Oct 11, 2005

Vail Vision October 12, 2005

Greetings in the name of our Risen Savior, Jesus.

What a great time for Christ Lutheran Vail. God continues to shower his blessings on this mission. I feel like a kid at Christmas time: Excitement is in the air! Everyone I talk to is looking forward to beginning Sunday morning worship at Cienega High School. In a way it is almost like Christmas because soon He will come to us in new and profound ways as we transition from Bible Study to Worship. As we prepare this month, continue to pray that God will direct all we do.

Our family loves road trips. Believe it or not sometimes when we are on a road trip we have stopped at McDonalds, Taco Bell and Subway all during the same lunch break. This is so everyone can get their "favorite.. meal. Even when we all eat at the same fast food restaurant, we order different things. And then we sit with 100 other people all eating their own things. I am amazed sometimes at how compartmentalized we have become as a society. Almost every business caters to "your desires.. and "your needs... This is most profound in the food industry. Once a few years back, Jennifer and I spent some time at the Cochise Hotel just southeast of Tucson. The dinner was served in a "family-style.. atmosphere. All of the food was placed on long dining tables and we ate as a family. I actually talked to the person sitting next to me. In a hotel away from home, I was able to experience what we regularly experience at our own dinner table- friendship, fellowship, and food.

I have been thinking about this as we prepare for worship on Sunday morning. The trend over the last several years is to provide as many worship opportunities as we can to cater to "our desires.. and "our needs... Traditional, contemporary, organ, band, seeker, children, youth, adult, seniors... you name it. If we tried, we could have a menu board larger than McDonald's! But worship isn't just about satisfying our needs. Worship is always focused on God. Our mission statement says that we want to "build families... That also includes our new family at Vail. We can fit almost 800 people in the Cienega High School Auditorium. Wouldn't it be great if, as we grow, we resist the temptation to do things as the world does things? Wouldn't it be great if we resisted the temptation to have several different worship styles catering to each group? Wouldn't it be great if we add an additional worship service only because we have run out of space?

But just as mom didn't always serve food that you liked, you might not like all the food that is placed before you on Sunday morning. My goal is that there will be at least one or two dishes that you like, but since we are a big family, there will likely be dishes that you don't like. Rejoice knowing that while one dish might not be your favorite, it is your brother's favorite. Be glad for him! We will have all four food groups.

Research shows that worship style is not that important a factor in growing churches. (Christian Schwartz, Natural Church Development, ChurchSmart Resources: Carol Stream, IL, p. 30). It is more important that worship be done well and that it is an "inspiring experience... This means that the Holy Spirit should be present. This means that whatever we do should be done with excellence. This means that when we arrive on Sunday morning we love and care for all members of our family. Some may be new to the Christian faith and some may have been a Christian for as long as they can remember. Some may be young and some may be old. Everyone comes to church with different needs, preconceptions, and expectations. Yet we are all family and Jesus loves each and every one of us. Jesus is the answer to the needs of all our family. That will be proclaimed in all we do!

That is it for now. Blessings on your day. If anyone has any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact me. It is a joy to be working with all of you.

Vicar David Hook

We continue our study of The Lord's Prayer. On Sunday we finish with the seventh petition, "deliver us from evil... What is evil? Is it just me, or is evil on the rise throughout the world? Come Sunday and find out.

"In-Home Fund-Raising Dinners.. “ Thanks to all who are participating in these dinners. I have heard great reports about how much fun these have been. The proceeds will help purchase equipment that will be needed for Sunday morning worship. Thanks also to Thrivent for the matching funds. You can reach them at www.thrivent.com

The Schedule of Events is still as follows:
October 30, Jeff Rohlwing Concert “ Invite a friend.
November 6, First Worship Service “ 9:00 AM
November worship “ work out the bugs!!
December 24, Christmas Eve service

Home Improvement IV was a great success. Dr. Leman was funny, informative and poignant as he shared about families. Everyone who attended became aware of Christ Lutheran Vail. Thanks to all who helped make the evening a great success.

Christmas Eve Service. “ We will celebrate a Christmas Eve service in Vail. Our hope is to invite members of the community to join with us to sing in a "community choir.. for a 7:00 worship service. As you talk to your neighbors, see if any of them can sing and invite them to join with us. Details to follow in later issues of the Vision.

Small Group Ministry “ When we begin worship on Sunday morning, we will no longer be meeting on Sunday night. To continue with that "family.. atmosphere, small groups will be created who will meet at various people's homes. Larry Unger will be providing the list at an upcoming meeting.