Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Crossroads Update

The following email was sent to Crossroads Partners and Friends a few moments ago.

It's an exciting time to be part of the Crossroads Community. Did you see Crossroads in the Corn Carnival Parade? Does anyone have photos? Send them to me (steve@equalsharing.com) or Veda Davis vmdavis@centurylink.net or just post them on the Crossroads facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Crossroads-Community-Church/155497534488225. That's the nearest thing we've got to a website so far, but we're praying that the Lord will provide a "real website" with a real calendar of events soon!

The Elijah Morris benefit (Little e Big G) will be at the Crossroads church building this Saturday, August 13. Thanks to all who are helping with the event. It is featured in this weeks edition of the Enterprise Dispatch newspaper (see http://www.dasselcokato.com/). We still need your participation--call Lynne Lahr (320-286-5773) or Mary Kay Morris (320-286-6143) to find out how you can help or just come in the late morning or early afternoon. The event to be held from 4:00 - 7:30 will include a pork chop supper, a silent auction, music and games--all around fun for the whole family. Please come! Bring your neighbors and friends!

On Sunday August 14 we'll share the Lord's Supper and hear from the youth people who were on a mission trip to Jamaica last month. Education and youth programming and a "Leadership Growth Group" are about to begin. Our first Crossroads High School Youth Event is scheduled for 6:30 next Wednesday, August 17, 6:30 p.m with swimming and a picnic at Pleasant Lake (north side) near Annandale. On Sunday, August 21 we'll hear a powerful message of hope from a musician, Dave Anderson, whose ancestors were founders of three Lutheran churches in the Cokato area. A story about that will be in the Enterprise-Dispatch next week. A picnic for the whole family is on tap for Sunday afternoon, August 28!

Now to the main subject of this pastoral email:

You may know that we are moving toward affiliation with the Alliance of Renewal Churches. We would like to hear from you on this. What questions do you have?

As an important part of this journey, we have entered into a strong and supportive relationship with North Heights Lutheran Church (Arden Hills and Roseville), which is a member of the Alliance (the ARC), together with Community of Hope Church (Rosemount and Hastings). These relationships will give us a firm foundation as we go forward to do what the Lord is calling us to do in our community, reaching out in Jesus' name to save and bring healing to the lost and making disciples of Jesus who are Christians first and members of any "denomination" second.

The Lord has been using these relationships in our midst for many years, beginning in the 1970s with "Evangelizations" in Cokato by Pastor Morris Vaaganes and the "Lutheran Renewal" movement (http://www.lutheranrenewal.org/). I heard God's call to be a pastor at the Lutheran Conference on the Holy Spirit in 1980. The ARC grew out of the Lutheran Renewal movement about ten years ago. It is a good fit for us.

The ARC is Lutheran. It honors the Lutheran Confessions, the Creeds, the sacraments of baptism and communion and, above all, the Word of God in the scriptures and the empowering work of the Holy Spirit. It does not bind itself, however, to any written document other than the Bible. This opens us to strong relationships with those who do not share a Lutheran heritage. To be a member of Crossroads, for example, we simply ask people to sign a partnership agreement each year: Trusting Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior, accepting the Bible as authoritative for faith and life, we believe God is calling us together through 2011 to pray, worship, study the scriptures, serve, care for one another and give financially for the ministry and mission of God through Crossroads Community Church of Cokato.

I encourage you to become familiar with the ARC by visiting their website at http://www.allianceofrenewalchurches.org - go to the "Welcome" tab and the "About Us" section. A summary on paper is available at church.

Here is a summary of beliefs of the Alliance of Renewal Churches that is found on their website. No set of beliefs drawn up by human beings are ever perfect. Perfection is only found in God himself, who we never know perfectly in this life. Together with the relationships we will build in our relationship with the ARC, these beliefs will be a strong and God honoring foundation for Crossroads as we move into the future:
  • God is One, revealed in the Scriptures as three persons, the Father, the source and creator of all, the Son, our Savior and Lord, and the Spirit, who calls us to faith and empowers us for effective service,
  • Jesus Christ, true God and true Man, through His virgin birth, sinless life, sacrificial death on our behalf, and resurrection from the dead, offers eternal life to all who believe. We are justified by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, and the same grace that saves also empowers for victorious living.
  • The whole human race has fallen and cannot be rescued from bondage to sin and to Satan without Christ.
  • The Word of God, the Bible, is true, and we can therefore trust in it without reservation. We accept all the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments as a whole and in all their parts as the divinely inspired and revealed Word of God and joyfully submit to it as the only infallible authority in all matters of life and faith.
  • The Church is composed of all those who have been born of the Spirit by believing in the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Church is the Body of Christ, with Jesus Christ as the Head. We purpose to submit to Christ's headship in all things.
  • Baptism unites us with Christ's death and resurrection and the Lord's Supper gives us fellowship with the living Christ in His true body and blood.
  • The local congregation consists of true believers, submitted to Christ, and carrying out His ministry and mandates in the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit. Pastors help equip the members to do the ministry. The Holy Spirit gives gifts to all members of the Church to do the supernatural ministry of Christ until He returns. Christ will return for His Bride, the Church, and true believers will live forever with Christ, while unbelievers will be sent to eternal punishment.
  • The ecumenical creeds (the Apostles', Nicene, and Athanasian) are true declarations of the faith we affirm.
  • How we live affirms or denies what we profess. We do not want to deny the Gospel by wrong living. We adorn our creed with our conduct.
  • Right relationships are as necessary as right theology. We will not invalidate sound doctrine by unsound attitudes and actions toward others.
Again, I encourage you to go to the Alliance of Renewal Churches website to learn more at http://www.allianceofrenewalchurches.org. It would also be helpful for you to become familiar with other churches in our region that are affiliating with the ARC.

North Heights Lutheran Church in Arden Hills and Roseville (website: http://nhlc.org/)

Community of Hope Church in Rosemount and Hastings (website: http://www.cohlc.org/)

Hosanna! Lutheran Church in Lakeville (website: http://www.hosannalc.org/) is a member of both the ARC and Lutheran Churches in Mission for Christ (LCMC).

We count on your prayers, your participation, and your support as we do the work God has called us to in the community and beyond. Please forward this email to anyone you think might be interested.

Thank you!

Steve Thorson
Crossroads Community Church
15905 US Hwy 12 SW
P.O. Box 295
Cokato, MN 55321


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