January - March 2023
Grace and Peace be unto you all! We are vastly approaching a wonderful time of year. With the occasion of Christmas, we are awarded the opportunity to practice extending peace, joy, and love to all. Most importantly, Christmas is the time that we can reflect in remembrance and awareness of Christ's second coming. We know that upon His return, we shall receive recompense and reward for what we have done in service to Him on this Earth (Rev. 22:12).
We have so much to look forward to in the year 2023. With every New Year brings new opportunities to continue our life’s mission of serving God. We have the ability to go into the year with optimism and assurance knowing that the Lord is on our side to help us as we collectively embark on a new season. Starting the year with the right mindset is pivotal – especially for us as believers. It is imperative that we set the tone in the genesis of our New Year. The Lord has filled us with the power of the Holy Spirit to make declarations over our lives and claim it through faith. This gives us the ability to establish and project what we want our year to look like: whether that be our time, energy, relationships, or financial status. The Bible says: "Thou shalt decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: And the light shall shine upon thy ways" (Job 22:28). Therefore, we are governing our year with the abilities that God gave us and stewarding our gifts as children of God to decree and establish the year of 2023.
For that reason, it is also imperative that we fast and pray collectively. Our annual 21-day fast is a great way for you to establish, decree, and project the tone you want to set for the New Year. It is coming into agreement with God and giving Him full control to lead and guide you into your next season. I encourage you to join us in this fast so that you may taste and see all that the Lord has in store for you this season. I am so pleased to go on this journey with you, and so excited for what the Lord is going to establish – both within us and before us, individually and collectively. Let us embark on this new journey together in 2023.
With much love,
What does a loving church look like?
By Andrea McPherson
A loving church must first seek to understand and live by the word of God. A church where members, who have Christ at the center of their lives, start to live a life that is more like Him. Members are encouraged to honor His words, follow His commandments, and show love to others.
A loving church is a place where people are accepted and welcomed with open arms. Romans 15:7 says, “accept one another just as Christ has accepted you.” It is a place where members should aim to build and uplift each other, without fear of discrimination, hatred, or judgement from others. Thessalonians 5:11 says, "Encourage one another and build each other up."
A loving church is a community that comes together to seek the love of God and to create a fellowship that radiates love. The greatest commandment is to love God and the second commandment is to love your neighbors as yourself. A loving church should be focused on what’s really important, and that is showing love, giving of your time to help others, and winning souls for the Kingdom of God.
A loving church requires an all out effort by each member of the congregation in their own respective way; whether it is to provide aid to other members of the congregation or community, offering prayer, giving advice, or just to give a listening ear.
No church can ever be perfect, but it can be healthy. Nothing or no one can stop a church that is filled with love. A Christian is not a Christian who doesn’t love God and people, and a church without love for God and people is no church.
Thank you Lord for blessing our church with our pastor and with good leaders who lead by example. An example of love and compassion towards the congregation, neighbors, and the world at large, so that they may see and know what a loving church looks like, and that they too will come and experience the love, joy, hope, power and most importantly that God is here at the Morning Star Church. Teach us to value every individual as how we would value ourselves. Let morning Star church be an exceptional church that is the embodiment of a loving church. Bless us continually I pray in Jesus’s name. Amen.