A couple of days ago a large gathering (the largest since I have been here) of Warsaw Family from the past and present gathered for a time of celebration at Homecoming 2021. Music included specials from a past choir director and a trio from one of our newest praise team members and her visiting sister and mother. All of the music from the praise band and the specials drew us into worship and helped us focus our attention on the Lord.

We were blessed to here from missionary Lisa Giri - who grew up in the Warsaw Church as the granddaughter of the founding pastor- as she updated us on the details of what is happening with their ministry in Nepal and the health challenges that are faced by her husband Nanda. Afterward we received a special love offering to help them with theit ministry and their health crisis. If you were not able to give Sunday, you can still participate in this love offering by marking your offering for the Giri family on your envelope or by online giving on the church website. The church will see that any additional offerings make it to the Giri family.

One of the highlites of the morning was hearing from the church’s founding pastor- Bishop John Thomas- as he shared his own introduction to Pentecost and the early days of the church- the first Pentecostal church on the peninsuala. At 95 years of age his mind is still crisp and clear. The church was officially founded in 1961 and we are celebrating 60 years of service this year. The service concluded with a stirring in my soul of where the Lord is calling us to focus our attentions in the days and years ahead. These are detailed through the remainder of this post.

The Warsaw Church of God will be focusing on:

Believing the Bible- placing an emphasis on what Scripture says and how it applies to our daily life. Remember Jesus is the Word become flesh and He is the foundation of our faith. If we want to understand our faith and our future better, we need to spend the time understanding the Holy Scriptures and putting them into practice.

We will Love Others- God has called us to action and the first priority after Loving God is loving others. Our faith is put into action, not by the words we say, but by the actions we carry-out for Christ. The love we have in helping those in need, ministering to our commiunity and to being a hospital for the hurting. We are called as a church to see the need and fill it, and find the hurt and help heal it. At times in our ife we are the ones hurting and in need of healing; and at other times we are the ones God is using to help provide healing to the hurts of others.

We will Inspire the Family- Long before God created the church he created the family. From Adam and Eve, Noah, through Abraham. Isaac and Jacob; God made His Covenant with these families and their patriarchs. It is the responsibility of parents to raise their children in the faith and walking the path of Christ. It is our responsibility as a church to partner with them and help provide tools and support material to help along the way. Youth and children’s ministry are important as a church but they are even more important for the parent’s to focus on throughout the week. A new resource we have added as a church is a partnership between the Church of God, our church and Right Now Media to provide thousands of online Bible Study videos and other resources for all ages- including special studies for men, women, children, teens, married, single and more. These resources will help families provide that instruction at home and it will allow the church to strengthen their training for the whole family. More details to follow on this as we rollout this resource in a couple of weeks. We are excited that these resources will be free to our families and at a greatly reduced monthly cost for our church.

Finally we will Worship in Freedom. Worship is important for us individually and corporately, especially to invite the Holy Spirit into our midst. We continue to be focused on pursuing the Holy Spirit and allowing Him to live and work in us and through us. We enjoy great freedoms as Americans but they pail in comparison to the freedoms we have when we allow the Holy Spirit to have full access to our life and we are willng to follow His lead. Jesus assured his disciples that greater works they would do than he did, but this could only happen when he ascended into heaven and sent the Great Comforter to come and dwell in their lives. The Great Comforter- the Holy Spirit came not only for the first disciples and the early church but also for us as disciples of Christ today, and the church of the 21st Century. The comforter, the encourager, the strengthener, and so much more- the Holy Spirit provides us with great freedom in our walk with Christ. Worship is more than just a few songs in a Sunday Service- our life evertday should be worship to our Lord and Savior. This is possible with the help of the Holy Spirit. Worship in Freedom!

Our mission as a church has not changed. We are called to share the Gospel at home and around the world. God wants the Warsaw Church of God to be a lighthouse to the communities of the Northern Neck here in Virginia. Whether you live in Montross, Warsaw, Haynesville, Farnham, Calleo, Heathville, Irvington, Kilmarnock or many other communities in between each of us is called to be a light in that lighthouse sharing Christ in our little piece of the peninsula.

I am excited for the challenge. Please join me on this journey of loving others and sharing Jesus.

In HIS service, Pastor Dana