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September, 2015 - Issue #131
courtesy of Shutterstock
courtesy of Shutterstock

Grow Christ in your Life
by Esther Siegen

"We are GROWING TOGETHER, each one of us in a different place in our lives."
Christ Lutheran Church of Valencia is more than just a church to go to on Sunday mornings. Christ Lutheran is a place where Jesus lives! We are regular people who come together to discover God's grace, love and goodness. We come together to grow. Each one of us has our own story to tell of how or why we are here. The good news is that we are here. We are growing together, each one of us in a different place in our lives.
Here, there are people who truly care about one another and leadership that is rooted in the Holy Spirit. We have regular mission trips to places in the United States, Egypt and India. God has called us to serve Him as His hands and feet in places all over the world. We hear his call and we go!

Growing in Christ is the most wonderful thing to add to your life. I once heard someone describe growing in Christ as "needing more," - just like having a hunger pain that doesn't satiate until you eat something. They needed to know more about Jesus. If you are looking for a church, place of worship or wonder what Jesus's love is all about - for yourself or for your family - we would love to have you join us. God's many blessings to you all!
Esther Siegen is the director of Children's Ministries at Christ Lutheran Church. 259-0200

God's Word Speaks
by Debbie Sperry

Have you ever read a passage of the Bible and wondered, "What does that mean?" or "Is that really what God thinks or says?" I certainly have. The Bible is powerful for inspiration and teaching me how to live my life day to day, but there are some passages (Entire books, even!) that are challenging to understand. That's why it's important for us to study the Bible, to dig into what it really means, using other books, the writings of scholars, pastors and theologians, and talking it over with others to get their perspective. As United Methodists, we believe any individual can read the Bible and God's Holy Spirit will help reveal God to that person. And, we believe the depth of meaning in the words of Scripture go far beyond a surface reading. God's Word is kind of like an onion; you can keep peeling back the layers and uncovering more riches in what God has to teach us. As such, we offer a variety of small group and Bible study options.

"The Bible is POWERFUL for inspiration and teaching me how to live my life day to day, but there are some passages (Entire books, even!) that are challenging to understand."
We have groups that meet throughout the week, some digging deeply into academic perspectives, others gathering strength and inspiration for daily living and still others using Scripture to wrestle with current events and controversial topics. We have ongoing, year-round groups, as well as short-term studies that cover everything from books of the Bible to prayer, to missions, to forgiveness, to finding hope, to living the life that God calls us to, and beyond. We have groups that are open to all and some that are specifically for men or women.

We welcome people who come from a variety of backgrounds and hold differing perspectives about life and the Bible. Whether someone is new to faith, is returning to the church after time away or has been a life-long Christian, our goal is to help each person find a place where they can grow as a Christian disciple and be in conversation with others.

Our groups offer the opportunity to better know and understand God and God's Word as we read, study and share our joys and our struggles with others. We aren't afraid to ask tough questions, in fact, we encourage and welcome them. And we believe that God is continuously speaking to and through us as we grow in faith.
Debbie Sperry is the lead pastor at Valencia United Methodist Church. 255-1301
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