Kids are back in school in U-46, and programs are resuming at Elgin Covenant. The list below shows January start dates for music practice, $2/Plate dinner, Kids Club, and Adult Sunday School. At the bottom of this post is an explanation of our preaching themes in 2018, “Blessed are the peace-makers.”
Wednesday, Jan. 10, evening: Redeemed Worship Team practice at 6:30, Choir at 7.
Wednesday, January 17, evening: The $2/Plate Dinner will resume at 6 PM. This is also when the January Kids Club meets.
Saturday, January 20: We have signed up to participate at Feed My Starving Children in Schaumburg.
The Adult Sunday School Schedule, Sundays 9:15 AM, Conference Room. The theme is on Prophecy and Fulfillment, especially in reference to the person of Jesus Christ, and to the People of Israel.
January 14, session meets.
January 21, session does not meet.
January 28 – March 18, session every week.
Sunday Worship: Preaching in 2018
Our main worship event every week is at 10:30, with G-3 Children’s programs (primary grades) and Confirmation class (junior high) dismissing to their rooms early in the worship service.
A Theme for 2018: Blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be called the heirs of God (Matthew 5:9).
Throughout 2018 we will be preaching on the theme of conflict and peace. Conflict between believers need not be avoided; often conflict can be prevented outright when the parties involved in a disagreement remember what it means to be Jesus to each other. The solution may be as simple as acting on the wisdom of Proverbs 15:1, ” A soft answer turns away wrath.” When conflict comes, there are productive ways to resolve it, as in the system of reconciliation and accountability Jesus established in Matthew 18:15-17. Sometimes, victory and vindication is found in the appearance of defeat, when one chooses to turn the other cheek, bear the insult, suffer the persecution, and even carry the cross, rather than pursue a cause by promoting anger, retribution, and alienation.
2018 marks 100 years since the end of World War I. This cataclysm set in motion the geo-political history of revolutions, colonial withdrawal and post-colonial instability, arms races, the widening gap between industrialized wealth and the poverty of developing nations, and the resulting conflicts that have occurred over the past hundred years. World War I — how it began, how it was conducted, how it ended, and its aftermath — is a case study in all the worst ways to handle conflict. Sadly, a large number of combatants from Ireland to Russia were Christian, at least nominally. Many had been baptized into their national churches or into their homeland’s tolerated, non-conforming churches, or as in the case of Americans, were thoroughly encultured Christians even though no one church was an official part of government.
World War I was devastating not only in lives lost, but also in faith lost. The godless horrors of mechanized warfare increased, for many, skepticism towards the Christian faith and its claims of an all-powerful, all-present, all-loving God. In turn, the appeal of secular gospels and ideologies increased.
While we will not be focussed on the details of World War I, that event serves as a back-drop to remind us of what is at stake when Christians become opposed to one another in terms of ideology or self-interest. We are called to remember what the belligerents too quickly forgot one hundred years ago: That our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the deceiving spirits of the world’s darkness who want nothing more than to see the Church implode. The war that concerns us is spiritual, and so are our weapons, and so are our victories.