by Jim Hill
It seems like we had a long, cold winter, and that makes the coming of spring even more wonderful. As we drove to church to celebrate Easter this past Sunday, I marveled at the beauty breaking out all around us. We have five brilliant red bud trees and a dogwood in our backyard. They are especially beautiful this year. Martin Luther wrote, “Our Lord has written the promise of the resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.” He is painting a beautiful reminder of his promise this year.
John records the words of Jesus when he says, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die” (John 11:25-26). Easter is about resurrection, and resurrection is about life. Easter means everything has changed.
A couple weeks ago Churchnet members and friends from across our state traveled to First Baptist Church of Farmington for our Annual Gathering. We continued our five-year emphasis on “Share Hope.” Our theme was “Share Hope: The World is Waiting!” We had a great time of worship, fellowship and preparation as we anticipated the future of our collaborative ministry.
Our Share Hope Emphasis is focused upon assisting churches as they share the hope they have found in Christ through relational evangelism, congregation ministry, and community advocacy. Our communities are filled with people looking for hope and for meaning in their lives. A growing percentage of Americans see themselves as spiritual and they believe in God, but they have given up on the church. Sometimes it is easy to adopt a cynical or pessimistic attitude as we see the problems and challenges before us. Pope John Paul II once said, “Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.”
We share hope because Easter has changed everything. We live because He lives! We share hope because He is alive. We believe lives can be changed through the power of the risen Christ. We had a wonderful Annual Gathering, but our time together only challenges us to renew our commitment to sharing hope. The Christian faith is not about denominational meetings. It is about assisting churches as they lead their congregations to fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Commission.
I was blessed by our worship and our missions banquet during the Annual Gathering. The gathering also featured eight workshops on Saturday morning focused on sharing hope. Every year we explore new avenues for addressing real-life needs and new opportunities for sharing hope in our communities. Our Churchnet officers, board, and staff understand that our first priority is serving churches. There is nothing that is more important to us that helping your church become healthy and effective as you minister to your community. Let us know how we can help you. Remember, “We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.”
You can contact Jim Hill, Churcohnet’s Executive Direct, at (888) 420-2426 ext. 705 or at firstname.lastname@example.org