Emmaus Blog

Mingling of Souls

Susan Quinnell

Intimacy: to know and to be known by God and another. Intimacy in human relationships requires dialogue, transparency, vulnerability and mutuality. For my husband, Mark, and I, it is in the relationship of marriage that we have most experienced God’s refining and transformative fire in the crucible of intimacy and faith.

What comes to mind when you hear the phrase Mingling of Souls? Last Saturday evening, 34 people began the journey to discover what Mingling of Souls means for them and their coupled relationship. Mark and I shared part of our 34 year journey of marriage and where God has stretched us and grown us towards intimate love, a mingling of souls. God continues to call us daily to complete surrender and trust in our relationship with God. God has been present and pursuing us through the life transitions,challenges,and obstacles of our marriage admidst the brokenness and woundedness of ourselves. God has deepened our understanding and experience of love for one another since we first said “I love you” and “I do” to the other. Most significantly God has gifted us with insight and experience into the the expansive love Christ has for each one us and for each one of God’s children.

The second of our series Mingling of Souls will be happening in the Emmaus auditorium next Friday, October 13, 2017 from 7-9pm. The session title is called “Dipping Our Toes”. We will hear from another couple, listen to video clips about courtship, engagement and the big day (the wedding!) along with discussion and exploration of ideas in small group discussion. We would love to have you join us. Come and check it out. Invest in your marriage relationship. Please email or call to let us know you are coming (or sign up on the church bulletin board) so we can plan dessert (yum!).

In Christ’s love,   Pastor Susan

 

 

O, God where are YOU?

Susan Quinnell

If you are like me, the television news reports, Facebook and internet stories and pictures of the Hurricane and Tropical Storm Harvey are overwhelming. And I am here. In Minnesota, with a dry home and late summer breezes.

My mind goes immediately to the laments in Psalms as I seek God’s presence in this disaster. The Psalms reflect honest emotion, struggle and concern with experiencing the help of God in this life. “O, Lord, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning”Psalm 5:1.(and the groaning of your peoples–my words.) “Keep me safe O, God”Psalm 16:1. (Keep those in Texas safe and dry, reunite families. Bring wisdom and help, protect your people! We pray.)It is not uncommon to feel helpless and disoriented when we want to show and BE CARE to others in despair and we are not in proximity or equipped to help.

The lamenting of the Psalms move to confidence in and praising God for being present in the midst and deliverance from chaos. The Psalms draw images of God as refuge, guardian, a mother, our shepherd, a mountain. The Psalms invite us to ask what the text teaches us about God, what the text teaches me about feelings, and what the text teaches me to do. How can we be God’s people in the midst of disaster many states away in Texas? How can we be present to others in the midst of pain, sorrow and suffering in Texas? Of course, we can pray. We also have the opportunity to share our financial resources, which are most helpful at this particular time, in addressing the flooding and displacement of the people of Texas. Opportunities include our Converge denomination: Converge Southwest ,the Red Cross ,and the United Way of Houston

We are here. We are the people of God.

“The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD sits enthroned as king forever. May the LORD give strength to his people! May the LORD bless his people with peace.” Psalm 29.

On the events in Charottesville

Pastor Abraham Johnson

Abraham Johnson

I was heartbroken last Saturday when I learned of the clashes between white supremacy advocates and counter protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia. My heart is grieved for the family of Heather Heyer whose life was taken from her. I also am grieved for the families of the two state troopers who were monitoring the demonstrations in the air and also lost their lives. I am heartbroken.

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The Sermon on the Mount

Pastor Abraham Johnson

Abraham Johnson

On Sunday we began a sermon series focused on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, which can be found in the book of Matthew (the first book in the New Testament) chapters 5, 6, and 7.

The Sermon on the Mount will also be our focus during our Lenten Small Groups.  A quick reminder that if you would like to be a part of a group but didn’t have the chance to sign up, you are welcome to join the group that meets downstairs in the Auditorium this upcoming Sunday.

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Neighboring

Pastor Abraham Johnson

Abraham Johnson

On Sunday I invited people to think about ways that they can love their neighbor this week.  We each had a pink slip of paper and we wrote down the name or names of those we were going to extend love to this week.  At the end of the service we were invited to bring those slips of paper forward and place them in a basket that was right before the cross.  I found that to be a powerful time in our service as I watched so many of you walk forward and bring a name forward.

I’ve been reading a book recently titled “The Neighboring Church”.  It talks about the importance of churches loving their neighbor as Jesus commanded.  The writers use the term “neighboring” to capture their understanding of how individuals and churches can live that commandment out.  Neighboring can look like a lot of things, they admit, but the writers make a case that “loving your neighbor as yourself” is something that we must do in our day-to-day lives.  It also means that a church must not look only inside at its own programs, events, etc., but that a church must also (and perhaps primarily) look outside its walls and extend love to the people not a part of their church.

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