Thoughts and reflections from Liberty’s Pastors

June 20, 2019

FROM THE DESK OF DAWN PARR

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
~
 Galatians 5:22-23


This summer, we are teaching lessons on the Fruit of the Holy Spirit—in a simple way for Sunday school. The kids have created their very own Fruit of the Spirit Tree. Each Sunday we are adding a new fruit as we learn about these gifts:

  • Strawberry of Love
    The strawberry is in the shape and color of a heart. God’s love is more special than any other love. We cannot do anything to make Him love us more, and the more we grow in our friendship with God, the more we will be able to share His love with others.
  • Oranges of Joy
    When we peel an orange, the pieces inside are in the shape of a smile. We define Joy as the comfort of knowing that God is with us all the time—whether we are happy or we are sad, God is always there.  This comfort will make you smile—that is Joy.
  • Pineapple Peace
    Did you know that a pineapple is already prepared in pieces to eat?  If you cut the crown off following the diamond pattern that you see on the rind, then you can pull apart the pieces, God gives us peace that we can rely on anytime.  Every piece of your life can have God’s peace.
  • Patient Watermelon
    Growing up, most of us had watermelons with seeds. It takes patience to remove the seeds when eating a watermelon.  There are times in our lives when we need God’s patience as we pick through difficult situations.
  • Goodness of Grapes and Kindness of Bananas
    Bananas are loaded with potassium—nature’s electrolytes for our bodies, and grapes are full of antioxidants—to stop free radicals in our body. God’s word and His relationship with us nourishes our soul and protects us from the world.
  • Faithful Cherries
    Cherries grow in bunches and stick together.  Jesus is faithful to those He calls His own.
  • Gentle Pear
    One must be gentle with a pear or it will bruise.  God is gentle with our spirit and when we draw close to Him, we can experience and share that gentleness with others.  
  • Apple of Self-Control
    The Bible tells the tale of Eve’s choice. She did not have self-control. Actually, none of us have self-control. Instead, we need to give ourselves over to the saving power of Jesus. The Fruit of the Holy Spirit is the real power of God that we can experience in ourselves. The more we draw close to Him, the more fruit he will give us in lives.  Grow your FRUIT this summer and experience the Holy Spirit’s full presence in you!

Blessings!
Dawn Parr
Director of Children’s Ministries

June 13, 2019

FROM THE DESK OF PASTOR JOHN

Dear Friends:
Work has begun on the renovation of the Old Hall! 

Before the construction of the Carriage House in 2009, the Old Hall was one of the few adult meeting rooms at Liberty. When the Carriage House opened, all groups who had met regularly in the Old Hall moved across the parking lot to enjoy the new, clean, up-to-date rooms in the Carriage House.

But Liberty continues to grow, and more space is necessary to accommodate new groups. As the design renderings show, the renovation of the Old Hall will make it an inviting, desirable, and comfortable place for groups to meet for study or fellowship.

The renovation will take three months to complete, during which the Hall will not be usable (scheduled groups have been re-assigned to other rooms). With the Hall closed, a handicap-accessible portable bathroom — located in the northeast corner of the lower parking lot — will be available during summer outdoor worship.

When finished, the building will be re-named “Fearing Hall” in honor of long-term Liberty member Doris Fearing. Doris’ 2008 bequest of $500,000 made possible Liberty’s Endowment Fund, a major upgrade to the Barn sound system, an office computer upgrade, a strategic site plan study, and an advance gift to the Renew campaign.

The renovation of Fearing Hall will bring the two-year Renew Campaign to completion. Now that the Youth Room renovation is complete and the renovation of Fearing Hall has begun, please review your 2019 Renew commitment to be sure you’re up to date! Your contribution makes all the difference.

Serving Jesus with you,
John

June 6, 2019

Dear Friends:

This Sunday, June 9, we meet outside at 10:00 a.m. for worship under the oaks! What could be better than to worship in the beauty of God’s creation? We will also be simulcasting the service inside the air-conditioned Chapel. If you need steady ground underfoot, then we recommend taking the sidewalk to the Chapel, or handicapped parking by the lawn, where you can hear us and where the deacons and elders will check-in with you. Please help any visitors find a good spot!  In case of inclement weather, check the homepage @ 8:30 a.m.

This coming weekend is also Liberty’s Be the Church Weekend! Our youth leave on their annual mission trip – but they don’t get to have all the fun! We have all kinds of ways that YOU can be involved and make a difference for those in need in our community.

This Saturday you can join us in picking up litter and helping a local neighborhood. Or on Sunday you can join in creating tie blankets for foster children, assembling hygiene kits for the homeless and those in Women’s Shelters, making cards for homeless teens and those serving overseas, visiting the homebound and more!  Call the Church Office to register, or simply join us on Sunday! And if you can bring cookies to the kitchen Sunday a.m., or much-needed supplies by Friday a.m. (see list) – that would be greatly appreciated!

Below is a poem by a favorite Christian writer, Ann Weems.  May everything we do as a church – from Columbus to Chicago to Honduras – be a gift of living hope to another.

