You're invited to join us this year for our Soul Care Day! Back by popular demand we'll be focusing on prayer as we learn how and what to pray to embolden ourselves to approach our God with confidence and conviction that He hears us and cares for us and what what we pray to Him. It will be a great morning of worship, discussion, fellowship, and of course, prayer. So don't miss your chance and register by replying to this email or on Sunday at the connections table at any of our 3 services. For more information about time and cost, see the flyer below. We can't wait to see you then!
What exactly is the 21 Day Challenge, you might ask? Well if you've read our previous posts or been attending our Women's Bible Study on Thursday morning you'll know exactly what I'm talking about as it's been a topic of discussion for some weeks now. But for those of you unable to join us I wanted to share this beautiful, and possibly life changing challenge with you, so that you too do not miss out on the opportunity to come to know your Lord and Savior just a little bit better. And possibly you are already following the habit of the 21 day challenge that's actually been your decades long routine.
The 21 day challenge was presented to us in Bible study through our most recent study, The Joy of Seeking God First by Anita Keagy with JoyShop Ministries. Throughout the study she helps and encourages you to make a daily habit of spending time with God and helps you put all that you've learned into practice by challenging you to read a chapter a day of the gospel of John for 21 days. She helps guide you through this daily time by following 5 steps, or 5 R's (download the PDF file at the bottom of the post for more details on these):
If you desire to know God more, to see what changes for the better can happen in your life that make you more holy just as He is holy, I greatly encourage you to start this challenge today.
Now, if I'm being honest I didn't read every day, and some days I only read and didn't journal and even more so I didn't follow along in the workbook provided. However, I did read more days than not during the week and I followed Anita's tips, mainly to set a time and a place. It did vary a little considering I have a small child I spend most of my day with, but I chose during my daughter's nap time and I would pray, read, journal, doodle if I felt lead, and submit my requests to God. And I will tell you this, I have already seen prayers answered. My marriage is stronger than it has been since having a baby, and I feel less inclined to turn on the TV during my down time because I feel deeply committed to Christ as He desires to know me and I Him. I have memorized verses through doodling, which I can't remember the last time I ever committed time to doing this, and I have viewed my relationships and others through the eyes of Jesus. All in all, this daily time with God has been life changing. Not in the monumental way but in the small, day to day way that makes my daily life better.
If you desire to know God more, to see what changes for the better can happen in your life that make you more holy just as He is holy, I greatly encourage you to start this challenge today. Start with John and then go on to another "letter" from there. And even more so share how it's going with those around you and in our comments. We would love to hear about how God is moving in your life!
On August 19 join us after the 11:00 service for our Annual Cupcake Contest and sale! If you have a great cupcake recipe we highly encourage you to over to the church bulletin board at Union OR via our web link to sign up: www.unionchurchguatemala.com/cupcake-contest.html. Cash prizes will be given to the first prize winners in each of our 3 categories: kids, youth, and adult. Once you sign up look for an email with all the details for what the judges will be looking for in your cupcakes and when to have them arrive at the church.
Last year we had such a great time swapping and shopping we brought back this popular event for round 2! Join us this Satuday, July 21 for a fun time together catching up and swapping clothes. Bring up to 12 items of clothing, accessories, etc. and recieve a ticket per item which in turn you can use to swap for 1 item. I know many of us from the previous year can still be seen wearing items we scored last year and I for one can´t wait to see what I swap for this year.
Our team hopes to see you there!
Last Thursday at our Women´s Bible Study the lovely Michelle Pearse shared with us about her journey into Bible journaling. If you weren´t able to attend and simply don´t know what that is, it´s the practice of "doodling" in either a journal or even in your bible (gasp!) in order to highlight key verses or themes in the passage. She showed us her journals and notes and even her bible that is specifically for the use of bible journaling or bible doodling as it also sometimes called. She shared that this form of studying the word has helped her to slow down and really take time to consider and even memorize verses. She then encouraged us to use some of the fun craft materials she brought and take some time to doodle or color some of our WOW verses in our study of John or even simply some of our personal favorite verses.
Now I had always taken a more intellectual study approach to reading the bible, and quite honestly I was bored of it. This has resulted into me rarely read my Bible unless it was to complete homework for one of the studies I was involved in at church. I really didn´t know of any other way other than the various more intellectual forms of studying God´s word. But I was so encouraged and excited about this practice of Bible journaling. I had heard and seen others do this sort of studying but never ventured into it myself. I just thought I didn´t have the correct Bible or I wasn´t creative enough to actually draw what was portrayed in the verses. However, I had been learning to "letter" or do calligraphy before I had my baby but hadn´t ventured back into the hobby since her birth in November. I realized on Thursday that through this form of creativity I could find new excitement in studying God´s word and also pick up my hobby again. It doesn´t matter yet that I don´t think I can draw perfectly, that will come with practice.
