And after more than a year of pandemic restrictions, many of us find ourselves craving community. We need to be with people. We want to connect personally with friends and family. And as more of us get vaccinated, safe opportunities to be in community will expand.
This spring we’ll focus on our need for healthy, personal connection – and God’s plan to provide it. We’ll explore the New Testament’s vision for a Christ-centered community that restores us. And we’ll offer you opportunities, both online and in person, to satisfy that craving!
Along with the new series, we're offering two discussion groups. These groups will meet once a week for six weeks and are a great way to dig a little deeper into Pastor Steve's weekly messages and meet new friends at FaithWestwood.
We live in a divided world, don’t we? We like to label ourselves and others. Obviously, we don’t want to deny our differences – that would be foolish. But when we are “in Christ,” those differences don’t define who we really are. This week we’ll learn about our solid foundation for the community we crave.
Eating healthy foods makes you a healthier person. So do exercise and a good night’s sleep. Did you know that good relationships can also make you a healthier person? And gathering weekly with a worshiping community can boost your well-being. One way we do that is by encouraging one another. This week we’ll learn about being the kind of community where we build each other up.
Who doesn’t love a bonfire once in a while? We like to watch the flames grow bright and warm. But if each stick of wood was separated, the flames would quickly die out. Only when the wood is brought together – with a little space for air – do they all stay aflame. And when we stay in community, the work of the Holy Spirit keeps us aflame with life. This week we’ll learn how to live by the Spirit together.
It’s an American ideal to be independent and handle our problems by ourselves. But it’s not very practical – or realistic. God’s ideal is for us to be in community. That includes giving and receiving in times of need. And it’s never a pressured thing. It’s about a generosity and humility inspired by the Holy Spirit. This week we’ll learn about caring for one another as Jesus’s people.
Healthy marriages are not conflict-free. It’s how couples do conflict and how they recover from it that matters most. And it’s the same with a healthy community. What does good conflict look like? How bold can we be when confronting one another? How do we accept correction? And how do we love each other through it all? This week we’ll learn about practicing healthy conflict.
Something happens when we worship together that doesn’t happen when we’re home alone. The presence of the Spirit residing in each of us creates a holy synergy. It happens when we sing together and pray together and receive the word of the Lord together. It happens when we receive the sacraments together and surrender ourselves to Jesus together. This week we’ll learn about the transforming power of worshiping God together.