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Dear Congregational Family,

1. Doctoral Studies: I am continuing my intensive class studies. What a wonderful time!! It is so intense, so invigorating, so refreshing! In some ways it is like taking a drink out of a fire hydrant! Thanks for your prayers! I look forward to continuing to utilize what I am learning and working on, for the sake of our congregation.

2. This week, my class focus is upon missions around the world. I have found myself dissolved in tears of weeping at some points as we have looked at the brokenness of the world, and at other times uplifted in great joy in witnessing the great work of God that is taking place. I was sobered to learn more details of the increasing persecution that is unfolding in China, even just last week. Over 1,000,000 are in concentration camps in western China right now. But even in the great suffering, God brings healing and joy as seen in this video of a Christian Iraqi girl (Mryiam) in a refugee camp. She sings a song her mother wrote. She sings cappella, but the music and visuals were added later. Follow the link:

3. As I mentioned last week, another benefit of this time, is the opportunity to enjoy fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ from around the world. In my class this week are church leaders from: Singapore, an Ethiopian refugee, Kenya, Nigeria, South Carolina, Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Colorado, Minnesota, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and Australia.

4. Purpose of Missions: “Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t.” – John Piper

5. “After these things I [The Apostle John] looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and people and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’” – Revelation 7:9,10

6. Sunday: This Sunday we will also be having our congregational meeting following both services, for the purpose of electing new council members for this coming year. Please take the time to be part of this. I look forward to being with you!

God bless you as we continue,

“Growing Together in our Faith as the Family of God”

Pastor Carlson

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