|Posted on June 10, 2010 at 11:52 AM||comments (0)|
Greetings to all. This past Sunday evening we gathered together as a local assembly to re-open and rededicate the newly renovated Fellowship Hall. We shared a wonderful evening together beginning with a delicious meal prepared by a handful of the ladies. Missionary liason Mary Ellen Barge gave us an update on the Petersons who continue to serve in the Phillipines. We were challenged by the Scriptures around the themes of Faithfulness, Focus, and Fellowship and then we recognized the faithful handfull of folks who have remained steadfast in this little congregation for many years. We also took some time to recognize the workers who labored on the renovation project. We enjoyed dessert together (a fantastic cake made by Amanda Canapp) and spent the balance of the evening talking and reminiscing with each other. This evening capped several months work done to fellowship hall. By God's grace we were able to complete the entire remodel without incurring any debt and the building looks fantastic. It is also much safer and more functional than it was before with brand new wiring, appliances, lighting and counters. We hope to have some pictures posted soon so those of you who are at a distance can see the finished product as well.
We look forward as a congregation to the summer months ahead and the opportunities and challenges they will present us with. We always have a good deal of visitors during these months as folks come to visit beautiful Lancaster county.
On a bit more personal side of the pastoral update- I just had my wisdom teeth removed and I am currently recovering. I am planning on starting a young adult Sunday School class as early as this month and I also hope to be able to connect more with some of the younger familys in our congregation. I plan on meeting with some parents and our Sunday School teachers to see if we can improve our ministry to our smallest members of the CBCG family as well. The men's fellowship is scheduled to meet at our house this coming Monday and I am looking forward to a great time together with the guys. I will be serving them one of my culinary specialties so hopefully they will come hungry and leave happy!
Continue to pray for one another and look for opportunities to serve one another and to share the love of Christ with those around us. Let's lift Him up because He has lifted us up. Have a blessed week. ~ In Him~ Pastor Sam
|Posted on April 9, 2010 at 8:15 AM||comments (0)|
Greetings to you. It is a beautiful spring morning as I write this update. The birds are singing and all around are signs of life new and vibrant. This is truly a wonderful time of year as nature grants us myriad reminders of what Christ has brought to us by His death and subsequent resurrection. We are now born again, born anew, given a new existence a fresh start !!! As I thought about this during the week I constantly came back to the great truth that all of this is ours BECAUSE Jesus is indeed ALIVE! Countless people in our world serve dead gods or follow dead religious leaders, BUT for us as children of the LIVING God we serve a RISEN and LIVING Saviour !!!! We can't take you to the tomb of our leader and say there is his final resting place. No, we can take you to an EMPTY tomb and say "He is not here, for He is Risen as He said". WOW !!!
We celebrated a wonderful Resurrection Sunday at the local assembly this past week. The sunrise service was a particularly blessed time. Pastor Steve emphasized the importance of understanding the Resurrection as an actual historical fact. He also reminded us of how central the Word of God is to our faith and understanding. The service was well attended and the weather was absolutely beautiful. I truly hope that you had a blessed Easter and that truth of the resurrection reasonates in your heart daily.
The work on Fellowship Hall is almost complete !!! The cabinents and appliances are in place and the backsplash is to be completed by the end of the week. Finishing touches including the flooring will soon be underway. We can't wait to see the finished product ! We give the Lord glory for supplying the resources, talented people and willing hearts to see this project through to the end. We will be planning a special time to dedicate the newly renovated space to His glory, and to recognize the diligent workers that He used to accomplish this task.
On a personal note, I will be spending some much needed time away with my family. We leave next week for the Pinecraft area of sunny(we hope) Sarasota, Florida. We are looking forward to some time together as a family to relax and enjoy the beach and the sights of Floridas gulf coast. We also look forward to some fellowship with other brothers and sisters in Christ down there. It appears that I may have the opportunity to preach at a local church in the area while we are there. Please pray that God would bless our time away with safety, refreshment and opportunity to bless others. We will miss our local church family while we are away, and we will be praying for you.