I now pass on the challenge of Bible journaling. And if you´re really motivated you can join it with the challenge presented in the previous post (21 days of studying the word). If you have found yourself stuck in a rut and needing to be refreshed in God´s word and even in your relationship with Him I encourage you to give this study habit a try and if you´re really brave share a photo with us!
This past Sunday a total of 25 women participated in the second Fun and Fellowship session during the Sunday School hour at church. We got to know at least three other women a little more than we did before through our morning ice breaker, we treated ourselves to Krispy Kreme doughnuts and fruit, and we listened to a message of encouragement and received a challenge. Since not everyone was able to be with us on Sunday, here is a recap of the challenge we were given and we hope that you are encouraged to join us as we commit to studying God´s word.
On Thursday mornings we are exploring new ways of spending time with God through His Word using “The Joy of Seeking God First” by Anita Keagy. Since you may not be able to participate during the week, here are some points that may encourage and challenge you in your relationship with God.
If you remember back to when you met your husband or someone who is now a good friend, you can probably recall how you talked for hours to get to know each other – you really wanted to spend time and learn more about them! This is the kind of relationship building we can also do with God. He communicates who He is through His word and we can pick it up at any time to build and deepen our relationship!
Deuteronomy 4:29 says: "But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul."
Reading the Bible does not have to be an assignment or obligation but rather it is an opportunity to know God more, to build closeness and to have the life He wants for us – and we want for ourselves! We need to do the seeking and God guarantees that we will find Him – He really wants a relationship with each of us!
Joshua 1:8 says: "Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful."
Prosperity and success is not always measured in monetary or material ways but in terms of quality of life and the joy we feel on a day to day basis. What do we feel led to accomplish in our lives? What has God built into us? How can we be more successful in that? By spending time with God in His Word!
We all know that we are easily distracted and busyness creeps in to keep us from reading on a daily basis. The remarkable thing is – when we have the Bible, we hold in our hands the very thoughts of God – (Oswald Chambers). How can we not choose each day to make some time to sit with the Word and listen to what He wants to share with us?
Elizabeth Elliot said: We deceive ourselves if we claim to want to hear His voice but reject the primary channel through which it comes. We must read His Word. We must obey it. We must live it, which means rereading it throughout our lives.
So the bottom line is that we need to read the Bible daily in order to recharge, to hear truth and to soak up God’s love for us in order to go out and do all the busy things we have to do, to prosper at the things that are important. NOT to check something off our to-do list but to build a life-giving relationship with the God who loves us!
The Bible study we are doing has a 21 Day Challenge that I’d like to share with you. Grab a journal or notebook and read one chapter of the book of John each day for 21 days. Use the questions on the accompanying page you can find below to guide you – start with praying for God to show you what He wants to teach you about Himself.
If you accept this challenge and God speaks to you in special ways – please share it with us so we can rejoice in how God is at work!! And keep a lookout for our next Fun and Fellowship event. It´s such a great time to connect with old and new friends!
Thank you to all of you who were able to join us last Thursday for the House Warming Shower in honor of El Refugio Guatemala! We had a great morning chatting over a delicious brunch and had the pleasure hearing from Dianna Bush, President of the Board, and a couple members of the ministries staff and team. Because of your generosity we were able to gift them with many wish list items that will be put to good use in their newly renovated and open home. The women´s ministry team was also able to gift the home with a brand new microwave. Lastly we prayed over the newly opened shelter, their staff, and the women and their children who will be staying there. At the time of our prayers there were no families staying at the shelter but we have news that El Refugio has welcomed their first family!
We´re glad they were able to find safety and security at El Refugio and the staff have already been able to see a difference in their attitudes and demeanors.
If you were unable to join us or weren´t able to bring a gift there is still plenty of time to give. If you would like to give a monetary gift please find just below their banking information in order to make a deposit online. If you would like to give a material gift feel free to email the Women´s Ministry team or El Refugio and we can arrange for a drop off and delivery.
Banking information for El Refugio Guatemala
Cuenta Monetaria Numero: 206-007948-6
A Nombre de Asociacíon Ministerios Integrados para Mujeres
Here are some photos of our wonderful morning together! If you would like to read more about El Refugio Guatemala please visit their website here: www.elrefugioguate.org
Many of you know that the UCG Women's Ministry team has partnered with El Refugio Guatemala for many years and have even joined and served alongside the ministry yourself. But for those of you who may not know, El Refugio is a shelter house for women and their children seeking refuge from abuse, trafficking, and violence here in Guatemala City. The shelter recently opened their doors once again to provide shelter, basic needs, counseling, skill training, discipleship and more for the women as part of their 1 year program. During the 12 month program the women are able to develop a plan to leave the shelter and into a healthy living situation.
We're your Women's Ministry Team at Union Church! We look forward to sharing with you what is on our calendar and what is on our hearts, with a few fun things thrown in between.