St. George Community Church 

435-673-2302 | 95 South 800 East | St. George, Utah 84770        Pastor Ray Schroeder

Pastors Corner


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THE COMMUNICATOR...In Christ Alone." August 2018

Posted on August 7, 2018 at 1:30 AM Comments comments (0)

A NOTE FROM YOUR PASTOR:

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,


On July 18th at our quarterly Congregational Meeting the church approved by majority vote a revised set of By Laws. Tucked away in those revised By Laws in Article V, Section 1, paragraph 12 was the church’s current mission statement: To seek the lost and witness to Jesus Christ alone for salvation. No one questioned it or commented on it. In fact, it wasn’t mentioned at all. Yet, this is the foundational mission of our church. It is based on the Great Commission Jesus gave to His disciples in Matthew 28:19,20: “’Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age’ Amen.”

This is still the commission given to each and every congregation. Jesus said He came to seek and to save the lost, and we as the body of Christ on earth have that same task and mission. We are to go and seek to make disciples as a congregation and as individuals in an intentional method of outreach. We are to lift up the truth that we are saved in and by Christ Jesus alone.

Everything we do as a church should line-up with that mission. At our worship we proclaim the gospel in music and song all of which tells of our need for Christ alone as our Savior. In our Bible classes and group meetings our main aim should be of all that is taught and said lifts up the gospel message of Christ alone and our need for a Savior. All our activities as a church should encourage us in spreading the gospel and in inviting others to hear the good news of Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins and his resurrection to eternal life. This is the reason for the church.

It is an easy thing for the church to forget it’s mission and to be about many other things, all of which can be good and useful but none of which is the main thing: spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ as Savior to a lost world. In the book of Acts Jesus told his disciples to wait in Jerusalem where “…you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth”  ( Acts 1 ). He is telling you and me that we, as His disciples and believers, are to be witnesses to him. We are to tell of what He’s done and what He means in our lives.

One important way of reaching out to a lost world that is less intimidating than verbally sharing the gospel or your testimony with someone is to simply invite them to come to church here where they will hear the gospel. To help facilitate this we have church business cards with the church information on one side and the gospel on the other. This way you can invite a neighbor or friend who doesn’t attend a church (or a gospel believing church) to come and worship with you.

God is calling you to be about His mission today. Find ways of reaching out and inviting people to come to church. I want to encourage you when you read the new revised copy of the church’s By Laws, to be sure to turn to Article V, Section 1 and paragraph 12 and read (and then memorize) the mission of our church: To seek the lost and witness to Jesus Christ alone for salvation. May God bless you in your mission!


My love be with you all in Christ,

Pastor Ray


Christ is Risen! He is Risen, indeed!

Posted on March 17, 2018 at 5:35 AM Comments comments (2)

THE COMMUNICATOR

APRIL 2018

A NOTE FROM YOUR PASTOR:



Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,


“Christ is Risen!” “He is Risen, Indeed!”

This is the joyful shout and response of Easter morning. Interestingly, this year Easter falls on April Fool’s Day. However, the resurrection is no joke. It is the absolute truth. The resurrection of Jesus Christ in a physical body is so important that the Bible says without it our faith is in vain and we are still in our sins. We must constantly and committedly lift up the truth of Jesus’ resurrection to a world that thinks it is of no consequence or ignores it completely.


There are two factors that constitute the truth of the resurrection: the empty grave and the appearances of Jesus after his death. We know that Jesus was completely and totally dead on the cross. After the initial whippings and physical torture he endured he was then nailed to a cross and a soldier punctured his side with a spear. Blood and water rushed out which is a sign of cardiac failure. Let no one tell you that Jesus was not completely and totally dead on the cross. He was dead.


Then Jesus was buried for three days before arising from the tomb. No one was present at the actually moment of his resurrection but when the women arrived at the tomb on Sunday morning it was empty. Romans and Pharisees tried to spread the story that His body had been stolen but no dead body was ever found.