Well I must close for now, continue to pray one for another and serve the Lord with gladness, for this IS the day that He has made.
|Posted on March 7, 2010 at 11:08 PM||comments (0)|
Hello my friends. As I write this update it is the waning hours of another Lord's day. We began this mornings sunday school hour with a handful of choruses, one of these choruses was "This is the day" (...that the Lord has made). What a great thought that each day of our life is created and ordained by our heavenly Father. We should rejoice and be glad in it. Today certainly was a blessed day. We missed many of our dear friends who were away traveling. Some of the guys got together and were at the mountains this weekend, however we still had a good number of folks out for morning worship. The weather today was beautiful and was a gracious reminder that spring is on the way. It was a truly good day in so many respects but my favorite part of the day was the evening worship service. We had a wonderful time of both testimony and favorite hymns tonight. We briefly discussed the Amazing revival taking place in Haiti. We also enjoyed getting to meet a new friend from Poland who is here for a month with Joyce and Mel to write a dissertation on the Amish culture. Brother Mel was back from the mountains and shared what a blessed time the fellows had there this weekend, and then we dove into the Word. Psalm 19 has often been one of my favorite Psalms, indeed one of my favorite portions of Scripture. We just examined the first 6 verses tonight and considered how God has written the message of the gospel clearly into creation and particularly into the night sky through the zodiac. How amazing is OUR GOD!!!!!
From time to time I have toyed with the idea of doing away with evening worship at our local assembly. Each time God has gently reminded me that it is often in the smallest of gatherings that the most intimate and richest blessings flow. Tonight was again living proof of that truth.
Interestingly enough, I was on Facebook tonight and bumped into a dear friend who was recalling her childhood and fondly remembering Sunday evening worship with her family . How sad that an entire generation of children from "christian homes" may never have such memories. I often wonder and at times shudder at what my generations spiritual legacy will be, should the Lord tarry another 20-30 years? The familiar words to the hymn "Have you any Room for Jesus" come often to my mind as I think of such things. "Room for pleasure, room for business- But for Christ the crucified, not a place that He can enter, in the heart for which He died". Please, don't get me wrong my friends, I love grace, and I absolutely abhor the idea that church attendance is the measuring stick of spirituality, but sometimes I fear that the wide-spread prioritizing of almost every other activity and gathering over the fellowship of the Body of Christ speaks volumes about the temperature of our passion for the things of God. Oh well, perhaps this is just my tired and melancholy ramblings. The clock is approaching midnight and I will be turning back into a pumpkin soon, so I will leave you for now with the wish for a good night and the soon return of Our Saviour.
|Posted on March 2, 2010 at 12:19 AM||comments (1)|
Winter continues on the frozen tundra....wait I mean in Lancaster County. But....we know that spring is right around the corner!!! Several people I have spoken to this past week have expressed to me in one form or another that they are experiencing the winter blah's. You know that feeling of just being done with the snow, cold, slush, muck, etc. I mean really just plain done with it all. I too find myself slipping there and yet I pause to think ......hmmm how soon until we are griping about the infernal heat! LOL. Are we not not a fickle lot us humans? ....and yet the Bible tells us that "He remembers our frame that we are only dust" and that we have "A high priest" that understands our weaknesses and was tempted in "all points like as we are". I wonder if Jesus ever had the winter blah's. I can't say for certain, but I know He understands us silly "sheep". I also know He cares very much and that makes it easier to pick up the snow shovel !! May God bless you and keep looking up!!
|Posted on February 11, 2010 at 9:00 PM||comments (0)|
Wow - we have been buried by snow here in Lancaster. As I write this update we currently have 28 inches in my back yard! The biggest snowstorm to hit the region in over 50 years(a two-parter) has just subsided and left us to dig out from under it's remains.
This past Lord's day we did a word study in the Bible on the word snow. Did you know that the word is used 24 times in our english Bible? (KJV for this study) We learned that it appears the most times in the books of Job and Psalms. We saw that it's uses remind us of a number of different things including the holiness of God, the refreshment of His presence and His Word, and the starkness of His judgement. Perhaps, the most precious reference to snow in the Bible however is also the most well known, found in Isaiah 1:18 is the promise from God that even though our sins are like crimson they will be "White as snow". WOW ....what a thought as we dig out from all the white stuff!! We could never dig out from under the mountain of all our sins, but God by His grace and through Christ's sacrifice has washed them and made us as pure as the new fallen snow.
