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Dear Congregational Family,
1.      Confirmation:  This Sunday is Confirmation Sunday.  We have a wonderful class of youth who will be making their vows before God and the congregation.  Please be in prayer for them and encourage them.  Last night, at their Public Exam, they did a marvelous job with all of their memory work!
2.      Israel: Yesterday, May 14th, was the 70th anniversary of the re-formation of the nation of Israel.  In the Old Testament book of Isaiah, God had given the prophecy that the nation would in the future be “born in one day” and that was fulfilled by decree of the United Nations on May 14, 1948.  Since that day, Biblical prophecy has been unfolding at an increasing rate as we await the return of Christ.  Yesterday, the U.S. also moved our embassy in Israel to the city of Jerusalem.  This also brings more pieces of prophecy together.  Watch and pray!
3.      Ramadan: Today begins the Islamic observance of Ramadan, which lasts for 30 days.  This is a time for Christians to pray!!  During this time, Muslims are more open to spiritual things.  Pray that the Holy Spirit opens their minds to the truth of who Jesus really is and that their hearts would be receptive to the grace of God.  Pray also for our brothers and sisters in Christ in Islamic lands, as they often experience intensified persecution during these weeks.  Pray that God would give them the strength and grace to be a witness to the Muslims around them.
4.      Life: Last week, an internationally acclaimed, 104 year old scientist from Australia said goodbye to his family and flew to Switzerland to commit suicide.  He had three doctorates, published over 100 papers, and in 2016, at the age of 102, he was still working at the University in Perth, Australia.  Although he was not terminally ill, he was 104 and felt he no longer had a purpose to keep living, and did not want to experience deceasing health.  He simply stated that he did not want to live any longer as he had nothing to look forward to other than decreasing health.  He was not a religious man and said he “had no believe in the afterlife.” It’s hard to fathom the utter emptiness of this situation.  I cannot imagine how his family would say, “Good bye, we are OK with this.”   “Exit International” and other pro assisted suicide groups are celebrating him for choosing his own death.  This is alarming as portions of our world lose sight of the sanctity of life at every age, and also lose sight of our Creator and the relationship that God wants us to have with Him both now and forever.  Life always has meaning, value and purpose, because we are created in the image of God.  Our life, and our times, are to be in the Lord’s hands.  We are not to end our life by our own hand.

God bless you as we continue,
​              “Growing Together in our Faith as the Family of God.”

                                             Pastor Carlson

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