It is wonderful to be home! Thank you for all of your kind words offered during my absence, sometimes it really is hard to know what kind of relationships you have until they aren't there for a time. I thank God for you all, this congregation, and the relationships that we have formed. I pray that this is only the beginning with much more ahead.
    While you all will begin the stewardship program this week with another scripture, the lectionary reading for this week comes from Luke 4:14-21. In this passage, we find Christ reading in the synagogue for the first time. What He read infuriated the people gathered and they attempted to stone Christ to death. While this is an important part  of this story, I would like for us to look at the words  spoken by Christ. Christ says two things to the group, a reading from Isaiah, and this sentence, "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing." At this moment, right then, Christ is calling out to His children. Our faith is one of today, not tomorrow, there is an immediacy to what Christ says here, and for good reason. He calls us, not to simply wait for a time of action at a later date, but to a time of NOW. Now the scripture is fulfilled, now your sins are forgiven, now the good news is here, and now we need to love one another and love God.
      This world has plenty to distract us, to make us feel unimportant, to feel that we have no value and that our time will only matter after we die. Christ told this group something totally different, and tells us the same. Yet, the crowd was scared, and often we are too. But we can no longer set in fear, as Christ is calling out to us now, TODAY is the time. The time to act for Christ, the time to reach out to those around us, to lend a hand, to invite them to church, and a time to ask, what can I do for the Kingdom of God, that is here now?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Peace and Blessings
                                                                                                     SP Denton Bennet