25200 Lorain Road, North Olmsted, OH 44070 | 440.777.3744 | info@johnknoxpc.org

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Written by Rev. Dr. Tom MacMillan

The other day while driving, I noticed that a biker, who had stopped by the side of the road, was looking up. The sun was close to setting and its final rays set on the tree towering above the biker. Brilliant light seemed to envelope the tree and pronounce the spectacle of orange, red, and yellow leaves. All the biker could do was stare in wonder.

The art of paying attention to such a scene has to do with the capacity to slow down, to avoid the bombardment of distractions, and take notice of what God is doing in us and around us. It is, in essence, being caught by holy curiosity and wonder. 

Sometimes we notice the wonder of creation on a day like today.

Sometimes we notice our pain. We sense the ache of memory, the need for healing, the loneliness we cannot quite shake.

Sometimes we notice our joy. We feel blessed by a relationship, inspired by a book, grateful for a chance to help someone in need.

Sometimes we notice our angst. We are troubled by the violence in our nation and around the world, we are disturbed by global poverty, we are stirred by a holy discontent, and we will be silent no more. 

Sometimes we notice our strength. We become aware of the stuff that we are good at and the chance we have to build on our strength and put it to good use. 

In all these occasions, God’s light is breaking forth. The temptation will always prod us to look the other way or to suppress that holy discontent. But pay attention. Instead of squelching the fire, stir the embers and fan the flame! Maybe God is helping you to find your unique place in God’s story. 

 

  

 

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Book Discussions at John Knox

Anyone is welcome to join us for the following book discussions.  This is not a “book club”, so feel free to show up whenever the book is of interest to you.  For questions, contact Jessie MacMillan (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )  Thursday, October 23, 7:30 pm in the Gallery

 

Consider the birds: A Provocative Guide to Birds of the Bible, by Debbie Blue

Readers who think they have no interest in birds should not be deterred.  Yes, Blue writes about ten different birds in the Bible, from pigeons to ravens, but the book is about what birds can teach us about life and God.

Thursday, November 20, 7:30 pm in the Gallery

Benediction, by Kent Haruf

From the beloved and best-selling author of Plainsong and Eventide comes a story of life and death, and the ties that bind, once again set out on the High Plains in Holt, Colorado. Bracing, sad and deeply illuminating, Benediction captures the fullness of life by representing every stage of it, including its extinction, as well as the hopes and dreams that sustain us along the way

 

 

October Pastor's Page

 

   Over the summer I had the chance to visit a number of Presbyterian churches in our Presbytery. One of the most memorable services was at Calvary New Life Presbyterian Church at 2020 East 79th and Euclid in Cleveland. When it came time for the offering, Rufus, a good friend of mine, came to the pulpit. He looked out and asked the congregation, “Brothers and sisters, do you know what time it is?” Without missing a beat, in unison they responded with a shout, “It’s offering time!” Then they all started to applaud. Rufus smiled, and continued the dialogue, “That’s right. It’s offering time and we get excited about offering time.” The congregation kept applauding and talking among themselves, affirming this great chance to give and participate in the good work of God. 

For the first time, it dawned on me—that’s the way it ought to be. We ought to get fired up about offering time. We ought to get excited every time we have a chance to be generous. It is our moment to step up and step out, to make a difference where we can and to shape a better world for God’s glory.

Through the month of October we are walking the ancient path of generosity. The pathway of gratitude from September leads right into this pathway of generosity. Think about it. When we are grateful, when we are aware of the countless blessings and provisions of our God, we get motivated to share these blessings. If we’re not grateful, then it’s going to be hard to get fired up about offering time. We live more in the illusion of scarcity than the assurance of God’s sure provision. G.K. Chesterton wrote, “The world will never starve for want of wonders, but only for want of wonder.”

When our hearts are filled with gratitude, then we can’t help but be generous and we actually kind of enjoy it. We enjoy baking a cake for someone who is lonely, we enjoy building a Habitat house, we enjoy filling out a pledge card on October 26 for Dedication Sunday, because we know our gifts are making a difference. Lives are being changed, faith is being shared, God’s good work continues to reform and refine our world.  

Phil Olson once wrote, “A conversion of the heart is needed before a conversion of the wallet can take place. Christian stewardship has to do with what we give of what we have, what we do with what we keep, and what we plan for what we leave.” 

It’s offering time! 

Tom

 

 

 

Special Announcements

 

  
 
Sunday Worship Services
9:30 am and 11:00 am
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JOHN KNOX UPCOMING EVENTS 

           

October 12
Inquirer Class Begin
9:00-10:00 am  Lounge

October 23
Book Discussion
7:30 PM  Gallery
(Consider the Birds:
A Provocative Guide to
Birds of the Bible
by Debbie Blue)

October 26
Due date for college
care pckages

October 28, 29, 31
Trick or Treat Street
for preschoolers
call church for times

 

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  Proceeds received from the GFS
Fun Fund Program are used to
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summer mission trip.

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