Our Gifts are Gift of Hope

Our yearning after God,
our hope for a better way
creates infinite possibilities
to touch the lives of the untouched

to reach the hearts
of the unreached

to feed the bodies
of the unfed….

Our gifts are gifts of hope;
O God,
touch
reach
heal
feed
accept
and love us
that we might love one another.

~Anne Weems, Searching for Shalom

Serving Jesus and His beloved children with each of you,
Becky

May 30, 2019

Dear Friends:

The Apostle John writes,

“Let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” (1 John 3:18). In other words, “Love is a verb; without action it is only a word.” Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection are God’s love in action.  And us?

Well, we have to start somewhere – and June 7-9th, we hope to give you the opportunity to try all kinds of local missions!  Please join us in our Be the Church Weekend – where we will be making a difference for others who are right on our doorstep.  We want Liberty to be known as a church that cares – not only for its own, but for our those in our community.

Are you good at minor repairs and painting? Join our Furniture Bank crew.
How about baking cookies, or visiting the homebound?  Join our cookie or visitation crew!
Maybe you want to make a difference for foster children – then sign up to help with tie blankets.

Or maybe you and yours can help pick up litter for an hour on Saturday morning?

Or serve a meal?

Or bring in or assemble supplies for our military serving overseas?

We have endless possibilities – for all ages! Details below.

SIGN UP on SUNDAY or Click Here to Follow this LINK!

Help to make Liberty the Church that Cares – with arms outstretched all over Columbus.

Serving Jesus with you,

Becky

May 23, 2019

Dear Friends:

“Our ‘safe place’ is not where we live, it is in whom we live.” (T. White)

I ran across this quote the other day and have been savoring it. Our safe place – our refuge – is not a physical place or even our outward circumstances, even though both feel like they define our lives. The reality of what is happening around us – at work, at home, in the daily news onslaught or even our physical bodies – feels like it creates a foundation that is either shaky or strong. But it is the Lord – the One in whom we “live and move and have our being” that is our safe place (Acts 17:28). The Lord is the one who is our center, our dwelling place – our “rock and refuge” as the Psalmist repeatedly cries.

When storms threaten us, and circumstances become too much, we can cling to Him in faith, thankful that our Rock is our unshakable refuge.

O safe to the Rock that is higher than I
My soul in its conflicts and sorrows would fly;
So sinful, so weary—Thine, thine would I be:
Thou blest “Rock of Ages,” I’m hiding in Thee.
~Cushing

Blessings,
Becky

May 16, 2019

May 9, 2019

For You, Lord, are good …and abundant in loving kindness to all who call upon You.
~Psalm 86:5

Dear Friends:
It is almost Mother’s Day, and we are being bombarded with ads for flowers, all kinds toiletries (I have a closet full!) and even jewelry! I have to admit, however, that what I loved the most at Mother’s Day was not the gifts. What I loved were those cards my children made when they were small. You know the ones – the kind that they made themselves, drawing a picture of the family or some big hearts, and then covering it all in glue and glitter. I also loved the breakfast-in-bed attempts, and the extra hugs and sticky kisses.

There are so many seasons to parenting – from rocking a newborn to chasing after little chubby toddler legs to those amazing car conversations with the teenager who only shares certain things when you are on the road!

What I’ve been thinking about lately is how God is with us through all those seasons. Sometimes being a Mom can be a lonely business. We feel like we should have all the answers, or the perfect child, or even the perfect family (just see Facebook!) But the Lord walks with us through it all – the good times and the bad, the joyous celebrations and the sleepless nights. He isn’t the one expecting perfection – He is the one covering us with His tender mercies and calling us His beloved. As Augustine said: “God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.”

So, I hope this Sunday brings joy or joyful memories for each of you.  But above all gifts, I hope you know just how treasured you and yours are by our Lord.

In His abounding love,
Becky

May 2, 2019

FROM THE DESK OF DAWN PARR

How Do We Celebrate After Easter?

Now that the candy has been eaten, the hidden eggs have been discovered, and we have resumed our over-scheduled lives, how can we continue in celebration of Jesus Resurrected?

The Bible gives us that perfect example in Jesus reinstating Peter. John 21 reveals Jesus teaching Peter, the Rock of the Church, how to live in the Resurrection. Jesus commands Peter—and us—to love others and this is so important that He reiterates it three specific times. Jesus wants us to… Feed my sheep. Feed my sheep, Feed my sheep.

It’s not enough to simply show up for worship. It’s not enough to participate in the Lord’s Prayer or join in the praise and worship. It’s not enough to show up for Sunday School. Jesus commands us—You need to feed my sheep. Feeding His sheep is showing love. When we do this we are celebrating the Resurrection.

So how do you love sheep? How do you feed them with love? Paul spells it out beautifully in I Corinthians 13: Patience, Kindness. No arrogance. No rudeness. Humbleness. Rejoicing in what’s right. Sharing hope and truth. This is how you feed sheep.

Do you love me? Then among the sheep — do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God. I really, really, really mean it.

Imagine a world in which everyone experienced such a resurrection of spirit and purpose. You might call it, The Kingdom of God. Or perhaps, “living in the Resurrection!”