The Young Adults ministry recognizes and celebrates the vital role of young adults in the growth and future of the church. Whether you're navigating your 20s or settling into your 30s, single or married, with or without children, this group meets you where you are. This is the place to build lasting relationships with a caring support system. In addition to Sunday School, First Pres offers several mission and fellowship opportunities for adults ages 22-39(ish) throughout the year.

Pastor Leslie's Weekly Update (February 10, 2021)

I am excited about an upcoming fellowship event that I am planning—a virtual Murder Mystery party! This would take place via zoom, and each person would get a character ahead of time (feel free to dress up and get into character as much as you’d like!). I am thinking it would start around 8pm, which gives people time to put children to bed. Before I set a firm date, I would like to know if a) you would be interested in participating and b) what nights of the week would be best. Please reply to me here and let me know!

Secondly, Ash Wednesday is next week (February 17th) and in addition to offering a virtual service at 7pm, the Chapel will be open all day from 9am-6:30pm for you to receive ashes and personal prayer from a pastor. I will be there from 11am-12pm, but please feel free to come by the Chapel at any point that day!

Have a good week,

Leslie

DEVOTION
“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”- Romans 8:38-39

“Faith at its essential core is accepting that you are accepted!”- Universal Christ, p. 29

Last week I shared a quote from Richard Rohr’s book about how our identity in Christ helps to ease our loneliness. This week, I am reflecting on another gift that our identity in Christ offers to us—an antidote to our fear of rejection.

Our desire to “fit in” starts so early in life, from not wanting to sit alone at lunch to hoping we wouldn’t be picked last in gym class. It continues into our adult lives—we are programmed to want people to like us and to accept us for who we are. Sometimes, however, we compromise who we really are in order to fit in. All of us, myself included, have moments where we feel like we have to put on an act so that people will not reject us, but if we aren’t being our true selves, then we don’t really feel accepted at all.

Richard Rohr says that faith means accepting that we are accepted, just as we are! Our faith tells us that we worship a God who loves us and truly knows us because we are created in God’s image. And Scripture reminds us that nothing can separate us from that love, no matter how far we seem to stray.

It’s one thing to intellectually know that this is true, but it’s an entirely different thing to really accept this revelation as truth! How much of a difference would it make in your day-to-day life if you believed, deep in your core, that you are accepted exactly as you are? That you do not need to earn anyone’s approval because you are already unconditionally loved by God? To me, that feels incredibly freeing! It gives me more permission to be unapologetically myself and to strive to be the best version of myself, not because I am trying to win anyone over, but because I believe that God would not want it any other way.

PRAYER
Loving God, thank you for accepting us and embracing us just as we are. In those times when we struggle with compromising who we are for others’ approval or favor, remind us that we are made in your image and are loved by you, and help us to treat others as created in your divine image as well. Amen.