your week, your year, your life - if you truly believed these words? When you seek Him, God will fill you with all joy and peace in believing, and from that how can you help but abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit?

Will those you encounter today find themselves stirred by your abounding hope, by your overflowing joy and peace? The Lord is clear that these gifts are not just for the days when you are well rested, well fed, and the weather is right. Your hope, peace, and joy are to abound in remarkable ways in the difficult times as well as the good. Will the world be startled by the Jesus they see in you today?

Cedar Creek Church is abounding with Holy Spirit-hope these days! A friend at ReFrame this past Sunday evening commented that she can feel it: a new sense of peace and joy. As we adults gathered in the Ministry Center for an evening of food, video, conversation, and prayer, more than 70 youth enjoyed a night of worship, testimony, swimming, and games at the YMCA. Wow -- God is good.

Something is shifting, Friends, and the Lord is in it. Can you feel it? How will you join?

Keep your calendars updated, because the opportunities to both gather and serve are growing:

2 p.m. 10/26: We are excited to wear our brand new Cedar Creek T-shirts, play games, hand out candy, and share who we are with the families who visit the Y's annual Harvest Festival from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. this Saturday. If you are interested in joining us, email Don at don@cedarcreeksherwood.org. Everyone is welcome!

10 a.m. 10/27: Join us for morning worship, when Don Mershon will speak on the church and the Holy Spirit. Kids and youth: We will have a special gift to share during the Children's Message this Sunday, so be sure to come up front when you are invited!

6 p.m. 10/27: Our ReFrame video and discussion this week will center on "The Church & the Spirit." Join us for a potluck dinner, viewing of ReFrame Episode 7, discussion, and prayer. All ages are welcome.

6 p.m. 10/27: Youth are invited to a Pumpkin Carving Party in the Hite House. Youth will begin with dinner in the Ministry Center, and then move up to the Hite House for an evening of fun. Bring $2 for a pumpkin, carving tools, and your creativity!

5:30 p.m. 11/11: Cedar Creek Men's Fellowship will gather at Buffalo Wild Wings in Tualatin to watch the Seahawks/49ers game on the big screens together. Join when you're able, and bring friends! (Mark your calendars for the second Monday evening of each month for Men's Fellowship.)

5:30 p.m. 11/16: Family Promise of Tualatin Valley is hosting a fall fundraiser gathering at Vine & Sparrow in Sherwood. Tickets are available at www.familypromiseoftv.org for $95 each. Enjoy a harvest dinner catered by Divine Catering and evening entertainment by LaRhonda Steele, Portland's "First Lady of the Blues."

7 p.m. 11/18: Cedar Creek Ladies' Night Out is starting back up with a birthday celebration for our own Rosalie Lund (wahoo!) at Industry Restaurant in Tualatin. Bring your friends, your appetite, and a joyful heart! (Mark your calendars for 7 p.m. the third Monday evening of each month for Ladies' Night Out.)

10 a.m. 11/6: Don Mershon is helping to facilitate a Wednesday morning Bible study at the YMCA, beginning on November 6. For those of you who have been waiting for the Y Bible study to begin again, here you are!

Save the Date: Our church will host a Suicide Prevention Awareness evening, 6:30 to 8 p.m. May 3, led by GFU professor and behavioral studies expert Michelle Shelton. This event will be open to the wider community, so please let others know. Teachers and counselors who attend can earn QPR Institute certification.

We are partnering with Love INC, the Faith in Action Coalition, and Colossae Church next door, among others, so watch for upcoming events where we join to worship and serve with our friends who are doing Christ's work in our communities. If you think of other groups you would like to see us partner with, send me an email!

May the Lord bless you with abounding hope, peace, and joy this week.

Pastor Jennie Harrop

jennie@cedarcreeksherwood.org

Cedar Creek Chronicles

10.15.19 * Cedar Creek Church * Sherwood

Greetings, all.

As we ponder the mission and vision of our church moving into 2020 and beyond, consider these words from the second chapter of Reggie McNeal’s 2009 book Missional Renaissance:

The missional church is not what but a who. When we think of church in what mode, we focus on something that exists apart from people, some “out there” that people join and attend and support. We try, then, to build great churches, believing that this is God’s primary strategy to engage the world. Inevitably, this preoccupation leads to discussions of how we can “do church” better. Thinking about church in who mode focuses on what it means to be the people of God. The central task is developing great followers of Jesus, believing that God has created people to demonstrate his redemptive intentions to the world in and through them. This perspective frames an agenda so that the community of faith may encourage all its members to be faithful to God and to his mission as they live out being the church in the world.

