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Connections Newsletter Volume 17 April - June 2020

  • Protecting God’s Valuables

    Safety Team helps God look out for our well-being


       To the casual observer they are just enjoying another Sunday morning of fellowship and friendship at the entrance to Life Spring Church. But Patrick Tranco and Keith Trottier are doing much more. 
       As members of Life Spring’s Safety Team, along with Bill Woodyard team leader Elsa Perez and co-leader Ryan Dyck, they are on the lookout for signs of trouble. 
       “I think of Life Spring as our family and our home,” said Patrick. “Like anyone, I just want to protect my home.”
    Everyone on the team has practical experience in the safety and security of others, Elsa said.
       Conversation, as opposed to confrontation, is a skill Elsa sought in assembling the team.
       As an alarming number of churches in America are confronting violent incidents, the safety team is committed to keep it from happening here.
       Earthquakes, fires, and power outages are things we’re prepared for, but domestic violence has been the most common threat in churches, Elsa said.
       In addition to the entrance of the church, there are three other posts where team members keep a watchful eye.
       De-escalation is the driving force in removing a disruptive person from the premises.

     

     “I want to help keep our church safe in an increasingly complex world.”                   - Ryan Dyck


        Hank Laird proposed the idea in 2018, but his retirement a year later would require
    another to lead the team.
      Though doubtful at first, through a lot of
    prayer, Elsa became convinced that she does indeed have the skills needed for this job.
      Attention to detail is organization skills, which Elsa uses every day as the Office
    Manager.
       There were procedures to document,
    training sessions to schedule, and meetings with other churches seeking best practices in safety. Before the COVID-19 shutdown in March, there were occasional meetings to make sure everyone is on the same page. Team members were encouraged to attend the community-wide Worship Safety Network meetings, where other church safety teams met to collaborate and learn from each other.
        The team is on hiatus for shutdown, and when church services will resume is
    unknown, but the team’s faith is certain.
        Bill, who questions whether he is qualified to be on the Safety Team, is sure of one thing:
      “When the time comes that I need to act, God can, and will, qualify me and guide me.”


     “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me.”                    - Psalm 138:7

  • The Case for Trusting in God

      Trusting in God will lead to spiritual and material blessings

     

    1 Now it happened that while the crowd was pressing around Him and listening to the word of God, He was standing by the lake of Gennesaret; 2 and He saw two boats lying at the edge of the lake; but the fishermen had gotten out of them and were washing their nets. 3 And He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little way from the land. And He sat down and began teaching the people from the boat. 4 When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 Simon answered and said, Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets.”  6 When they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break; 7 so they signaled to their partners in the other boat for them to come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 But when Simon Peter saw that, he fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying, Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!” 9  For amazement had seized him and all his companions because of the catch of fish which they had taken; 10  and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men.” 11 When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him.      –Luke5:1-11


       We read in Luke 5 that Peter had spent his night as he usually did - fishing - but didn’t catch anything. He was surely tired, frustrated, and ready to go home. However, Jesus asked to borrow his boat in order to preach to the crowd. 

       Peter knew there were other boats around, but Jesus asked for his. When Jesus finished speaking to the crowd, He told Peter to spread the nets again. The fisherman replied, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say” (Luke 5:5).
       Peter’s trust led to nets that overflowed with fish. By saying yes to the Lord’s plan, he experienced both material and spiritual blessings.
       The benefits far outweighed any effort or inconvenience. God’s requests can come at inopportune moments or when we least expect them. We may be tempted to let someone else respond, thinking that it won’t matter who answers His call.
       But God’s plans are always for our spiritual good (Jer. 29:11). Trusting in God - even in the areas where we feel knowledgeable and skilled enough to handle matters ourselves - is essential to enjoying His rewards and extending them to others.
       What is Jesus asking of you?

  • Services Continue Online

       With the “stay at home" order in effect across the country, the experience of closed churches on Sunday morning is strangely uncomfortable.
      Scientists say the pandemic will be worse if we don’t limit human contact, so activities like our twice on Sunday
    services have been suspended.
       The first Sunday service of the new order was on the church website and on Facebook March 22.
       Pastor Tony Amatangelo (his wife Sylvia recording) sat before a roaring fire and delivered “Difficult Times, Dependable God.”
      Worship for the first six Sundays was led by Edna and Michael “MJ” Johnson from their home. The first performance of full band onstage was on May 3.
       The Sunday services can be accessed on Facebook and can be viewed at any time. The services are also on You Tube and the Life Spring Website.
       The note taking outline and Action Plan are also on the Website at www.lifespringcommunity.org.