Letter from the Pastor February 21, 2020
Can I simply say thank you for allowing me to be a part of Long's Chapel at this important season and time? I celebrate with you a successful transition of Sunday morning worship times. The love, hospitality, and charity you have shown to your pastors, staff, and fellow congregants have been nothing short of a beautiful offering to God. I celebrate with you that we are a month closer to moving past the inconvenience of construction and one step closer to allowing our expanding campus to encourage new ministry and new opportunities to share the love of Jesus with our community. I celebrate with you that even through ripples of challenge at the denominational level, Long’s Chapel is still not only "open for business" but doing vitally faithful and effective ministry in our community. Our best and most exciting days lie in front of us, building on a rich tradition of serving Christ in this part of Western NC. The Open Door is finding its next season of ministry, and even though it's hard to transition a ministry that has deep roots in one location for 24 years, God has a great plan in store for The Open Door Ministry.
Life in Long's Chapel is full and beautiful. This Sunday, we end a worship series on "Under Construction" by talking about the abundant life that Jesus calls us to live. Next week is Ash Wednesday service and the start of a new worship series called "Seven" focusing on the seven deadly sins and the fruit of the Spirit that God gives us to counteract the temptations that can diminish our life. God wants you to live your best life now. God longs for you to be your best now. God gives us help every step of the way. I love this quote I read last week:
"Many Christians expend so much energy and worry trying not to sin. The goal is not to try to sin less. In all your efforts to keep from sinning, what are you focusing on? Sin. God wants you to focus on Him. To be with Him. ‘Abide in me.’ Just relax and learn to enjoy his presence. Every day is a collection of moments, 86,400 seconds in a day. How many of them can you live with God? Start where you are and grow from there. God wants to be with you every moment." - John Ortberg, Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You
Grace and peace to you today and all days,
Chris Westmoreland Lead Pastor