District Conference

Donation Updates:

District Conference Offering: Small Church Fund: $757.50

Pennies for Witness Offering: $3,280.25

Outreach Project-McVeytown Volunteer Fire Company & McVeytown Ambulance: $1,030.00

Message from Moderator, Rock Manges

John 15: 8 “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” (NIV)

What does it mean to bear fruit and to be a disciple of Christ? To begin, in order to bear fruit you must be a disciple. You cannot bear fruit by yourself but, only through the power of the Holy Spirit can you bear fruit. So being disciples is a prerequisite of bearing fruit. In this scripture Christ is telling his disciples that because they are “his disciples” only by bearing fruit will they glorify the Father.

Following Christ is not an easy task. In Luke 9: 57-62 Jesus is walking along with others and as they pass different individuals each say they will follow him but they must first do something else and he gives them different reason why they should not bother doing these things. I think that many Christians today find that they are too busy doing “church work” that they don’t have time to do “God’s work.” What we view as “God’s work” may not be that at all. In order to be disciples we must have a personal spiritual relationship with Christ not a superficial physical relation where it looks like we are doing “God’s work’ but we are just busy on the surface. We must dig deep into the scriptures to find those personal nuggets that God has put there for each one of us, bringing us to a closer relationship with Him. We must make prayer a top priority not a “last ditch effort” to bring about change. Many Christians today have a superficial prayer life, we know the right words to make us sound pious but, do we know the “right spirit” and the “right truth” to prayer fervently.

Does all this matter? Can’t I bear fruit without a deep relationship with Christ? It does matter if we want to bear the fruit of Christ. In the beginning of John 15 verse 4 Jesus says “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself: it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”(NIV) Only when we connect and are intentional about our relationship with God, can we produce the fruit God cultivates within us. It is God that does the work in us; our fruit bearing is simply a result of what He does. As Christians, our focus cannot be the fruit which we bear but it must be the relationship with God that we nurture. We can fall into the trap of putting on a holy façade without experiencing real heart transformation. In that case the fruit is our own not that of the Holy Spirit and our hearts are actually lacking the love of Christ.

Being a disciple is not about doing works or attempting righteousness on our own strengths and abilities. Rather, it is about intentionally growing in our walk with Christ, surrendering all to God, inviting the Holy Spirit’s wonderful work of transformation in us, and actively seeking and obeying God in all He calls us to do. Are you in a fruit bearing relationship with God?

Offerings:

Small Church Fund to continue to help churches in the Middle PA District. This fund was developed to help congregations with less than 100 members. It has been used to help congregations with physical plant needs and updates at churches such as roofs, heating & air conditioning updates and also ministry programs. Many churches have paid it forward and given back so that other churches can benefit. Checks payable: Middle PA District.

Pennies for Witness is an offering emphasis on our outreach ministries: Trucker Traveler, CentrePeace, Prince Gallitzin Park Ministry, Small Church Fund, Outreach Ministry Matching Grants, Global Outreach. We encourage congregations to collect pennies, dimes, nickels, quarters and dollars. That is a lot of spare change! Checks payable: Middle PA District

Outreach Project: McVeytown Ambulance and McVeytown Fire Company

The Program & Arrangements Committee would like to support a local ministry in the Lewistown/McVeytown area. The McVeytown Ambulance and McVeytown Fire Company is always on call and is supported by donations. During District Conference we will be collecting items for their ministry.

· Granola Bars

· Protein Bars

· Packs of crackers

· Cases of water

· Gatorade

· Monetary donations

Make checks payable to: Middle PA District-Memo Line: McVeytown Ambulance & McVeytown Fire Company