Weekly Contact- January 30, 2014

Hello there,

First off, the February First Press is available.  Paper copies are available at various locations around the church building, or you may find it online by clicking here.

Our annual meeting of the congregation will be held this Sunday, February 2, right after the first service, at around 10:00.  The purpose of the meeting is to receive reports, hold a meeting of the corporation, approve the pastors’ terms of call, and elect the members of the nominating committee.  A number of you have picked up a copy of the annual report.  Please bring your copy to meeting on Sunday.  If you would like a .pdf copy e-mailed to you, contact the church office at kgreene@fpcmarion.org.

The youth will be putting on their Super Bowl brunch between services, so after the congregational meeting, head down to the social room for some delicious food, and while you are there make a hefty donation to support the youth mission trip.

During worship on Sunday, we will be celebrating the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, the Chancel choir will be singing in the first service, and I will be preaching on Micah 6:1-8.  My sermon title is “System Requirements.”

This text from Micah has a familiar verse calling on God’s people “to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God.”  I will be talking about what that means in my sermon.  But I thought it rather ironic that this text is in the lectionary readings on Super Bowl Sunday.  A few years ago a report came out with some sobering statistics about the National Football League.   Once the season is over and players decide to leave the game for good, their future is not too promising:

• Sixty-five percent of NFL players leave the game with permanent injuries.
• One in four players reports financial difficulties in the first year after he retires.
• Of the NFL marriages that fail, 50 percent fail in the first year after the player leaves the game.
• The suicide rate for active and retired football players is six times greater than the national average.
• Seventy-eight percent of NFL players are unemployed, bankrupt or divorced within two years after their last game.

Certainly a great deal of blame is to go to the professional sports industry that only values individuals for what they can contribute to a winning team, and when they become unable to perform they are quickly discarded.  But when we look at the lifestyles of many pro football players, there does not seem to be much interest in Micah’s values of justice, kindness or humility.  Lasting success seems to have very little to do with money, fame or pride.  That’s something to think about.

Stay in One Peace,

Howard

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