Reflections on Faith and Community

Dear friends,

In this blog, you will find weekly reflections on life and faith. My hope is that, in some way, they will prove helpful to you in your daily living. May God bless you on the spiritual journey.

Andrew S. Odom
Pastor

04/16/2019 8:58 AM

Two Things

04/16/2019 8:58 AM
04/16/2019 8:58 AM
...but this is your hour, when darkness reigns. (Luke 22:53)
 
I have two things to share with you. The first is regarding our Set Free Campaign. The second is regarding the week ahead.
 
Set Free: On Sunday we received the exciting announcement that, as a result of our pre-Celebration Sunday gatherings, we have already received commitments from 89 households totaling $2,104,618, an average of $23,647per household (the average I shared in worship was incorrect. I had a long week.). Some committed more and others less as each was able, and what a generous congregation you are! I am so proud of this church.
 
The Week Ahead: The line above from Luke 22 says it all, noting the turn from Palm Sunday hosannas to Good Friday silence. We should enter this week with hesitation and walk through it on our tip toes. Here is a reminder of what we have planned to help us do that together.
Tenebrae Service, Thu. 7:00pm - this is the Last Supper, the last bit of light, in one of the most powerful worship services of the year.
Service of Shadows and Spikes, Fri. 7:30 - a new service this year in the Atrium. After hearing the plan for it, I can tell you that you absolutely don’t want to miss it.
Community Egg Hunt, Sat. 11:00am - Fun, huge, welcoming, diverse, a time your family will not forget.
Easter Sunday, 9am & 11:05am
 
I leave you with a poem by Ann Weems that Ellen Dittman reminded me of. Take it with you. Let the words ground you in the mystery of all that is holy this week.
                      
Holy is the week...
Holy, consecrated, belonging to God...
We move from hosannas to horror
with predictable ease
of those who know not what they do.
 
Our hosannas sung, our palms waved,
let us go with passion into this week.
It is time to curse fig trees that do not yield fruit.
It is time to cleanse our temples of any blasphemy.
It is time to greet Jesus as the Lord’s Anointed One,
to lavishly break our alabaster
and pour perfume out for him
without counting the cost.
 
It is a time for preparation...
The time to give thanks and break bread is upon us.
The time to give thanks and drink of the cup is imminent.
Eat, drink, remember:
On this night of nights, each one must ask,
as we dip our bread in the wine,
“Is it I?”
 
And on that darkest of days, each of us must stand
beneath the tree
and watch the dying
if we are to be there
when the stone is rolled away.
 
The only road to Easter morning
is through the unrelenting shadows of that Friday.
Only then will the alleluias be sung;
only then will the dancing begin.
04/01/2019 8:59 PM

Ministry, Celebration, and Commitment

04/01/2019 8:59 PM
04/01/2019 8:59 PM

I hope you were able to attend worship yesterday as we shared our gratitude together for the life and ministry of CCPC. We also ordained and installed our new class of elders and deacons. It was a remarkable morning!

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I want to continue to remind you of what is coming up these next few Sundays together as part of the Set Free Campaign:

This Sunday, April 7 - Ministry Sunday: We’ll celebrate the life-changing ministries of our church and the inspiring stories of how individuals and families have been blessed by God through these ministries.

Sunday, April 14 - Celebration Sunday: We’ll enjoy a COMBINED worship experience at 10:45am, with Sunday Classes at 9:45am, followed by a catered meal. We will also hear a special announcement during worship about the status of the Set Free Campaign.

Sunday, April 28 - Commitment Sunday: Commitment cards will be received during worship as we offer the response God has led each of us to make.

Sunday, May 12 - Announcement Sunday: We’ll celebrate the faithfulness of God and the collective generosity of the Canyon Creek Presbyterian Church family as we announce the grand total of three-year commitments received.

As always, I continue to be surprised by the generosity and genuineness of this church. You are deeply faithful and remarkably welcoming. See you Sunday!

03/26/2019 8:47 AM

Exciting Sundays Ahead

03/26/2019 8:47 AM
03/26/2019 8:47 AM
I hope you have been reading the daily email devotions written by many of our members this Lent. We have such a gifted and faithful church. I also hope you have become aware of some of the dates coming up as part of the Set Free Capital Campaign. We have some truly exciting Sundays ahead of us. Here they are in case you missed them:
 
This Sunday, March 31 - Gratitude Sunday:We’ll be invited to consider our gratitude to God as we reflect on the ways that God has impacted our lives for the better through our church community.
 
