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Dear Congregational Family,

1. Justice: Today, and these last few days, our attention has been rightly turned to issues of justice. These days have recalled historic and ongoing injustices in our land.

a. Last Friday, a “March for Life” was held in Washington D.C. Over 650,000 people came out and marched in support of loving and protecting unborn life in our land. Since the legalization of abortion in 1973, over 60 million Americans have lost their lives. (see map example below) Sometimes, a false dichotomy is presented – insisting that to be Pro-Life is to be Anti-Women, but the truth is Christian should be Pro-Life and Pro-Women. God has certainly given enough love and resources for all women and all children in this world! A word to men – if men were to step up and support the mother of their child, abortion would end overnight. Proverbs 31:8 – God declares: “Speak up for those who have no voice, and protect the vulnerable.”

b. Martin Luther King Jr. Day was yesterday. King was a dominate voice in calling the United States to account for the ongoing systemic racism of the nation. He called for non-violent protests. Unfortunately, his voice was silenced in assassination. God is the creator of all, and the voice of God calls out for justice for all. A favorite Bible verse of King’s was from the prophet Amos (5:24), “Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” I was dismayed to read last week, that at a large company factory in Ohio, a noose was found hanging in order to intimidate African American workers. The struggle for justice goes on here on earth. However, the new heaven and new earth will be filled with God’s justice and righteousness, but until then, the church needs to be engaged in these issues in the here and now as we live out the kingdom values of God in this world.

c. January 22: Today is the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade which legalized abortion in our land. Life is God’s most fundamental gift, and must be prized and valued at every point. The Psalmist declared, “For You [God] formed my inward parts; You wove me together in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well….. Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.” – Psalm 139:13-16

d. Myriam’s Story and Song: Last week I referenced Myriam, but unfortunately I made a slight error on the website. Below is the corrected link which you can access her six minute story and hear her sing. Myriam is a Christian Iraqi girl in a refugee camp after her city was destroyed by ISIS. In her interview, the joy of knowing Jesus radiates from her eyes and her words. From her heart flows forgiveness for those who destroyed her home, and there is trust in God even in circumstances which are dire to live in and difficult to understand. You will note that she uses the word “Allah” to refer to God. So often we think “Allah” is only used for the Islam god, but the reality is, Arabic speaking Christians used the word “Allah” for God, for 600 years before Islam was even started by Mohammad! Myriam sings a song her mother wrote. She sings a cappella, but the music and visuals were added later. Follow the link (or simply google Myriam’s Story and Song): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ige6CcXuMg



God bless you as we continue,

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

Pastor Carlson

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