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MSC Newsletter March/April 2021
Journey to the Cross Worship Gatherings In-person gatherings are temporarily suspended due to COVID-19. In-person service will resume Easter Sunday, April 4, at 11:00 a.m. ET. We meet virtually every Sunday at 11 to view the weekly sermons on our
YouTube channel: Morning Star Connect. Key Dates Upcoming Events (Calendar) March April Connect with us Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Website email@example.com | (212) 283-1300
LENTEN SACRIFICAL CHALLENGE
Journey to Resurrection Sunday Wednesday, February 17th, 2021 marks the first day of the Lenten Season. The Roman Catholic Church observes Lent as part of its Liturgical Calendar. There are some mainline churches that also practice a form of Lent, for example the Presbyterian Church, The Methodist Church, The Episcopalian Church just to name a few. Lent is a season where we prioritize our vision, refocus our attention, and seek for a deeper relationship with God through the journey of Christ to the Cross and the power of His Resurrection. It is a time of contemplation. It is a time for deeper connection to draw nearer to our precious Lord Jesus Christ. This is a season to bring a sacrificial offering to God through self-denial. It is a season to do a self- examination to bear fruit of repentance to God. It is a season to spend time with God and enter into your prayer closet! During Lent, individuals make a determination of something that wish to “give up” in this season. For example- one might give up ‘chocolate or sweets entirely’. Someone else might give up- fast foods or snacks. Someone else might take a Lenten break from social media or television. The idea is that when you make this sacrificial offering and the desire rises up within you for that thing- instead of reaching for the thing, you reach for Christ, you remember the sacrifice of Christ to save your soul. You reach for your Bible and read the scriptures instead of eating the sweets or streaming your favorite show. In the Reformed liturgy for Ash Wednesday service, the following is read: We begin this holy season by acknowledging our need For repentance and our need for the love and forgiveness Shown to us in Jesus Christ. I invite you, therefore in the name Of Christ, to observe a Holy Lent, by self-examination and Penitence, by prayer and fasting, by practicing works of love, And by reading and reflecting on God’s Holy Word. Pope Francis has provided the following invitation to embark on the Lenten fast: Fast from hurting words and say kind words. Fast from sadness and be filled with gratitude. Fast from anger and be filled with patience. Fast from pessimism and be filled with hope. Fast from worries and have trust in God Fast from complaints and contemplate simplicity Fast from pressure and be prayerful. Fast from bitterness and fill your hearts with joy. Fast from selfishness and be compassionate to others. Fast from grudges and be reconciled. Fast from words and be silent so you can listen. (Well Amen to Pope Francis!)  “Ash Wednesday. Reformed Church in America. 2018. Retrieved 13 March 2018. The Morning Star Church Connect Lenten Sacrificial Challenge Invitation Rev. Dr. Beverly D. Frazier, Senior Pastor of the Morning Star Church, is encouraging us to take this Lenten Sacrificial Challenge. After all, everyone is doing some sort of challenge for all sorts of things. Why not do the Lenten Challenge. This is where you sacrifice something and then give God thanks every time you reach for that thing that you sacrificed. It is a time to reach for God and show appreciation for His extravagant grace he has gifted to us through His only begotten son Jesus Christ. You are cordially invited to participate and pray with us in this journey. Part of this challenge is to take time to reflect on the journey of Christ to the Cross and the Resurrection Power of Christ both then and now. In my lifetime, I have seen the crowd that shows up on Resurrection Sunday in their Easter Finery. Today, it would be showcased on IG-Tic Toc and FB. It is as if folks want to go from the Palm Sunday Parade, jump over the crucifixion, and hop to Easter Sunday like a bunny with no reflection on the cost of cross and the great sacrifice of Christ to redeem our sin sick souls. One cannot fully appreciate the extravagant grace of God without taking time to fully embrace the great sacrifice of Jesus Christ. So, come and journey with us to Resurrection Sunday. Pastor Beverly will be teaching and praying every Wednesday Morning at 6:00 a.m. ET on the Morning Altar Call Dial: 1-267-930-4000 Access Code: 588.228.157# Bible Reading for Week One: Mark chapters 14 and 15 Bible Reading for Week Two: Matthew 26 and 27 Because of God’s Extravagant Grace; Rev. Kathy Smallwood
