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I’VE BEEN THINKING...ABOUT OCTOBER 23, 2011

Wow, it's that time of year again: we get to celebrate the anniversary of our church on October 23rd! It was 179 years ago that a circuit riding preacher named Walter Scott visited this village. His preaching began a gathering that grew to be Mogadore Christian Church. For more history about this church leader, see: http://www.therestorationmovement.com/scott,walter.htm

While studying the history of our local church, I read this: “They chose William Richards with one voice as their leader, and Benjamin Green as deacon...

Many pronounced in anticipation, a failure of the attempt to gather disciples and regulate the affairs of a church, without rules written out and adopted by which to be governed. … Relying on the wisdom of the Founder of the church for the sufficiency of the rules He has left in his Word, they clasped hands and held the grip till their hearts beat in unison in the same sublime trust in God and his Word...

“The church in Mogadore has borne her testimony unbroken from the beginning. In meetings and works of enterprise she has not been behind. All the preachers have gleaned sheaves in this field. In 1835, Elder Thomas Campbell, on a tour among the churches, came among them (for about six weeks of preaching)....In 1836, they erected their house of worship.” (Quoting Amos Sutton Hayden's “History of the Disciples in the Western Reserve”, page 362.

That is quite the history for a church, and that was written about the first 4 years! The continued success of this church over all these many decades, is proof of the wisdom of those early disciples.

A church's anniversary (which you might have also heard called a “Homecoming”), is a time to invite back all those who have ever had a relationship with the congregation. Everyone is encouraged to visit again, and to relive some of their fondest memories of this church. It is always fun to share stories, to view photos, and to remember the folks who have gone home to their Heavenly reward.

Let people know that our doors are wide open and that we want to say “welcome home” again. You are encouraged to phone, write and/or email people who have been associated with Mogadore Christian, and invite them to this special celebration!

When people return for a happy event like this, it has been my experience that all kinds of lights go on for people. We recall special occasions that touched people’s lives, and we remember events that energized the church. Our current process of discernment can be stimulated, as we reflect on how God is moving within and among us even now!

As a church, we have a lot to be proud of in regards to our history. Very few churches can say that they have had stable leadership. Over the last 50+ years, the average length of stay for the last two pastors is has been 25 years each!

There have certainly been a few speed bumps over the years, because we are human and inevitably church folks will disagree about certain things. But overall, the church has “clasped hands and held the grip till their hearts beat in unison in the same sublime trust in God and his Word.” We have found unity in the most important sense. October 23 is a powerful time to reaffirm our trust in God and the teachings of His son, our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Our church's anniversary is a time to remember that we are writing history now, even as we celebrate the past. Isn’t it exciting to know that God is leading us forth with this strong foundation already set in place? Authentically discerning God’s will, means being open to God’s guidance: in times of awesome success, as well as in times of change and transition. Anniversaries are a good time to recall the scripture: “With God, all things are possible”. Being faithful, means believing in the bright future that is ahead of us!

That’s the beauty of an event like this: We don’t worship the past, we celebrate it. We don’t live in the past, we learn from it. By claiming our history, including the good and the challenging parts, we allow it to open us up to the new vision of how God is leading us on into this next year!

Our doors are wide open…and we’re waiting for your arrival! We pray that you will make the effort to celebrate with us on October 23rd at our 10:30am worship service. Until then, may you feel God’s love and blessing upon you and your household.

~Pastor J

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