Sunday, April 7 - Ministry Sunday: We’ll celebrate the life-changing ministries of our church and the inspiring stories of how individuals and families have been blessed by God through these ministries.
 
Sunday, April 14 - Celebration Sunday: We’ll enjoy a COMBINED worship experience at 10:45am, with Sunday School at 9:45am, followed by a catered meal. We will also hear a special announcement during worship about the status of the Set Free campaign.
 
Sunday, April 28 - Commitment Sunday: Commitment cards will be received during worship as we offer the response God has led each of us to make.
 
Sunday, May 12 - Announcement Sunday: We’ll celebrate the faithfulness of God and the collective generosity of the Canyon Creek Presbyterian Church family as we announce the grand total of three-year commitments received.
 
I look forward to being with you for each of these experiences. May God bless us on the way with fruitful relationships, joyful hearts, and the bond of faith that makes us family.
03/18/2019 7:11 PM

God in the Movies

03/18/2019 7:11 PM
03/18/2019 7:11 PM

Is there any place I can go to avoid your Spirit? to be out of your sight? If I climb to the sky, you’re there! If I go underground, you’re there! If I flew on morning’s wings to the far western horizon, You’d find me in a minute—you’re already there waiting! (Psalm 139:7-10)

Sunday evening, the CCPC youth were given an assignment. They may not realize that they were actually given an assignment, but they were. What was it? Look for God in a place you never expected. The youth went together as a group to see Captain Marvel, the latest movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For them, I’m sure it simply felt like another fun even together, seeing a popular movie. But next Sunday, Chris Lee will join them to talk about the underlying theology of a movie like that. In other words, they are going to talk about seeing God in the story of the movie.

The psalmist talks like it is not possible to not see God. If I climb to the sky, you’re there! If I go underground, you’re there! If I go see Captain Marvel, you’re already there waiting. Having the eyes of the psalmist is to have the kind of eyes that see God everywhere, even in the most unlikely of places. My grandfather used to talk about “seeing the world through the eyes of God.” So often, we walk out of church and turn off our “God thinking.” We stop looking for God. The psalmist challenges us to do the exact opposite, looking for God absolutely everywhere. I’m sure this Sunday’s conversation will be a good one, but the greater gift it will give is the gift of having eyes that actually look, all the time, everywhere.

 

03/11/2019 8:30 PM

Celebration Sunday

03/11/2019 8:30 PM
03/11/2019 8:30 PM
The bible is full of references to celebration. Celebrating the Passover sat at the center of the life of the Israelites. When King David brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, they celebrated. When they returned home from exile, they celebrated. In the New Testament, the father celebrates when the prodigal son returns home. The first miracle John’s gospel records in the ministry of Jesus happens during a wedding celebration. Celebrating is simply part of the fabric of a life of faith.
               
One of the Sundays I am looking forward to during the Set Free Campaign is Celebration Sunday on April 14th. It also happens to be Palm Sunday, so there will be a lot of things to celebrate. We will have a special Sunday morning schedule, celebrating our life and ministry together alongside the celebration of Jesus’s entrance into Jerusalem. Here is the schedule:
 
9:45    Sunday Classes
10:45  Single Worship Service
12:00  Celebration Lunch
 
Worship is going to be incredible. It will include various musical styles, involvement from all of our choirs, and will no doubt be a packed house. Then, you are invited to join the whole church family for a complimentary catered lunch. Please make sure you RSVP for the lunch. We will continue to send out email invitations to help remind you, or you can simply click here and let us know you are planning to be there.

We have some very special, and spiritually powerful, Sunday mornings coming up. Celebration Sunday is one of them. I look forward to being part of it with you.

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Community Egg Hunt, Saturday, April 20 11 am to 1 pm
Maundy Thursday Service, 7 pm, Good Friday Service, 7:30 pm and Easter Sunday, 9 am and 11:05 am
Read information on the campaign and make your commitment online.
Church wide movie night Saturday 4/27 at 7:30pm.
Women's Bible Study on Wednesday Mornings, April 24 - May 8 at 10:00 am in 102. Bring your colored pencils!