What does it mean to you to “live out being the church in the world”? What would it mean for all of us to think about Cedar Creek Church in who mode rather than what mode?

Check out what’s happening this week and in the weeks ahead:

Youth Night at the YMCA (6-8:30 p.m. 10/20): The YMCA is expecting 100 teens for this Sunday’s Youth Night -- including our own Cedar Creek Youth. Come join the fun for swimming, dodge ball, climbing on the rock wall, worship, and a testimony from Cedar Creek’s own Miles Harrop. Don’t miss out!

New Heavens & A New Earth (10 a.m. 10/20): Steve Wells will share with us God’s promises of new heavens and a new earth during our worship service at 10 a.m. this Sunday, 10/20.

ReFrame Week 7 (6-8 p.m. 10/20): We are in Week 7 of our ReFrame evening series, and it’s never too late to join us! We gather at 6 p.m. for a potluck dinner, video viewing, discussion, and prayer. (If you are able, come fellowship with us at 5:30 p.m. as we set up tables together.) This week we will be viewing ReFrame Episode 6.

Harvest Festival at the YMCA (2:30-4:30 p.m. 10/26): Be the first to wear a brand new Cedar Creek T-shirt and help us play games, hand out candy, and share who we are with the families who visit the Y’s annual Harvest Festival. If you are interested in volunteering, talk to Don, our Youth Director and YMCA Chaplain.

See You at the Y Bible Study (10-11 a.m. 11/6): Our own Don Mershon is joining with Mike Sanchez to co-lead a new Wednesday morning Bible study at the Y. The study will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. the first Wednesday of each month beginning in November. All are welcome!

Coming this month: new Cedar Creek Church magnets and Cedar Creek Church T-shirts!

Christ’s peace to you all,

Jennie

Pastor Jennie Harrop

jennie@cedarcreeksherwood.org

Cedar Creek Chronicles

10.8.19 * Cedar Creek Church * Sherwood

Happy Tuesday, Friends.

I attended a dinner symposium last night featuring Dr. Amy G. Oden, who spoke on the topic of “Christian Mindfulness,” a concept that is so important in our busy, Google-dominated culture. Dr. Oden is a Professor of Early Church History and Spirituality at Saint Paul School of Theology at Oklahoma State University, and her most recent book is Right Here Right Now: The Practice of Christian Mindfulness.

In a nutshell, her theory suggests a four-step process of calming our busy brains and reminding ourselves to center on the presence of God in every moment of every day:

  1. Breathe: Inhale slowly and exhale mindfully, thankful for each breath that is a gift from God.

  2. Be Physically Present: With your eyes closed, take stock of your body from your head to your toes, remaining mindful of your breathing and paying keen attention to any places where your body may be telling you something. Don’t try to fix or change anything; simply practice awareness.

  3. Be Spiritually Present: Still mindful of your breathing, focus on God’s presence and anything that He may be telling you – whether an idea, an emotion, an image, a memory.

  4. Discover: Take a moment to look back at Steps 1 through 3 – What is new? What have you learned? What is God saying to you?

When we practiced together last night, we ran through these steps in only 3 minutes, and the impact was notable. According to Dr. Oden, you can accomplish these steps of Christian Mindfulness in as little as 30 seconds and as long as 30 minutes or more. In her words, “more is not better”; the key is to allow yourself to focus on the presence of God, reminding yourself of our faith, our God, and His eternal perspective. Whether you are at work, home, or out and about, try it – the impact a few moments can have on your day may surprise you.

Did you see that our congregation was featured in the October 2019 YMCA “In the Loop” newsletter? Here is the paragraph under “Volunteerism at Sherwood YMCA”:

Earlier in the month, Cedar Creek Church brought over 30 volunteers to serve the YMCA. They accomplished so much. They tore down our large tent that we used for our Summer Specialty Camps. This was a huge job that was much easier to accomplish with many people. This was a tremendous help to us. They also cleaned and moved all the tent mats. This was another labor-intensive job that was so helpful. Our conference room downstairs got painted as well as the Teen Center offices. In addition to all of this, they also picked up trash in the parking lot.

Hooray Cedar Creek, and yay God! He is moving in our church and in our community, and it is such a privilege to join in willingly and joyfully. If you missed our “Serve Sunday” in September, be sure to watch for our next “Serve Sunday” on December 22, when we will gather at the church at 10 a.m. in our work clothes and head into the community together to help our neighbors as He calls us.

