“All the saints send their greetings” (II Cor. 13:13).  This past Sunday I was reminded that the church is fundamentally a family.  Two families who had formerly been active at Grace were able to visit; one from Kansas and one from Alaska.  One family moved three years ago, the other six years ago.  Obviously, people new to Grace since they left would not have known them, but there were many who have fond memories of these families.  It was especially meaningful to see how children had grown in the intervening years.  It highlights for me a truth that we can undervalue – the church is a family.  God is our Father, Christ is our brother, the Holy Spirit indwells all those who are born again, making us the family of God.  I fear that because of the demands and distractions of life, cultivating relationships within the family of God does not receive the priority it deserves.  It is easy to neglect investing time and energy in the many members of our church family.  If that describes you, resolve to cultivate a few relationships over this summer.  Some of our regular activities (such as small groups), take a break during the summer.  Use the time arrange some opportunities with someone or a family you don’t know that well.  We will have our annual picnic on June 23rd.  Make sure you attend and stay to engaged in conversation.  We will resume monthly hymn sings; the next will take place on June 30th at 6:00 p.m. This will also be a time of saying good-bye to the Shumate family as they move back to St. Louis and prepare for future service.  Consider what you can do to deepen some family ties this summer.

Pastor Mark

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