This Lord's Day is another hospitality Sunday. My family and I will be over at Mel and Mary Ellen Barge's place to fellowship with them and some other guests. If you are part of our local family here I hope that you will also be spending the time fellowshipping with others in the body of Christ. Also fella's don't forget it is Valentines Day. Do something special for that lovely lady you married, how bout it?
|Posted on January 25, 2010 at 9:29 PM||comments (0)|
Well, again I come to the website and stand amazed that it has been so long since I have posted a Pastor's Update on it. We have now departed from 2009 and entered 2010 ! With the New Year I guess I have the opportunity for a new start if you will be so kind. My resolve will be to post much shorter updates and yet to post them more often. Let's see how I do this year shall we?
For starters I would like to bring you up to speed on where we are now as a congregation. We can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel in repect to the renovation of Fellowship Hall. I would say at this point we are within 4-8 weeks of total completion. This week the cabinents should be ordered for the kitchen portion of the hall as well as the appliances! We enjoyed a good holiday season with special Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years services. The unity and care of the body here for one another and the hospitality shown toward visitors continues to be a source of blessing to my heart as a pastor. We are trying out observing "Hospitality Sundays" every 6- 8 weeks or so. These are special Sundays on which we encourage fellowship in individual homes in lieu of our PM worship service. So far these seem to be a real encouragement and edification to the body.
Personally my family celebrated our son Sterling's first birthday in December and then invited both sets of inlaws (outlaws) to our house for Christmas dinner. It has been a busy couple of months as we deal with the cold and flu season with the children and still seek to open our home up for ministery and fellowship opportunitys. We are looking forward to springtime!
In parting, I would be remiss not to bless and praise God for all that he does for us continually both individually and corporately as a body. He is SO GOOD! Oh magnify the Lord with me and exalt His name FOREVER!!!
|Posted on August 7, 2009 at 11:44 AM||comments (0)|
Greetings in Christ to all. Again it has been a very long time since I have posted an update, and again I must apologize. The cyber-world unfortunantly gets placed on the back burner when the real world gets busy! It is hard to believe we are entering August already!
The renovations to Fellowship Hall are well underway. The rough wiring and the duct work has been done. Our first building inspection is imminent and then it is on to windows, insulation and drywall. Lots of hard work and dedication and money has been invested by a number of people. I would like to particularly thank Jack Coleman, Jonas Miller, and Steve Canapp for their herculean efforts in recent weeks. There are lots of other folks as well who have given of themselves in one way or another to move this project forward and they are all deeply appreciated. I can't wait to see the finished result!
Praise the Lord we now have two additional deacons; Jack Coleman and Jonas Miller joined Art Refford as CBCG deacons this past month. They are already proving to be a great asset to the body as they exercise their giftings. Jack is fully overseeing the renovation project and Jonas has been doing a lot of the behind the scenes work and various projects to maintain and improve the physical property of CBCG.
We just enjoyed a wonderful "Southern Style" family night over at Cherry Crest Farms. The Myers entertained us with some ole timey singin and we enjoyed "Colonel Deb's" Famous Fried Chicken!
It was a great time of fellowship and I feel sorry for those who were unable to attend. We are looking forward to returning to Cherry Crest on September 20th for our church picnic. We hope you will join us if you can.
Another HUGE event on the horizon is the return of the "WEAVER BELIEVER SURVIVAL REVIVAL" to CBCG. We will have another family night with them on September 6th at 5pm under the tent ! Last year we had close to 200 people from our church family,friends, and the community attend and we anticipate that it will be an even larger group this year!
My family and I are officially settled into our new home (less than two dozen boxes to unpack yet). We have also added a new member to the family- Dancer is a lovely little cockapoo puppy that we received from Tim and Ruth Kauffman about two weeks ago. She is very intelligent and is well on her way to being housetrained. Katie, Abbie and Sterling are enjoying her very much. She enjoys company like the rest of us so feel free to stop in and see her.