If you drive by our church in the evenings this week, watch for life in the parking lot and around the Ministry Center. Family Promise is hosting families in our Ministry Center all week this week, and we are honored to open our doors to families in need. Please be praying for the families and for the volunteers as they work together to answer an immediate need and ultimately secure housing for those who are without a home.

We had a full gathering at the Sherwood Family YMCA this past Sunday to witness the baptism of Lea Olivares, Becky Mershon, and Josie Mershon. We pray blessings on the Olivares and Mershon families as they celebrate the beauty of this sacrament and the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Here is what is coming up in the life of our church:

10 a.m. Sunday, 10/13: Join us as Pastor Ken VandenHoek brings us a message related to the ReFrame theme “Jesus the King.”

6 p.m. Sunday, 10/13: This week we will be watching ReFrame Episode 5. If you have not yet joined us, please don’t be shy! You are always welcome to enter in and join us for a potluck dinner, video viewing, discussion, and prayer. All ages are welcome, and the youth typically exit after dinner to enjoy time together in the Hite House, while our younger members gather for a PJ party and games in the back of the Ministry Center.

2:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday, 10/26: Our church is sponsoring a booth at this year’s YMCA Harvest Festival. Come help us play games, hand out candy, and share who we are with the families who visit. If you are interested in volunteering (all ages welcome!), talk to Don, our Youth Director and YMCA Chaplain.

May you be blessed this week with moments of Holy Spirit awe.

Jennie

Pastor Jennie Harrop

jennie@cedarcreeksherwood.org

Cedar Creek Chronicles

10.1.19 * Cedar Creek Church * Sherwood

In his collection of essays titled God in the Dock, C. S. Lewis writes one of my favorite lines of Lewisian wisdom: “I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.”

Lewis recognized -- arguably more than any Christian apologist in the 20th century -- that Christianity is complex and, because of its complexity, requires a nuanced way of communicating its richness to others, particularly nonbelievers. Because Lewis knew that many readers would stop reading if he was too overt in his claim of the Lordship of Jesus Christ, he turned to fiction to experiment with ways of presenting the Gospel in all of its depth without repelling others. The Chronicles of Narnia, for example, offer the Gospel story in ways that are not off-putting to a nonbeliever who may never draw parallels between Aslan and Jesus or the White Witch and Satan. The Narnia stories are fun, fantastical, and wonderfully Jesus-infused.

Most of us know people for whom the mere mention of the name “Jesus” raises walls of resistance. But therein lies our challenge, right? How do we bring Jesus’ hope, peace, love, and joy into the world without repelling those who need it the most? Our Cedar Creek Visioning Team met this past Friday evening and all day Saturday to wrestle through our core values as we seek to launch ourselves into a new Holy Spirit-ordained season for our church, and one theme arose again and again in our discussions: We are a church that seeks to serve and save, encourage and empower. We are excited about the new directions God is leading us, including opening our doors to such community organizations as Family Promise, Boy Scouts Troop 116, and the Oregon Driver Training Institute. Join us as we seek to speak Jesus’ truth into the lives of all those we encounter and encourage them to step into God’s plan in bold and remarkable ways.

If we haven’t seen you in a while, please don’t be shy! We would love to see friends both new and old at either of our gatherings this weekend:

10 a.m. Sunday (10/6): This week Joe Emmi will be speaking to us about God’s hand on Jacob’s life, as related to ReFrame Episode 4 titled “Israel’s Calling.”

6 p.m. Sunday (10/6): Join us at the Sherwood Family YMCA from 6 to 8 p.m. to witness the baptism of three members of our church family, followed by our ReFrame potluck dinner, video viewing, and discussion – all at the YMCA. If you are able to come at 5:30 p.m. to help set up tables and fellowship together, we welcome you!

Consider Paul’s words in Galatians 3:27-28: For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Praise Jesus for His calling on our lives and for the faithfulness of those who choose to answer. The Christian life does not promise fleeting happiness as our culture so often suggests; instead Jesus offers us a deep-seated joy that will carry us through anything that comes our way.

Christ’s peace to you today.

Jennie

Pastor Jennie Harrop

jennie@cedarcreeksherwood.org

Cedar Creek Chronicles

9.24.19 * Cedar Creek Church * Sherwood

One of my favorite moments in last week’s Episode 2 of ReFrame was when Dr. Sarah Williams reminded us of God’s truth in a simple answer: While our 21st-century fragmented culture’s most pressing existential question is “Who am I?” God answered that question long ago with the simplicity of his name: “I Am.”

