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MOnday Morning News

Oct. 16, 2017

Hi All,
 I’m sure many of us have a few stray keys around the house. We have no idea what they go to but we hang on to them, nonetheless. Since keys are the way we get through locked doors and boxes we’re reluctant to throw them away. Just because we have forgotten what they went to doesn’t mean that we won’t suddenly need them. In my desk at the church, I have a whole wad of keys. I have no idea what they fit, but I dare not throw them away. I am convinced that deep in some subterranean chamber of the building there is a door that may need the keys I have. If that’s true, there are a lot of hidden doors around here. Nonetheless, I hang on to them, sure that they go to something of great importance.

In Matthew’s gospel we read about how Jesus and his friends were off in a place away from the Galilean crowds. Jesus probably needed a break from the hecticness of his increasing popularity and so they went off to Caesarea Philippi, a heavily pagan district to the north of Galilee. While they were there, Jesus engaged his disciples in conversation:
… he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16.13-19)

Keys are symbolic. They represent power, authority, trust, stewardship, responsibility – and a few other things I’ve not mentioned. When someone gives us the keys to their home or car they are saying, “I trust you and am sure that you will take good care of what is important to me. I am giving you authority and power over what is mine to give.”

In Matthew’s gospel, Peter confesses his trust in Jesus as the promised Messiah and Jesus responds by entrusting him with the keys to the kingdom. In some circles of the church (and it’s not just one particular denomination) this is interpreted as Peter being given authority over who gets into heaven. But I prefer to think that Jesus is responding to Peter’s whole-hearted confession rather than to Peter himself. If you look up this particular passage and read on further you’ll find that it’s not too long before Jesus is saying to Peter “Get behind me Satan!” Just like all of us, he was still capable of being right on the mark one day and way off the next! The rock on which Jesus builds his church is not Peter, it is the faith that Peter confessed.

Does this mean that as we confess Christ we, too, are given the keys to the kingdom? I think that’s a stab in the right direction. Jesus looks upon our honest faith as a reason to say, “I love you, I trust you, and I’m sure that, with my help, you’ll take good care of what I give you.” Now, I know that I don’t always live up to those high expectations. I don’t always do well with what Jesus entrusts to me. Indeed, I often fall short. (Peter certainly did!) But, what a wonderful way to understand what faith means. Putting our faith in Jesus Christ means that every day Jesus trusts us to make a good run at life. That every day, we can put the past in the past and get on with the new life before us. And if we stumble, he still trusts us with the keys.

Now, I only wonder, if I do throw out those keys in my desk drawer only to find I need them the next day, what will I do?

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Highlights from Glacier Presbytery’s October 14 & 15, 2017 Retreat/Meeting

People from all over Glacier Presbytery and the U.S. gathered last weekend in Cut Bank for the Presbytery Retreat and Meeting.
The retreat leader was the Rev. Sean Chow who is our resource person for 1001 New Worshiping Communities.
• We learned about becoming a transformational/transforming church.
• Often we just complain about the situation we are in and are unwilling to do the hard work of transformation.
• We need to change from the attractional model of being a church into the missional model. We are a sent people. Instead of inviting people into our comfort zone, we need to be willing to go to where we are uncomfortable.
• We need to be willing to change our perspective from doing ministry to people to doing ministry with people.
• We need to change from “come and see” to “go and serve.”
• We heard great news from the camp – we finished 2016 in the black and the mortgage on Spruce Lodge is being steadily reduced!
• We voted on the Presbytery Budget. We voted to raise per capita to $45.00 total. We elected people to presbytery leadership and committee positions.
• We learned about the work of our presbytery’s Long Term Recovery Team that was formed to help the presbytery recover from the deck collapse at the camp this summer.
• On Saturday night we worshiped with a Taizé style worship service.
• On Sunday morning we worshiped with the Cut Bank congregation.
God’s people came together once again to worship, pray, laugh, learn and make decisions. Praise be to Christ.

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Scriptures for October 22, 2017

Exodus 33:12–23
Psalm 99:1-9
First Thessalonians 1:1–10
Matthew 22:15–22

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Prayer Requests from Sunday, October 15, 2017

Mary, Val, Bob, Richard, Janey, Jerome, Donna, Rocky, Linda, Pat, Leeann, Jeri, Denny, Roger, our nation, and victims of the California fires

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MONDAY, October 16
Dayton – Session Meeting 4:00 PM
Polson – Women’s Salad Supper 5:30 PM

TUESDAY, October 17
Dayton – Bible Study in Acts 10:00-11:30 AM
Polson – Session Meeting 6:30 PM

WEDNESDAY, October 18
Polson – Bible Study in Acts 9:30-11:00 AM
Polson – Bell Choir 5:00 PM
Polson – Chancel Choir 6:30 PM

FRIDAY, October 20
Polson – Alanon Meeting 8:00 PM

SATURDAY, October 21
Polson – Men’s Bible Study 8:30-10:00 AM

SUNDAY, October 22
Dayton-Worship 9:00 AM
Polson – Adult Study 9:00 AM
Polson – Children’s Learning Time 11:00 AM
Polson - Worship 11:00 AM

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The Polson Deacons have scheduled a Kitchen Work Day for Saturday, October 28th from 9:00 to noon.

Weekday Bible Studies: In both Dayton and Polson we’ll be in chapters 13 and 14 of Acts. Come join us! In Dayton we meet on Tuesday mornings from 10:00 to 11:30 and in Polson on Wednesdays from 9:30 to 11:00.

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Friday Night Community Dinner: Thank you to everyone who could help us put on our Dinner last week. Looked like about 80 or so folks came to enjoy beef stew, salads and pumpkin bars for dessert.

Ray of Hope, a Christ-centered homeless shelter in Kalispell, is completing its women and children’s shelter. Named “Peggy’s House,” it will soon be ready. The shelter will house about 26 women and their children. As a part of getting them ready for their coming opening the Dayton congregation is collecting new and gently used twin bed sets and towels. For more information call Kathy Walker at (406) 270-0605.

San Francisco Theological Seminary Seminars Exploring our Faith ~ Expanding our Understanding
Practices of Hope, Beauty, and Compassion for the End of the World

Dates: October 29 - 31 Location: Glacier Presbyterian Center (the camp!)

Professor: Wendy Farley
Wendy Farley, is Professor of Christian Spirituality and Director of spiritual direction and spiritual formation programs at SFTS. She spent 28 years at Emory University, where she was professor of religion and ethics and chair of theological studies before coming to SFTS. She has led a number of retreats. She has studied Christian and Buddhist meditation practices as well as yoga, chant, and using beauty as a contemplative practice. She is interested in ways spiritual practice and theology contribute to resilience and compassion in dark times. She has written extensively in the areas of theology and spirituality, including The Wounding and Healing of Desire, The Thirst of God, and Gathering Those Driven Away.
As we think about the destructiveness of climate change and the threat of nuclear war, it may be helpful to remember that much of the Bible was written in the aftermath of destruction that ended the world as the people at the time new it. Except for the authentic letters of Paul, all of the New Testament was written after the world Jesus and his followers knew had been destroyed by war. This is the world to which the good news comes, into which the Divine chose to dwell, toward which our practices of compassion and hope are directed.

Who should attend?
- Pastors & Commissioned Ruling Elders (CRE’s)
- Those who may consider a CRE ministry
- Ruling Elders, Session members, Deacons
Find out more



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