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Happenings Around the Hill

By Admin MercyHill in Mercy Hill Church 8 months ago | 382 views Link: https://goo.gl/5vTqoA



Hot Off the Presses…


Fifth Sunday Hymn Sing

We are restarting the fifth Sunday hymn sing.  Come on April 29th at 6:30 pm to our evening service where we will have devotions led by pastor Phil, and have our favorites hymns sung that evening.  


What we already told you about…


Men’s Breakfast

This Saturday is the  Men’s Breakfast at 9:00 am.  Friends and neighbors are welcome as well!  Please RSVP to the event on The City. See Tim Pacek with any questions.


Family Day of Service

On Sunday, May 20, from 12-2 Mercy Hill will be participating in the Family Day of Service once again. This year, Mercy Hill will be participating in trash clean up in our local community. All are welcome to join, but we ask for volunteers to sign their name and shirt size at the sign up in the church house counter, so we know how many volunteers will be participating and if shirts are available this year, how many we will need. If you have any questions please see James or Valorie Hoffman.


Pastor Mario’s call to Mercy Hill update

It is with sadness that the staff of Mercy Hill would like to  announce Pastor Mario Freitas’ call with Mercy Hill will be coming to an end this summer. His work with MORE International has developed more quickly than expected, largely due to the surprising providence of God. For this we are thankful and wish to praise God, even though it will be a loss for our congregation. Mario and his family will be moving, as a family, to the new US Headquarters in Snow Camp, North Carolina the week of Sunday June 3, 2018. Pastor Mario will continue in his official capacity as assistant pastor of our congregation through the summer, and will be back and forth to some degree in July and August. His last official Sunday as assistant pastor will be our anniversary Sunday, the third Sunday in September, 2018.


Search for a new Assistant Pastor

Over the next several months, the session of Mercy Hill will start the search for a new assistant pastor.  Please keep them in your prayers.


Church House update…


Cross Fit 6-4-3 has moved in

Cross Fit 6-4-3 has moved in next door and intends to start operating their business on Monday April 16. In the meantime, all of Mercy Hill’s storage items have been temporarily moved into the office area of the North side of the warehouse. Meanwhile, the elders and deacons continue to seek to address our church house needs, including (a) speaking with some engineering firms about possible renovations; and (b) continuing to have conversations with a local churches, including one in Deptford called Calvary Bible.


Looking ahead…


Pastor Mario’s Good Bye/Thank you Service

Please mark your calendars to come  on June 3rd, to have a gathering to show pastor Mario and Giovanna Freitas’ appreciation  for their fruitful work in our congregation, after the service.


Confession of Faith…

 

"Forgive Us our Debts" – by James Hoffman

Last  we briefly reflected upon what is commonly referred to as the fifth petition, of the Lord ’s Prayer. To review, in this prayer, we petition God that His name be hallowed, that His kingdom come, that His will be done, for our daily bread, and now, to be forgiven of our debts.

We Are All Debtors to God

As we consider this petition, it is important to understand what debts it is that we owe. “Forgive us our debts” implies an acknowledgment that we, in fact, do owe a debt to God. The Heidelberg Catechism states that it is our original [inherited sins] and actual [daily] sins that make us debtors to God. However, this plead is not simply an acknowledgment of a need forgiveness, but also an admittance to how desperate we need this forgiveness. Notice that as we pray this prayer, this petition is a continuance of the sentence that includes the fourth petition. We pray, “Give us this day our daily bread AND forgive us our debts”.  We need God’s pardon just as desperately as we need his daily provisions.

We Must Forgive Our Debtors

This is also the first petition that has a type of condition attached to it. “Forgive us our debts AS we forgive our debtors”. As we desperately seek forgiveness, we are reminded that there are others who require our forgiveness.  It is of such importance that it is echoed later in this verse: “14-15 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

In considering this command, I think it is important to emphasize that God’s forgiveness is not contingent on your forgiving others. That is, you do not earn forgiveness by forgiving others. On the contrary, you cannot rightly forgive others of their debts, until you yourself experience the Father’s forgiveness.

One writer, Philip Ryken, puts it like this: “We cannot work off our debts, we can only ask for them to be canceled. But now, having been forgiven, by the grace of God we are also able to forgive. Indeed, our ability to forgive is one of the surest signs of our having been forgiven. Those who are truly forgiven, truly forgive.”

We Require a Sense of Forgiveness

By beginning God to forgive us for our sins, we are not simply requesting the legal ruling of “forgiveness” that is, justification but to also become aware, and increasingly so, of the very sense of God’s forgiveness. Receiving this comfort of God’s forgiveness is a precious right that is only offered to those who have been adopted as children of God, and whose payment of sins Christ’s death has already satisfied. We are fortunate to hear an assurance of sin each week, pronounced to us during our time of confession, guaranteed by God’s word. We need this regular reminder, because of the frequency of our sin. We are reminded that though we may fall daily, our eternal state as reborn Christians is ultimately with our savior. However, our sins still carry with it some troubles that we may have to endure for a time. This is what we include in our begging for pardon, a relief of temporal punishment and for aid in the removal our guilt.

I want to leave you with this thought:

God himself has paid your price for your sin. Your entire state is changed, from once a child of wrath, to a child of God. With this change, God has provided a benefit of remission form our daily sins. As one Puritan author put it, in giving us a right to daily remissions of our sins, God has granted us free access to the fountain of mercy, which is always running and open in the house of God, for our comfort, that we may use it as needed.

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Mercy Hill Church

Sinners, Skeptics, and Everyone Seeking the Mercy of God.
www.mercyhillnj.org

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