So when our identity is in God, when our story is encapsulated by His story, we don’t need to carry the world’s anxiety about “finding ourselves” or “creating ourselves.” We are already found, we are already known, we were long ago created perfectly in His image, and we can find supernatural peace in knowing that our identity is most deeply aligned with God’s remarkable answer “I am.”

Are you at peace? If not, how can we be praying for you and walking alongside you? If your answer is “yes,” how are you sharing God’s peace daily with those you encounter?

As you ponder, consider the song “Great I Am” by the pastor trio Phillips, Craig & Dean. Here are some of the lyrics – a poetic answer to our culture’s question “Who am I?”:

I want to be close, close to your side


So heaven is real and death is a lie


I want to hear voices of angels above 


Singing as one

Hallelujah, holy, holy


God Almighty, the great I AM


Who is worthy, none beside thee


God Almighty, the great I AM

I want to be near, near to your heart 


Loving the world and hating the dark


I want to see dry bones living again


Singing as one

Hallelujah, holy, holy


God Almighty, the great I AM


Who is worthy, none beside thee


God Almighty, the great I AM

The great I AM


The mountains shake before you the demons run in fear


At the mention of the name king of majesty


There is no power in hell


Or any who can stand


Before the power and the presence of the great I AM …

The song itself is here: “Great I Am.”

And here are some fun dates for your calendar:

7 a.m. Wednesday (9/25): See You at the Pole 2019 is a time when students around the globe will meet at flagpoles to pray for their schools. Cedar Creek Youth will be joining at their various schools.

6:30-9 p.m. Friday (9/27) and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday (9/28): The Cedar Creek Visioning Team Retreat will be underway at the Hite House. If you are not able to join us, we covet your prayers as we anticipate God’s good work in the months and years to come!

10 a.m. Sunday (9/29): This week we will explore what it means to be culture makers rather than culture resisters. (Hmmm … what will the nametag question be this week?)

6 p.m. Sunday (9/29): All ages are invited to come to ReFrame in the Ministry Center: potluck dinner, Episode 3, discussion, prayer, kid activities. The Youth Group will be with us for dinner and then head to the Hite House for an evening of fun.

6 p.m. Sunday (10/6): Come witness Olivares and Mershon baptisms at the YMCA! Because Family Promise will be settling into the Ministry Center on October 6, we will shift our ReFrame gathering to the YMCA from 6 to 8 p.m., and we will begin the evening with several baptisms in the YMCA pool.

We will be opening our Ministry Center to Family Promise the week of October 6-13, and we encourage all ages to get involved as we set up sleeping areas, provide meals, and spend time with these families. You can find the online sign-up sheet here: Family Promise Signup

May you hear voices of angels singing as one this week. Christ’s peace to you.

Jennie

Pastor Jennie Harrop

jennie@cedarcreeksherwood.org

Cedar Creek Chronicles

9.17.19 * Cedar Creek Church * Sherwood, OR

In her 2015 book Reclaiming Conversation, MIT professor Sherry Turkle argues that our Digital Age is placing a mask over our deepest human needs:

Our devices seem to grant three wishes, as though gifts from a benevolent genie: first, that we will always be heard; second, that we can put our attention wherever we want it to be; and third, that we will never be alone. And the granting of these three wishes implies another reward: that we will never have to be bored.

Later, Turkle describes what she calls a 21st-century "flight from conversation":

Face-to-face conversation is the most human - and humanizing - thing we do. Fully present to one another, we learn to listen. It's where we develop the capacity for empathy. It's where we experience the joy of being heard, of being understood.

Turkle's argument in her book is not anti-technology; it's pro-conversation. As we learned in Episode 1 of the ReFrame series this past Sunday, we are living in a world that is increasingly fragmented - by the internet, by social media, by our busy-ness. When our culture consistently separates "sacred" from "secular," for example, it becomes all-too comfortable to slide into a kind of "practical atheism" - not an ardent anti-God atheism, but an apathetic conclusion that there are places in your life where faith just doesn't connect. And the less we talk with one another, the more normalized this "practical atheism" can seem.

Are you in that place? Are there people you know in that place? What can we do as a church to encourage conversation, connection, and a biblical story that expands into everything that we are?

Jesus tells us in John 8 that He is the light shining over everything -- connecting and repairing, illuminating and offering hope:

I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life (John 8:12).

If we know this to be true, how are we carrying it forward into each moment of every day? How can we hold one another accountable as we work together as a church to bring Jesus' light to the communities around us?

