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Bob

 Bob Kerr

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January 2018: "A New Year and the New Covenant!"

Dear Friends in Christ,

Baptismal Covenant Renewal Service

This year we will have our Baptismal covenant Renewal Service during worship on the 7th of January - the first Sunday of the New Year. At the close of the service, we will come forward and as water is poured over our hands, we will be invited to "Remember your baptism and give thanks to God." Being reminded that we are in a Covenant relationship with the Living God is a wonderful way to begin a new year!

What Exactly Is a "Covenant?"

There are some who think a covenant is lie a contract, where two parties enter into the contract as equals, and are bound by law to keep each detail in the contract. The contract becomes null and void if any part of it is broken. But in the New Covenant, Jesus ushered in grace, not law, and grace is what describes our relationship with God. So the Covenant is a Promise offered by God through Christ, a promise we enter into by faith in response to God's grace.

Paul tells us in II Timothy chapter 2 that even if we are faithless, even if we stumble and fall, his grace and love, his compassion and mercy, remain, because God the Father cannot deny himself. It is this New Covenant in Christ that binds us to God and to each other. It defines who we are as the people of God.

Grace and the Covenant in Times of Transition

As you know, at the end of this church year in June, I will be retiring and Linda and I will be moving from this congregation we love to dearly. There is some anxiety about the new pastoral leadership Rehobeth might receive. I am confident that just as you have loved us, so you have the wonderful capacity to grow to love whoever your new pastoral family will be as well. Of that, I have no doubt. But the key to a successful transition is found in remembering whose you are.

You belong to Christ and you are a Covenant people. Your covenant is not with me, it is with Christ. You may have noticed how I always sign my newsletter correspondence. The Bishop will appoint a pastor who will also be a servant of Christ and the Church. So long as everyone remembers this - that Christ is the heart and center of all you are about at Rehobeth - and continue serving him by serving others, not only will you continue your faithful witness, you will thrive in the work of the kingdom i partnership with your new pastoral leader! So as we begin this new year, pray for Bishop Paul Leeland, for our District Superintendent Angela Pleasants, and the other members of the Cabinet as they begin prayerful deliberations about appointments. They take this task in had with all humility, faithfully seeing the leadership of the Spirit. But they also need your prayers, lifting them up and holding them before the throne of Grace. And of course, Linda and I will be holding you in our hearts and prayers, praying for a successful new chapter in the life and history of Rehobeth!

Yours in the service of Christ and the Church,

Bob

   
   
   
 
 
Rehobeth United Methodist Church • 9297 Sherrills Ford Road • P.O. Box 356 • Terrell, NC 28682
Copyright © 2016 Robert L. Kerr, D.Min
Used by permission