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Rev. John Shaver – “The Pursuit of Happiness: A Time to Forgive”

9-24-17 Audio

AnnouncementsOrder of Worship

Dear SDUMC Family,

As we have entered fall this week, we know that changes are on the way. Soon we’ll experience some cool weather (we hope), a little rain even fell this week (more please), everything pumpkin has filled the shelves (yes, especially lattes), and God is always ready to bring hope-filled change if we are open.

Last week we started a new series to bring positive change to our lives and community, and it was wonderful to witness many small groups all around the campus throughout the week. Please check out the New Website and it’s not too late to sign up and join a group (guidebooks will be in the back of the Narthex following worship and the office during the week).

The author, Rev. Matt Miofsky, writes, “Jesus taught…Things don’t make for lasting happiness; relationships do. The starting point for lasting happiness is relationships, and not just any relationships but three specific kinds of relationships. (read Matthew 22:37-39) There are the three relationships. Do you see them? … It’s relationships: with God, with ourselves, and with other people. Lasting happiness depends on the state of those relationships. It’s that simple.”

We all know at times relationships can run into difficulties and God has once again blessed us with a gift called forgiveness. Of course, it may not be easy to take the first step, but as a people of faith, this is part of our calling. As I read through the Bible, I am always reminded that Christ never asks us to do something that God hasn’t first done for us. I look at the Cross and hear his words when I fall into my ruts, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)

I hope you’ll join me this Sunday as we come together in prayer, Scripture, word, and music with the theme of opening ourselves to the gift of forgiveness which leads to personal healing in our lives. If we cannot forgive, we are the ones whose souls are stuck in a place of pain. Only in choosing forgiveness can we be free.

Invite a friend to join you this week and help them to experience this gift of forgiveness and God’s happiness for their lives.

Thanks for being a congregation that offers healing to others in your prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness!

Grace, Peace, and Happiness,

John

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