This Sunday evening from 6 to 8 p.m., we will be watching Episode 2 of the ReFrame series, titled "Cultural Stories." Join us for dinner, the video, and rich conversation as we seek together the ways that God would have us apply these good ideas in our daily lives. (If you are unable to attend a Sunday evening gathering, remember that you can access all ReFrame videos and materials here: https://www.reframecourse.com/)

Here is what is coming up in the life of our church this week:

10 a.m. Sunday: Steve Wells will be sharing on "Cultural Stories" this Sunday, looking at the origin story in Genesis 1, the world story in Jonah 3, and the redemption story in Luke 7.

6 p.m. Sunday: All ages are invited to join us for ReFrame in the Ministry Center: potluck dinner, Episode 2 video, lively discussion, prayer, kids' activities.

6 p.m. Sunday: Cedar Creek Youth will meet at the Hite House to walk to New Life Church for dinner and a pre-See You at the Pole gathering with several youth groups. See You at the Pole is an international youth gathering happening at 7 a.m. September 25; look here for details: https://syatp.com/

If you haven't perused our website in a while, look here: https://cedarcreeksherwood.org/. We are excited about the doors God is opening for our church as we interact with our community on a deeper level. Did you know we had 50 Boy Scouts and their families gathered in our Ministry Center last Sunday afternoon for an Eagle Scout Court of Honor? So fun - God is good!

Blessings on your week,

Jennie

Pastor Jennie Harrop

jennie@cedarcreeksherwood.org

Cedar Creek Chronicles

9.10.19 * Cedar Creek Church * Sherwood, OR

Have you heard C. S. Lewis' delightful description of the motorcycle ride with his brother when Lewis moved from theism (belief in God) to Christianity (belief in Jesus)? As he describes in his 1955 autobiography Surprised by Joy, each step of Lewis' slow conversion from atheist to believer was marked by moments when he realized one has less chance "to call one's soul one's own":

I know very well when, but hardly how, the final step was taken. I was driven to Whipsnade one sunny morning. When we set out, I did not believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and when we reached the zoo, I did. Yet I had not exactly spent the journey in thought. Nor in great emotion. "Emotional" is perhaps the last word we can apply to some of the most important events. It was more like when a man, after long sleep, still lying motionless in bed, becomes aware that he is now awake.

Have you experienced the awareness that Lewis describes - when you are lying in bed, unmoving, your brain slowly emerging from the fog of sleep, and you realize that it is morning and you are awake? How might you equate that kind of "awakening" with your faith walk? Are there moments when you are sure that God is God and that He is close, and moments when you realize that so much time has passed and you have forgotten to watch for God's presence? What does it take for you to step beyond the bustle of the world around you and recognize your own awakening in the Holy Spirit? ReFrame is an opportunity this fall for us to explore together how we can emerge from the fog of daily living and truly experience God's presence.

For those of you who joined us this past Sunday evening for our first night of ReFrame, thank you for a wonderful evening of conversation, prayer, and friendship! We had plenty of food, activities for kids of all ages, and ample space to ponder who we are as a church and as God's children. If you weren't able to join us, mark your calendars for this Sunday evening, 6 to 8 p.m. We will share a potluck meal together (bring whatever you like), watch our first full ReFrame video together, and dive into a discussion of "The Story We Find Ourselves In."

To access ReFrame materials, look here: https://www.reframecourse.com/

We will be gathering together as a full church every Sunday evening through the end of November, and we hope you will join us as often as you are able. Here is a list of the weeks to come:

Part 1: The Story We Find Ourselves In

Session 1: The Reframing Story ... 9.15.19

Session 2: Cultural Stories ... 9.22.19

Part 2: The Story of Scripture

Session 3: Creation & Fall ... 9.29.19

Session 4: Israel's Calling ... 10.6.19

Session 5: Jesus the King ... 10.13.19

Session 6: New Heavens & New Earth ... 10.20.19

Session 7: The Church & The Spirit ... 10.27.19

Part 3: The Ongoing Story

Session 8: Strangers & Exiles ... 11.3.19

Session 9: Ambassadors ... 11.10.19

Session 10: Joyful Living ... 11.17.19

ReFrame Wrap-Up: Continuing the Story ... 11.24.19

Peace on your week, Friends. May the Holy Spirit surprise you with moments when you realize that you are, indeed, awake in Him.

Jennie

Pastor Jennie Harrop

jennie@cedarcreeksherwood.org