September 2014 Newsletter
This is the final newsletter that will be published.
Chilkat Mission Bell
Editor Doris Ward
Spiritual Highs and Lows
Earlier this summer, many of our young people went on a mission trip to California by bus. This was a time of significant spiritual growth for most of them and the new enthusiasm for following Christ was so evident on the evening that they shared with our congregation about their mission trip. One surprise for me was hearing how important their time together was on the bus. I expected that long bus ride would be a problem, yet for them it turned into a time of great joy.
This mission trip was truly a spiritual high for these young people. Some have compared it to a mountain top experience as they were encouraged and inspired by seeing God at work in their midst. But now, a few weeks later, some of them have come down from the mountain top and a spiritual low, or depression, may set in if they are not careful.
The Bible provides examples of people of great faith who experience spiritual highs which are then followed by a low. Do you remember Elijah? He prayed on top of Mt. Carmel and God answered with fire from the heavens which not only ignited the wood for the burnt offering, it also burnt up the stone altar and the water in the trench around the altar. The people responded to Elijah’s call and destroyed the 850 false prophets of Baal and Asherah – talk about a spiritual high, Elijah was flying so high he outran King Ahab’s chariot. (You can read all about it in 1 Kings 18,19). But right after that, Jezebel threatened Elijah’s life so he ran away and hid. He went from a spiritual high into a depression.
Or we can consider Peter. Peter confessed that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of the Living God (Matthew 16:13-20). But then Peter insisted that Jesus could not die for the sins of the world, and Jesus rebuked him in the strongest possible terms – “Get behind me, Satan!” (Matthew 16:22-23). In the space of one paragraph, Jesus blesses Peter, and then calls him Satan. Can you imagine Peter’s feelings? One moment he is on top of the world – Jesus is blessing him, and the next moment he is severely rebuked. I suspect he was a little depressed.
These examples warn us that after we experience a spiritual high that we become susceptible to a spiritual depression when the high experience ends. Right now, the young people and even our entire congregation should be on guard. The temptation is to take a break and congratulate ourselves on a job well done. Although the mission trip was a great success, no one can sit back and relax because a spiritual low or depression may occur. Now is the time to renew our Bible study, increase our prayer effort, and concentrate on spreading the gospel.
We have had a wonderful mountain top experience, and the view from the top was terrific and inspiring. But look around at the mountain tops that surround us – they are all snow, ice and rock. All the growth occurs down in the valleys. As we come off the mountain top, we enter into the valley where our spiritual growth occurs, as we love and serve God by loving and serving others. Don’t allow a spiritual low to set in after the high of this mission trip. Instead, let the experience of these young people be an inspiration for you to continue spreading the good news about Jesus to all who do not know Him.
May God bless you as you love and serve Him, Ron.
Opportunty Opens for Editor
The Chilkat Mission Bell will be under new management next month, if a new editor volunteers. This is the last newsletter I will edit, and I regret that, but I must turn this task over to someone else. I revived the Bell in 1994 at the encouragement of interim pastor Shirl Butler, who felt the ministry was right for us. I have made new friends, and re-connected with old, as 225 copies go around the country and closer by. The Good Lord watches over, and Ron and Sam, among others, rescue. Thanks to all who send news and postage. Follow at www.haineschurch.org. There is an editor among Our Busy Bunch I am saving files and postage for. Inquire of a Session member. God Bless, Doris Ward, Editor
HPC In Firsthand ECO Discussions
Ron Horn was in Dallas for the ECO Synod meeting and annual Fellowship Gathering. At Synod, more than 200 commissioners from around the nation learned that ECO had grown to 148 congregations with over 60,000 members. Ron was the parliamentarian and is glad to report no controversies or other matters that required his expertise in Roberts Rules of Oder. He was elected to a 6-year term on the Judicial Commission. At the joint Gathering of ECO and Fellowship, there was inspiring worship, terrific speakers and good work-shops. Ron’s only concern was the heat as it was sunny and over 100 degrees and lots of humidity for the entire Gathering. He welcomed our fall weather on his return.
Sunday School starts with a Blast-Off Sept. 6 when a varied program welcomes all children to the Church to prepare for the new year, Susan, Nancy, and Shannon, leaders, said. They can meet teachers and learn about classes. It’s at 10 a.m. Invite a friend.
Outreach Team Shares Challenges
“ Kids from Alaska” bring the Gospel back home from their bus trip to Calif. and stops between. Personal testimonies and photographs covered the trip that started in July and ended in August. Al Giddings, director of the youth group, said they had no difficulties along the way. “They were fantastic and rose to every challenge.” Leaders at all venues expressed how impressed they were with “the kids from Alaska.” In Salem, OR., Tim Walters said they “truly reach out with God’s love that moved him to tears.”
In Los Angeles, they walked the streets among the home-less “at home with dear brothers and sisters in Christ.” They were invited back for an entire week next year. Al said it was a journey that is not over as they relive moments and memories. “Thank you for helping us take this epic journey in Christ.” On the trip with Al and Lori Giddings were Rebekah Green, Caleb Anderson, Karissa Land, Polly Bryant, Rachel Furman, Neil Little, Matthew Green, Jessie Bourdon, Jess Giddings, and Andrew Harris.
We Host Women’s Fellowship Opener
Women’s Christian Fellowship starts a new year in our church Oct. 11 at 1:00 p.m. All women are invited to take part in the monthly meeting that rotates to different churches. It is a wonderful way to meet new friends, learn a craft, sing songs, share a devotional, and eat good food.
Thanks to Terry Sharnbroich for 40 years of faithful service as church treasurer. Pray that “retirement” for him and Bonnie is rewarding.
Loss of Loved Ones
Constance Griffith 90, died in Reno, NV. Sept. 2 at 5:10 a.m. with son Thomas, of VT. by her side while Mendelssohn’s “Calm Sea and Prosperous Journey” played in the background. She hosted classical music at KHNS among her volunteer duties here until progressive supra-nuclear palsy, a rare brain affliction, forced her to move to the care home in Reno, where son Charley visited her. Constance Griffith Day was declared Oct.25, 2006, by Haines Borough. No formal service, but send donations to any charity in children’s behalf. She taught for 20 years, and had more than 50 foster children.
George Edwards, 51, died at home Aug. 19. He lived with his family on Glacier Point until they moved to town in 1986. Surviving are his mother Bridgett Berg, and 13 siblings and step-siblings. A memorial was held at the American Legion Hall here, and a later family service is expected to be held in WI.