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RESET 2021 Day 1: The Father Hears
Today is the first day of MSC Reset2021, our annual 21 days of fasting and prayer! This is the first year that we actually started the fast on a Sunday — giving us 3 full weeks of fasting and prayer. So, we are excited that in starting something new, that we should expect something new! Today, I went for a short walk in the park to get some fresh air. While I was there, I heard a young child call for his father. “Daddy,” he cried — not with a sense of urgency or trouble but with a sense of confidence and assurance. What I heard in his voice was that he knew that when he called on his father that he would get his attention and he would take care of whatever he needed. During these 21 days of fasting and prayer, we’re calling on the father, in the name of his son Jesus Christ! We are calling with confidence in assurance that he will reset our 2021! We are confident and assured that he will reset our mind, our body, our spirit and our circumstances! We call on the father, in the name of the son Jesus Christ, to reset our nation in the midst of a deadly pandemic and it’s horrific consequences. We call on him to reset the very seat of our government — our democracy which is under unprecedented attack! We call on the father these 21 days with confidence and assurance that he will hear us and answer our cries! #RESET2021MSC https://www.welcometomorningstar.org/reset-2021-fast Reset 2021 Fast Resources
Welcome to your spiritual journey!
Congratulations on your decision to undertake this spiritual journey at the beginning of 2021! It is a great sacrifice, but you will not be disappointed, for if you seek God, you will find him. Fasting and consecration at the beginning of the year sets the tone for the entire year! The word for this year’s fast is “RESET”. We have ushered in the New Year and we do so with gratefulness for all that God is in our lives and all the good things that we expect in 2021. Calendar years are a way in which we measure the events of our lives, enabling us to excel. The 21-Day Fast 2021 begins Sunday, January 10th and ends Sunday, January 31st. During this 21-day Fast and Consecration, in expectation of abundant living, we’ll seek to be totally surrendered and submitted to the will of God for our lives for this year and beyond. The journey “RESET” is not a destination; rather it is just that, a journey. When Daniel began his fast, it was to seek understanding and get some answers to questions. Don’t miss those special times in the presence of the Lord when you will receive direction and see things more clearly, by focusing on the process of fasting. God’s got good things in store for you!!! Be sure to download the RESET2021 Fasting Guide. By clicking on the link below, you can get your answers to these important topics: 7 Steps to A Successful Fast:
1. Choosing Your Fast
2. Prepare a Time and Place for Daily Prayer
3. Prepare for the Physical Challenges of Fasting 4. Make a Prayer List
5. Journal your Fasting Journey
6. Plan to Consecrate during the fast
7. Be sure to drink plenty of water Lastly, YOU ARE NOT ALONE in this fasting journey. There are hundreds of thousands of Christians worldwide who participate in prolonged fasts at the beginning of the year and, I am with you all the way. You can expect daily fasting devotionals, which will include scriptures, inspirations, fasting journal entries and more. You can find it all at: https://www.welcometomorningstar.org/reset-2021-fast In addition, meet us daily at 6:00 AM and 6:30 PM for prayer and daily instructions! The conference dial-in is 267-430-4000. Then enter the code: 588-228-157# The Lord richly bless each of you for your hunger and thirst for spiritual things and great breakthroughs in 2021! Pastor Beverly Reset 2021 Fast Resources
by Pastor Kathleen Smallwood 2021 RESET FASTING & PRAYER 21 DAY FAST IN THE 21ST YEAR OF THE 21ST YEAR OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST WHY? ISAIAH 58:1-14 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness[a] will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
9 Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. “If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings. 13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
and the Lord’s holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
14 then you will find your joy in the Lord,
and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land