Then Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene and to the other Apostles and finally to more than 500 believers at one time (1 Cor. 15:6). Many of whom were still alive at the time of the writing of the books of the New Testament and who could have verified to anyone that they saw the risen Lord Jesus. He told his disciples that he was not a ghost and to touch him and see, for a ghost doesn’t have flesh and bones (Luke 24:39).


No rebuttal to the resurrection has ever been proven. The body was not stolen or hidden. The tomb was empty. Jesus appeared physically to his disciples and it was not simply a vision or a spirit. This is the great good news of Jesus’ resurrection. It’s true! And because of Christ’s resurrection we know our sins are forgiven and we have eternal life. Our great and blessed hope is that we, too, shall be resurrected and we shall be changed to be like him.


Also, because of the resurrection we can be assured that every Word of Jesus is true and every word of the Bible is true. Jesus believed all of the Bible and He believed it in a literal fashion. Because Jesus rose from the grave I believe the earth was created in six days. I believe Jesus was born of a virgin. I believe that Christ ascended to heaven in the same resurrection body and that He is coming again in that same body. Praise God for the resurrection! Let’s spread the Good News reminding everyone that this is no April Fool’s joke. This is the glorious truth!


My love be with you all in Christ,


Pastor Ray


Be Active Witnesses to Jesus Christ

Posted on February 22, 2018 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (0)

THE COMMUNICATOR

MARCH 2018

A NOTE FROM YOUR PASTOR:


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,


Recently this country experienced another tragic shooting in Florida at a high school. There are calls to do something more than ‘just pray.’ People want tangible results that bring about change and which limit the shootings we seem to experience more and more. Yet, we need to remember the world in which we live is a fallen world filled with sin. Even at the birth of the Savior in Bethlehem sin raised it’s ugly head as Herod killed the infants under two years of age. Sin is the cause of evil and satan will deceive anyone he can and enlist him or her in his evil plans. On the cross we see sin and satan trying to do their worst to the Son of God only to be defeated by the resurrection on Easter morning. What can we do to be an active partner in this fight against sin and evil? 


As we approach Good Friday and Passover on the final weekend of this month our minds should turn to contemplating and meditating on the death of our Lord and Savior on a cross. In this is love, that God sent his only son to be an atoning sacrifice for us, and to give His life that we may live. By his death He paid the price of sin and he calls all sinners to repent and believe in him for everlasting life that begins as soon as one turns to Christ.


The thing the church is called to do is to lift up Jesus Christ and call all people to repent and believe in Him. And, yes, we are to pray. But that’s not all. We are to be active witnesses to Jesus Christ. One of the most frightening phrases a police officer can hear coming over his radio is ‘active shooter.’ We, as born again Christians, need to become active witnesses. We can no longer be passive witnesses for Jesus Christ, thinking that people will come into the church and be saved if we just open the doors. No, we must reach out to the community about us, to the stranger, and call them to faith in Jesus Christ.


I know it’s hard. I struggle with witnessing myself. I can always find a reason not to bring up the subject of Jesus with someone. We all have a number of excuses that all seem valid as to why we are not active witnesses. But if the troubled youth (or the troubled person of any age) is not reached with the gospel of Jesus Christ, then satan will use him for his own evil ends. There is no in-between. We can no longer sit inside the four walls of our church building and think the people who need Jesus will come to us. We must go to them. Church isn’t simply about increasing membership or adding on to the building or creating more programs inside. Jesus calls us to seek and save the lost through the work of the Holy Spirit. What will you say to Christ when He asks you what you did in the war against evil?


Let us contemplate the victory Christ has won for us on the cross and let us pray about how we and this church can become active witnesses reaching others in the war against evil and sin. Let us encourage one another and build up one another in the faith to go and seek and find. To the glory of God!

