Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Exceedingly Abundant

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”   Ephesians 3:20–21

This promise from God’s Word stirs excitement in my soul. God can do far more than we even ask or think! Today, I’m thinking about what God has done so far this year at Orange Friends, and wondering, “What have we forgotten to ask or think for Him to do the rest of this year?”

So far this year, many of us at Orange have given of our time, talents, and treasures with our regular service and financial gifts to our local church, to our community, and toward world-wide missions. Our building and grounds have been used by H2O Church from Ohio State for leadership retreats, our EFC-ER youth leaders' retreat, FCA camp, and local youth soccer teams, to name a few. Most of our congregation participated recently in our church summer mission project (His Hands, His Feet - What an exciting event!) We have new carpet as well as building and parking lot upgrades because of your giving to our Vision Fund. Plus, we are happy to welcome our new Worship Leader, Sean Biddle, as well as several new babies! God has done much so far this year – I’m sure you can list your own personal blessings. What IS in store for the remainder of 2014 and into 2015?

In October last year, most of us made financial commitments for 2014 for our General Fund Budget, our Vision Fund to upgrade our church property, and our Faith Promise to support our Yearly Meeting missions and operation. I’m happy to say that at mid-year (June 30), we are very close to giving one-half of our 2014 commitments. In addition, we have given $4,015 to support the operation of, and the missions that were part of His Hands, His Feet. All funds given for His Hands, His Feet, and not used during that week’s activity, will go to support the local missions where we worked (i.e., C.R.A.C.K. House Ministries, Freedom a la Carte (ministering to sexual abuse victims), and Pregnancy Decision Health Center ).  THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROSITY!

Our “schedule” for the remainder of 2014 includes a Baby Dedication, our Church Picnic, our Leadership Retreat, 2015 budget planning, and Taste of Missions. You will begin hearing about our 2015 Pledge campaign soon. Our “wish list” includes raising funds to re-carpet the gym/worship center. God probably has other things to add to our “schedule” and our “wish list”, because, after all, He can do ABUNDANTLY more than we can ask or think! Let’s stay tuned with our ear toward God’s moving among us, and our hearts full of continued generosity.

Kay Cermak
Stewardship Coordinator

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Reflections of His Hands, His Feet

July 30th through August 3rd, 2014 was an interesting time for me…the “His Hands, His Feet” local mission event.  First, let me thank everyone who participated in this event, especially the “His Hands, His Feet” leadership team.  There are a handful of people who put in a lot of time towards making this event happen, and I thank each of you. 

God provided in so many ways during those 5 days.  First, He provided people, His people, with willing hearts.  There were 91 persons from Orange Friends Church (OFC) who participated either by showing up and working at or praying at a job site or praying from home or their vacation spot.  There were 75 people throughout the week who were able, at one time or another, to participate physically at a specific job site.  And again, I thank every one of you!

And thank you to all who were able to provide towards this event, financially.  Again, God provided above and beyond financially, not only through your giving, but the many businesses that gave us discounts once they heard what “His Hands, His Feet” was about.  God is so good! 

For those who were able to participate, I think that all would agree that our cups were overflowing. 

Many lives and organizations have been blessed through your willing hearts, and the sacrifices many made for this event, which we can pray will bring people closer to God and build His kingdom.

For me, I especially enjoyed the end of the day. (Ok, I know some of you are thinking, yeah he was tired and ready to go home).  I enjoyed the end of the day because of the testimony time.  We all have a testimony.  We all have a story.  A story of how God has worked in our lives.  A story of how God has brought us through some difficult time or circumstance.

Many testimonies were shared this week.  When we share our testimony with others, I believe God is pleased.  Our testimony can help others.  God will make sure our testimony will help others.  When we share our testimony, I believe we are blessed also. 

All of our testimonies are important.  Often we feel that our testimony is not strong enough, or that it is boring.  I remember being at the C.R.A.C.K. House Ministry about 4 to 5 years ago.  We have a time of testimony there every week.  A lady got up to give her testimony.  It was the most powerful testimony I have ever recalled, and not a word was spoken.  She got up, went to the microphone, and started crying.  She cried for about 2 to 3 minutes and just could never get the words out, and then she proceeded to sit down.

This was a women who I had never seen before and do not believe I have seen since.  But her testimony was powerful to me.  I think of her on occasion and pray for her.  Her willingness to get up, although she was unable to get the words out, impacted me.  And I am sure others were praying for her also.

I say that only to say we never know how our testimony will impact others.  It does not take a special speech, dramatic words, it does not even need to make complete sense, and as mentioned above, it may not even require words. 

If we are willing to show or tell others of our need for God in our lives, of how God works in our lives, of God’s amazing love…..then God is pleased.

I thank everyone for their work and dedication last week, but I also thank you for your testimonies.  Share how God worked in your life, how God was working while you were digging holes, cooking and serving meals, visiting strangers, packing boxes, praying…..during the “His Hands, His Feet” event.

On Sunday August 3rd, the church left the building, to serve and love others.  After that final time together on Sunday, after lunch, we all left the building with a testimony…a testimony to share with others, not to keep to ourselves.

Ron Clark