In closing I would like to urge you to continue to pray for us and for one another. Friends we live in perilous days and we can see the Lord's return approaching as prophesy is being fulfilled before our very eyes. Be sober, be vigilant, and be busy about His work. May the Lord bless and keep you all.
|Posted on May 29, 2009 at 11:24 PM||comments (0)|
Well..... sheepish greetings to you all. I cannot believe how long it has been since I have been able to post a pastor's update! Some of you must have thought that I had passed on to my eternal reward by now. Fortunantly or unfortunantly (depending on your viewpoint) that is not the case. What has transpired is that my family is now moved into a new home and we are still sorting through the boxes and trying to figure out where all of our belongings are! In the meantime a lot has been happening at CBCG which you ought to know about as well. First and foremost we have appointed and confirmed a new elder, brother Mel Eby. I am delighted, humbled and honoured to serve jointly with brother Mel in the human aspects of shepherding the Lord's flock here in Gordonville. He brings a compassionate heart, a level head and a testimony of spiritual leadership to the eldership here at CBCG.
We are also in the process of nominating and confirming a Deacon or Deacons to serve the body here. We will be having a congregational meeting on June 14th to discuss this further. Please pray that the Lord would grant great wisdom to the congregation and elders in the selection process of this man or these men.
Renovations have begun on good old Fellowship Hall! Right now it looks like a disater area as we have nearly completed the "demo" stage. Much work remains to be done, however it is begining to take shape and I am very excited to see what the "new" hall will look like.
Tourist season is upon us and we look forward to who the Lord will bring our way this summer. If you have just happened to stumble onto our site and will be visiting Lancaster county this summer or fall please feel free to drop by for a visit. Better still contact us via e-mail and we will even help you plan your visit if you like. If you are a friend of CBCG or a member why not invite some of your friends and aquaintances from elsewhere to come to Lancaster this year. We would love to get to know them.
In our worship services we are going through the book of I John on Sunday mornings and it has truly been an encouragement to my heart as well as a challenge. I look forward to several more opportunities to study this wonderful book together with you. In the adult sunday school we are prayerfully contemplating beginning an introductory study on apologetics (defending the faith). We may begin this in July and run it through August. Please pray with us concerning this possibility. We were greatly challenged by a message from Ken Ham at a local fundraising banquet a few weeks ago and believe that this series would be timely and appropriate in these perilous and deceptive times.
Some of our young people have completed a scale model of the Old Testament tabernacle in sunday school and we are looking forward to having them share it with us during a special Lord's day service in the near future. We will be sure to get some pictures and post them on the site as well.
Well I could go on and on, and I am sure there is much that I have failed to mention, but I will bring this update to a close. I will do my best not to take so long before posting a new one this time. Now which box is my toothbrush in? LOL
|Posted on April 14, 2009 at 12:31 PM||comments (0)|
Easter greetings to my dear friends. So much has transpired between last month's update and today that I hardly know where to begin ! I will start by praising God that we indeed serve a risen Saviour . We celebrate this event every Lord's day when we come together to worship. This past Lord's day however, was of course Easter and so we specifically focused on this glorious and life-changing FACT. We began the day with a special fellowship breakfast which warmed and filled us physically and prepared us to feed on God's Word for spiritual nourishment. In the Sunday School hour we considered how much we truly value Christ. We were confronted with the question of whether or not we view pouring ourselves out on Him to be a waste. In the morning worship we looked at the signifigance of Christ's resurrection and were reminded of how sure a fact His resurrection is. In the evening we closed the day with a special observance of the Lord's supper accompanied by themed Scripture readings and hymns. It was a wonderful Easter and I pray that you also experienced His blessings personally.
Now for a bit of an update on all of the other excitement that preceded Easter. We saw some glorious answers to prayer in March and early April. One of our dear sisters in the fellowship here found out that she was cancer free after having a very large tumor removed from her abdomen. The medical professionals who attended her were absolutely astounded that she had no malignancy! We thank God who is the great physician for His healing touch on her. We also saw others who we know well, progress very quickly in recovering from surgery and accidents. Truly God is good and He is working.