My love be with you all in Christ,


Pastor Ray


Your Faith Has Made You Well

Posted on February 16, 2018 at 2:45 AM Comments comments (2)

A NOTE FROM YOUR PASTOR:


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,


In February we often think of Valentine’s Day and the promise of romantic love. But the Bible tells us that love is greater than romantic love. It is self-giving in the name of Jesus Christ. To love means to lay down our lives for our friends (yes, and even for our enemies) through the power of the indwelling Christ. How can we lay down our lives? It starts in small ways. One way is through the giving of our time.

We’ve all heard the expression “time is money.” But time is the stuff of life. We give of ourselves by the giving of our time. One important way to give of our time is through listening to others, one-on-one. Jesus was a great listener. He went into villages where the sick and demon-possessed came to him for healing. Frequently he spent all day with sick people—listening to their complaints and hearing them describe their ailments. First of all, Jesus asked people what they wanted, then He listened compassionately before healing them. As individuals described their afflictions and spoke of their faith in Jesus, they felt relief. “Your faith has made you well,” Jesus told them. First He would listen, then He would heal.

Listening is also an important tool for healing and for helping us to relate to one another in a caring and compassionate way. To listen to another is often the way the Lord opens the door for us to share Christ. Christ died to ransom us from the power of sin and selfishness. He laid down His life for us. When we are born again in Jesus Christ His Spirit lives in us leading and guiding us to lay down our lives for others through something as simple as listening. We listen to others out of our love for Christ who leads us to love our neighbor.

The body of Christ, the church, is meant to be a unity where each part cares for every other part and all are built up, in love, toward the head, Jesus Christ. We see that for us to go and to listen to others offers a real way to love in the same spirit as Jesus. In addition, listening to others’ needs and concerns in church shows us how to pray for them; listening also reveals ways to help others. We find that as we pray for others and help them in different ways, we are joined together in love. Then the Spirit will open the opportunity for us to speak to them of Christ—the one who empowers our listening.

May you each grow in your love for one another as you listen and truly hear in the name of Jesus Christ. Happy Valentine’s Day!


My love be with you all in Christ,


Pastor Ray

 

Christ Over the City

Posted on February 16, 2018 at 2:40 AM Comments comments (0)

A NOTE FROM YOUR PASTOR:

January 2018


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

 

On the first day of 2018, Monday, January 1st at noon, thirty-four Christians from different denominations and congregations met downstairs at our church to join in prayer. The gathering was called 'Christ Over the City' and it was a time of prayer in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins and to lift up Jesus Christ as the only name under heaven by which men must be saved and to pray that many would find salvation in Jesus Christ this coming year. It wasn't a time to honor local dignitaries or to recognize the various ministers and pastors who attended. It was all about Jesus Christ and the need to find forgiveness in Him and to pray for others to find new and eternal life by believing in Him.

We prayed aloud and we prayed silently, agreeing in our hearts and minds with those who were praying. We knew we were one in Jesus Christ.

We knew we were one in the Holy Spirit and we experienced that unity that comes from believing in the only begotten Son of God. Hearts were warmed and spirits were encouraged as we looked toward the start of a new year and all that it had to offer in the way of reaching out to the unsaved with grace and truth. We prayed to show love to all even as we prayed to be bold in sharing the message of the gospel. We sang 'Amazing Grace' at the beginning of the hour and we finished our prayer time by singing 'There Is a Fountain.' A local bagel shop provided free bagels and 'shmear' and we shared over bagels and coffee after our time of united prayer.

God blessed our time together in a unique way that only those in Christ Jesus can know. We prayed that all may come to know Him and His love. There is something more important than ‘the common good’ of a city or community and that is that people come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. To know Jesus is eternal life. We give God all the glory and praise for the time and the prayers we shared. My continued prayer for this year is that Bible-believing Christians and congregations will join together for a united witness--a witness that does not compromise the name of Jesus in any way. I pray that you will have a blessed year and that you will face it with a renewed hope in Jesus Christ and the power of prayer in His name. May God richly bless you and yours in the love of Jesus Christ this day and throughout the year!

My love be with you all in Christ,


Pastor Ray


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