MID-WEEK MESSAGE 10-16-2019

Dear Skycrest family,

A huge thank-you for those who made it possible for my family and I to get away for a long weekend and visit my parents in Ohio. We spent time throwing the football in the yard, hiking the nearby trails, attending a couple of Fall / Halloween events for the kids, and worshiping at my parents' church.

Thanks to Rev. John Powers for sharing an awesome message on justice, mercy, and humility, and to Joe, Brooke, Barb, the band, choir, and all the other volunteers who make Sunday morning services happen.

You may have heard that it's "Pastor Appreciation Month." Maybe you've seen posts on Facebook or cards at Hallmark. (And thank you, by the way, to those who have reached out with a note or kind word.) You may or may not know that we are blessed at Skycrest to have numerous retired United Methodist pastors who are part of our congregation. Some of these folks have retired from other Conferences, some from Florida. All of them have been a tremendous help and support to me; preaching during my maternity leave, bringing communion to the sick and homebound, serving as liturgists, teaching classes, and otherwise sharing their talents with all of us, even in retirement!

This coming Sunday, I will be interviewing a few of our retired clergy as a special panel discussion sermon. You'll hear about their special experiences in ministry, their favorite Scriptures, some of their more hilarious stories, and the messages they think God wants Skycrest to hear. You don't want to miss it!

It's also that time of year when our snowbirds are returning. If you see faces you don't recognize sitting near you in worship, don't hesitate to say hello!

This is also a great time to start thinking about where you park when you come to church, as our lots will start filling up soon. If you can walk a distance, consider parking on the street on Nimbus Ave., Cirus Ave., or Mercury Ave., or on the grass behind the basketball court.

Looking forward to seeing you Sunday at 9:45 a.m. or 11:00 a.m.

Join us this Sunday! 9:45 a.m. Modern | 11:00 a.m. Traditional

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MID-WEEK MESSAGE 10-09-2019

There is a popular worship song that - interestingly - only has a few lines of text.

This is how I fight my battles
This is how I fight my battles
(repeat)

It may look like I'm surrounded,
but I'm surrounded by You.


I remember the first time I heard this song, I almost thought the band had lost their place in the music because they kept repeating, "This is how I fight my battles," so many times! I think the songwriter's intent, though, is a kind of meditative experience in which, through repetition, we come to realize that "our struggle is not against flesh and blood" (Ephesians 6:12) and that our weapons are not the weapons of this world, but instead the armor of God described in Scripture: truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation.

My friend Derrick Scott III wrapped up our "The Dark Side" sermon series on Sunday with a powerful message on spiritual warfare. It might feel at times like we're fighting human enemies and worldly problems. But actually, Derrick said, we're fighting a battle within over whether we truly believe we are loved and called by God. This is a battle worth fighting.

If you missed Derrick's message or want to share it with someone, you can find it at www.skycrest.net/sermons where we have audio recordings of all our sermons.

Up next Sunday, former District Superintendent Rev. John Powers will be preaching for us. I'll be visiting family in Ohio and enjoying some Fall weather for a few days! But you don't want to miss church-- be there at 9:45 a.m. Modern or 11:00 a.m. Traditional.

Finally, if you were here on Sunday, you received an Estimate of Giving card. I asked you to pray specifically this week about becoming an intentional giver, if you are not already. Intentional doesn't mean a certain dollar amount or percentage; it simply means making a plan in advance, and sharing that plan with us via your Estimate of Giving card. You can even do it online if that's easier; www.skycrest.net/giving

Have a great week!

Pastor Emily

Join us this Sunday! 9:45 a.m. Modern | 11:00 a.m. Traditional

For our upcoming District "Charge Conference" we were asked to produce a video of some ways we've seen God working in our church this past year. I thought you'd like to take a look!

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MID-WEEK MESSAGE 10-2-2019

Dear Skycrest Family,


"If we stop making people so afraid of going to hell, how will we convince them to follow Jesus?"


We talked about hell this past Sunday, as part of our sermon series The Dark Side. If you're interested and you missed it, you can check it out online at www.skycrest.net/sermons


One question I didn't have time for in Sunday's message was the one I asked above. Without the fear that every unbeliever, doubter, and misbehaver will end up in hell, how will we incentivize people to join the Christian faith?


Here's the funny thing. I don't think I've ever met a Christian who is following Jesus simply for fear of avoiding hell. And I've met a lot of non-Christians who aren't following Jesus because they can't wrap their minds around the belief that every non-believer is going to burn eternally.


Maybe people will be compelled to join us in following the Jesus we spoke about on Sunday, the Jesus who descends into hell, into the literal hells of human suffering here on earth, walks with each person and leads them toward a better way.


Up next Sunday, make sure to be in church if you're able! You might even want to attend both services! Derrick Scott, Director of the Campus to City Wesley Foundation in Jacksonville, FL, will be our guest preacher. And the worship band from CCW will be leading the whole service in Modern (9:45 a.m.), and one song in Traditional (11:00 a.m.). Derrick is a sought-after speaker at numerous conferences and events; you will love his insight and his high energy and passion. The CCW worship band is a top-notch group of college musicians and you will not want to miss their talent and inspiration.


Derrick will be wrapping up our The Dark Side series with a look at spiritual warfare. Are we engaged in a battle between good and evil, beyond what we can see? Does spiritual warfare affect our everyday lives, and if it does, what can we do to emerge victorious?


Starting this Sunday, your 2020 Estimate of Giving cards are also available. Our ministries are 100% supported by the generosity of our church family, and I'm so thankful for how you make our work possible. We'd love to hear from you regarding how you'll be supporting our church financially in the coming year, so that we can plan our budget and ministries accordingly. If you've already been praying about it and want to get a jump start, you can fill out an online Estimate of Giving at www.skycrest.net/giving


See you Sunday!


Emily

MID-WEEK MESSAGE 09-25-2019

Dear Skycrest Family,


By the time you get this email, I'll be on a plane, along with our lay leader, Barb McQuain, to Leawood, Kansas for Church of the Resurrection's Leadership Institute. We've taken our leadership team to this event before and learned a lot. This year, COR is focusing the Leadership Institute on the future of our denomination and the deep divide we are facing regarding marriage and ordination of LGBTQ+ persons.

Barb and I will be learning more about the various plans that will come before this year's General Conference, and how those decisions may affect us. We will also be praying, worshiping, and networking with other attendees from Florida and around the entire denomination.


I'll be back in plenty of time to preach on Sunday, and am looking forward to the second week of The Dark Side.


Last Sunday, we explored what Scripture says about Satan, or the Devil. The Biblical authors assumed unseen spiritual realities, both good and evil. Scripture describes an adversary to God, Satan, who works against God's purposes, incites doubt, tempts us to sin, and reminds us of our guilt. Some Christians interpret Satan as a more literal, personal figure. Others see him as more of a personification of evil. Either way... Scripture is also clear that Satan does not control us; we can stand strong and resist, and that one day evil will be defeated by God. If you missed the sermon, its available online at www.skycrest.net/sermons


Up next Sunday, we'll be learning what the Bible has to say about hell. It is a real, literal place? Who goes there? Why would a loving God sentence anyone to eternal separation and torment?


It's sure to be an interesting one! Join us at 9:45 a.m. (Modern) or 11:00 a.m. (Traditional).


I've gotta go get packed for the trip!


Peace,


Pastor Emily