and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken. Our Sovereign God makes clear what kind of fast He has chosen in challenging times in Isaiah 58, it is the kind of fast that is 1. Loosing the bands of wickedness. 2. Undoing the heavy burdens. 3. Letting the oppressed go free. 4. Breaking every yoke. This is why we fast because the Lord says so! Why do we fast? Fasting is one of several spiritual disciplines (meditation, prayer, study, worship, service, etc.) that engages believers for the purpose of spiritual development. In other words, as seen in scripture, we are challenged to grow in Christ. As we develop physically, aging from an infant into a full-grown adult, we also develop spiritually, grow and are strengthen in our Christian walk. We have no greater example of the importance of fasting than in the life of Christ Himself (Matthew 4:2). Jesus fasted before He began His public ministry (Luke 4:1-2). How can we do less when we are called to be the light of the world and salt of the earth? Surely, we too need the benefits of fasting to carry out our God-given purpose. Expect a greater anointing for your life, ministry, healing in your body, movement in things that have been tied up or held back; and clarity in decisions you have to make. These are but a few examples of fasting outcomes in scripture. Why do we fast? As a Disciple of Christ we seek to follow in his footsteps as we follow his call upon our lives. He said we would do greater things. The seeds of greatness are hidden in the discipline of our faith life as we fast and prayer! Remember, EXPECT GREAT THINGS!!! Reset 2021 Fast Resources
MSC Newsletter January/February 2021
From the Pastor's Desk Worship Gatherings In-person gatherings are temporarily suspended due to COVID-19. We meet virtually every Sunday at 11 to view the weekly sermons on our
YouTube channel: Morning Star Connect. Key Dates Happy New Year! All are welcome to partner with us during the RESET 2021 - 21 Day Fast; January 10-31, 2021. Join us on our prayer calls Monday-Friday 6:00 to7:00 a.m. and 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. (Dial: 267-930-4000 | Code: 588.228.157#) Why do we fast Fasting is one of several spiritual disciplines (meditation, prayer, study, worship, service, etc.) that engages believers for the purpose of spiritual development. In other words, as seen in scripture, we are challenged to grow in Christ. As we develop physically, aging from an infant into a full-grown adult, we also develop spiritually; growing and strengthening our Christian walk. We have no greater example of the importance of fasting than in the life of Christ Himself (Matthew 4:2). Remember, EXPECT GREAT THINGS!!! #RESET2021MSC Reset 2021 Fasting Journal Please make a small donation (optional) then download below. Upcoming Events (Calendar) Connect with us Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Website firstname.lastname@example.org | (212) 283-1300
MSC Announces Temporary Closing
December 13, 2020 Grace and peace Morning Star Members and Friends: The Morning Star Church leadership has been monitoring the ongoing COVID-19 spikes and deaths in our country generally, and our church location, specifically. The Lord has blessed us with a beautiful facility in which we have enjoyed wonderful spirit-filled worship services and sweet Christian fellowship. Governor Cuomo in his daily briefings has stated “the Corona virus is still active in New York. We have to be smart. Wear a mask, maintain a six-foot distance in public, and limit indoor and outdoor gatherings to no more than 10 people”. Houses of worship may hold gatherings of up to 10-15 people. We, at Morning Star, have adhered to all CDC recommendations and guidelines for indoor gatherings. Nevertheless, we believe that it is both our fiduciary and biblical responsibility to provide for the safety and well-being of our parishioners and visitors. On December 9th, over 3,000 people died from COVID and over 100,000 people were in the hospital nationwide. On our prayer list, we have a number of individuals and/or their family members who have tested positive for COVID. I believe that each of us knows someone, directly or indirectly, who has experienced the death of a loved one, family member, friend, neighbor or colleague as a result of this pandemic. Therefore, we believe MSC must exercise wisdom and thus, halt in-person gatherings. Our last in-person service will be Sunday, December 13, 2020. We will resume our virtual church worship on Sunday, December 20, 2020. Morning Star Church is committed to evolving in the use of technology and other ways in which we will meet the needs of and stay connected to our members. The building may be closed, but the church of Christ is still open! We are the church and body of Christ. We may be shut in, but we are not shut out from the presence of our Holy God! We will continue to be in partnership and alignment with God, through His word and the Holy Spirit, so that we can carry out the work of Jesus Christ. Jesus said that He came that we might have abundant life. Beloved, let us continue to walk in faith, so that we each experience a more abundant life in Christ. May the Lord keep you and your families. Blessings to you, Pastor Beverly