Our quiz team completed their season and finished 14th out of over 50 Teams! We celebrated their hard work and dedication with a special tribute and fellowship time on palm sunday evening. If you haven't checked out their pics yet please do so in our photo gallery.
Pastor Steve and his wife Deb are in the process of transitioning here to the area but put things on hold a bit in March so that he could travel to the Phillipines and help their daughter Christina build a home among the Ga' Dang peoples. Praise God ! he has returned safely and the mission team there was able to get a good start on the building projects with his help. He has lots of pictures and will be sharing some of them with us in sunday school this weekend. To check out what all is going on in the Phillipines with the mission team click the links tab on the left of the page and check out one of the missionaries blog spots.
Speaking of building projects, we are poised to tackle the second major leg of renovations here at the church. The fellowship hall and kitchen areas have not been updated for approximately thirty years and the Lord has now provided the means to address these needs. Please pray that the Lord will continue to provide us as a body with willing hearts to work together and support each other as we complete this to the glory of the Lord.
We also want to thank the Lord for His continued provisions for us as a church body by increasing our commitment to support missions at home and abroad. We are planning to meet together as a congregaion this Lord's day to consider additional missionaries to support and the increasing of support levels to those we currently partner with.
On a personal note I want to thank all of you for your continued prayers for my family and I. We have found a new home within 5 minutes of the church and are now under contract and scheduled to close on April 30th!!!! All of you who have trucks, trailors and/or strong backs get ready! We may be enlisting your help in the very near future. We plan to have an open house and invite everyone to stop by and see our new home shortly after we settle in.
May God continue to bless each of you and make you a blessing to others. Remember to let His light shine in you and through you. Please feel free to comment on this posting. As always we love to hear from you.
|Posted on March 19, 2009 at 2:08 AM||comments (0)|
Greetings to you all once again! It has been a busy month in the Furches household. My wife and I both just celebrated birthdays and now we are preparing for Abbie's third birthday which is next Wednesday. We are planning on having a small family party this Saturday and Camila is working on making a Strawberry Shortcake themed birthday cake for her.
This past Saturday was the huge "Mud Sale" here in Gordonville. It is called that because it is usually accompanied by spring rains which turn the ground into a muddy mess. Not this year though, we had wonderful weather and a huge crowd of about 10,000 people or so descended upon our little town to sample all the goodies and bid at the 15-20 auctions that took place throughout the day. We bought a nice picnic table set for the backyard, and a school desk for Katie who has now started Kindergarten. I also managed to snag 3 nice pictures and a flower arrangement for the church. But our big event for the day was my Italian sausage stand which I set up in the backyard. I managed to sell out of my 100+ sausages by mid afternoon! More importantly, however, I was able to hand out more than a dozen tracts and gospel pamphlets. I also had the opportunity to personally share the gospel with a couple of individuals which was very exciting and encouraging.
And I am not done with auctions yet, later today I am heading to an auction on a house we would like to buy. I think that it will probably get bid up and out of our price range, but.... you never know if you don't go.
Well enough of the personal update... on the church related front. The quiz team finished off a strong season with a great showing in their final regular match before tournament play. They won in very convincing fashion and showed great sportsmanship in the process. Tyler, Jared and Kyle both had two correct questions and Todd quizzed out .
It was great to welcome Steve and Debbie Canapp officially to the church here in Gordonville. Pastor Steve's last Sunday in the pulpit at Grace Bible Church in Fallston was last week and this Sunday they were with us here. Please pray for them as they are in transition and Steve is now helping the mission team in the Phillipines(He flew out Monday AM).
We have a number of dear folks here at CBCG that are recovering from surgeries so continue to pray for and support one another. I have been encouraged by the kindness, compassion, and unity I have observed among the body here.
Brother Mark Massie put the finishing touches on the basement renovations after NIckle Mine Flooring installed the carpet. Mark also re-did our church sign (Check it out if you live local). Now it is on to the fellowship hall and another exciting renovation project!
Well it is even later than usual for me to get to bed so I am going to wrap up this update now and turn in. May God bless you and make you a blessing to others.