Tuesday, March 31, 2015


I have a friend who is fascinating to watch with a group of strangers or meeting someone for the first time. For instance, he would stop by a small town diner, having never been there before, and walk out two hours later having made some of the best friends in the world. He would say, "If I can just get people to tell and listen to stories about life, I have met a new friend for life!" A good story can make a huge impression. Particularly if that story is true. There is something that draws us in. We can relate. We connect it with the details of our life.

What do we do when that story is the greatest story ever told? The true account of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is THE STORY of all stories. We can relate to details and see ourselves in the ultimate purpose of this narrative. Then, we can see that we are loved, and before long, we are walking in a brand new, unexpected relationship with someone who was once a stranger to us and now is the most important person we have ever met: Jesus. Not only can we see ourselves transformed by THE STORY, but we can further relate to those who followed Him and were transformed by Him immediately following His ascension into heaven.

The story of these people can be found in the book of Acts. Those early followers had incredible adventures that will encourage us, inspire us, and cause us to be challenged in our spiritual journey, whether we are newly exploring the claims of Christ or whether we have been journeying with Him for some time.

With this being said, I would challenge you to join with me in looking at the incredible story of the first followers of Jesus Christ. This story is found in the Bible in the book of Acts. Starting on Easter Sunday through Father's Day in June, we will explore the first part of the book of Acts (chapters 1-10) and discover what this narrative has to say to us, how we can relate, and observe how God moved then and how He is still moving today. I will be preaching through this story and invite you to read through it on your own, as well. So, join me in the "diner" as we swap stories and walk out of this gathering place transformed people with new found friendship.

In His Grip,
Pastor David

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Woman at the Well

Have you tried to make a difference in her life?  Who is she?

Maybe we don’t know for sure who she is, but many of us have tried to make a difference in her life this winter. Did you see it? Well, I saw a bit, and would like to share what I saw!

At Christmas time, we at Orange Friends Church began collecting shampoos, lotions, toothbrushes, and other small items that would be donated to The LifeLine Project and assembled into gift bags that would be given to human trafficking victims in Franklin County. The Project had a goal of filling 500 bags. At Christmas, that seemed like a BIG goal.  

Many generous members dropped items in our donation baskets, and our Outreach Commission provided almost $600 to purchase hotel-sized shampoos, lotions, soaps, etc. Our donations were combined with donations from other churches, Franklin County judges and attorneys, and other interested individuals. On February 28, about 40 people packed more than 500 bags in less than 2 hours! A shout out to our Youth Group, many from our congregation, and a few from outside our congregation. Thank you!

The following week (March 5 & 6), I joined a small group with Karen Monroe to deliver some of the bags. The first stop was Franklin County CATCH Court (Changing Actions To Change Habits).   After delivering bags that will be given to CATCH Court members when they are released from jail, we sat in for a bit of the court. Judge Herbert, who founded CATCH Court, has received a national award for his innovative and effective work with human trafficking victims. The courtroom included representatives from many social and Christian service organizations, as well as the women who are part of the CATCH program and required to be in court each week. It was very much a “wow” experience to see people ready and willing to make a difference in these women’s lives, and to see how much the women wanted to live a better life and to help one another.

On Friday, we delivered more bags – to the Amethyst House; Franklin County Health Department; The Well (housed at Salvation Army); and Choices (housed at Faith Mission). Each bag includes a message directing the recipient to Christ in addition to the soaps, socks, etc. There are still more bags to be delivered over the next month, and bags that Karen will be distributing on the street throughout the summer.

You have tried to make a difference in the life of a human trafficking victim. Who is she? We may never know. But, thank you for the part you played in trying to make a difference.

Kay Cermak