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Newsletter AUG 2016

Dear Church Family,

I’m thankful to be writing once again this July from Springfield.  It has become an annual place of retreat for me to reflect on a summer that went way too fast, and prepare for an upcoming school year that will be here very soon.  Work at the farm this summer has been a blessing, although challenging at times.  I was thankful to have some high school boys from Maryville work for me, and they helped a whole lot. The field crops look promising, and the garden has some produce on its way.  We thank God for timely rain and good growing conditions.

Bing and I were blessed by a good mission trip to Chicago July 18-23.  We stayed with our daughter Ruth Ann, and served with the Fil-American Baptist Church as they hosted their annual Vacation Bible School.  It was a fun and memorable time. The Lord blessed us with safety, new relationships, and renewal of old ones.  We found a lot of meaningful ways to connect and serve with the Filipino community there.

I am looking forward to more ministry as your pastor at the Rock Port Baptist Church for the upcoming school year.  Bing and I did get around Rock Port a little more this summer and enjoyed the homes where we felt a need for a visit.  My practice has been to commit during July for a whole year, since coming to our church in 2008 for music ministry, and later experiencing the call of God to serve as pastor in 2012.   I feel it is time to renew that commitment and move forward depending on God’s grace for the 2016-17 school year.

I am thankful that our attendance at Sunday services has been so strong this summer.  I have many times felt overwhelmed by the number of people that come, and the number of people who visit.  I ask you to commit with me before the Lord for this next school year as you feel led.  I do know a few who need to move to other places of service, and we will send those folks off with support and gratitude when the time comes.  But I also feel we need to keep reaching out as if we expect to grow, not just maintain.

Daily we face a world where turmoil seems to abound.  Lawlessness, violence, self centered materialism, and resistance to the Gospel seem to confront us as evil grows in the world and point us to the return of Christ.  In the government and political world strife, animosity, and confusion seem to be overwhelming as we approach an election in November.  For me it comes as no surprise, since we know the coming of Christ is nearer than ever before.  It will be a time to strengthen our commitment to the Gospel as we study Galatians this month, and later Colossian this fall.  We will center on Jesus as our Christ, and that the true Gospel points only to Him as our Source of salvation by faith alone.

Both epistles will help us to strengthen our own church as well.  We need relationships of love and care in the church now more than ever.  No one should ever feel that they have to “go it alone” in the Christian life. We need to value the priority of fellowship to keep us strong in love and good deeds.  Remember Hebrews 10:24,25 as we prepare for the days ahead:

       “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not  giving up meeting together, as some are in

                 the habit of doing, but encouraging one  another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching”

With you in the Lord’s service,

Richard Boettner, pastor