St. George Community Church 

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

Pastors Corner

THE COMMUNICATOR- January 2019

Posted on January 10, 2019 at 12:40 AM Comments comments (0)

A NOTE FROM YOUR PASTOR:

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

 

As we begin a new year, let us be intentional about beginning it with prayer. If you are one who makes New Year’s Resolutions, may one of your resolutions be to give increased time to sharing with the Lord in prayer.

A helpful acronym that reminds us of the different parts of prayer is ACTS: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication.

Adoration is also known as praise. Oftentimes we confuse praise with thanksgiving. However, praise is a separate part of prayer where we state and declare the wonderful qualities of God to whom we are praying. A good example of this is found in the prayer of the early church in Acts 4:25-26, where they are asking God for boldness. They begin their prayer by saying, “Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, who by the mouth of Your servant David have said: 'Why did the nations rage, And the people plot vain things? The kings of the earth took their stand, And the rulers were gathered together Against the Lord and against His Christ.'

Did you see how they simply state the powerful characteristics and qualities of God? They find the words for praise in the Psalms, and here they quote from both Psalm 146:6 and Psalm 2:1. Let’s see if we can grow in praise to the Lord as we find words of praise in the Bible which we can use to begin our prayers.

The ‘C’ in our acronym, ACTS, stands for confession, and the book of 1 John 1:9 reminds us that if we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us, but if we confess our sin, then God, who is faithful and just, will forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Confession is an important part of prayer as we come before a holy and righteous God.

The ‘T’ is for thanksgiving and this is the part of prayer we also need reminders in. Like the old hymns says, ‘Count Your Blessings.’ God has blessed us richly in Jesus Christ and we must never take our blessings for granted.

Finally, ‘S’ stands for supplication or intercession. This is usually the largest part of our prayers as we lift up our concern for sick family and friends. God is the source of all goodness and power, so it is right to ask of Him. The Bible says we are to cast our cares on the Lord for He cares for us.

This New Year’s Day our church is hosting the second annual ‘Christ Over the City’ prayer meeting at 12 noon for all Bible-believing Christians from churches all over town to gather in prayer for our community. This is a time to especially ask God to revive our churches and to pray for unbelievers to come to salvation in Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is the answer to our problems and difficulties as we place our hope in Him alone. My prayer is that you will have a blessed New Year and grow in your relationship with the Lord through heartfelt prayer.

`My love be with you all,

Pastor Ray

 

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


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