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Pastor's Blog
Sunday, October 01 2023
Today we celebrate worldwide communion at 10 am with Children's Church in person and on Zoom. We are also collecting for Everlasting Life Ministries. (If communing with us on Zoom have your elements ready for communion. Crackers, bread and juice)
Below find Brian and Missy Wagner news letter
Good Morning Prayerfully Meditating Students of the Living Word! Jesus is the Living Word. Everything was created through Him and for Him. He holds all things together. John 1 teaches us that in the beginning was the Word. When God spoke creation into existence, His Living Word created. If you have a red letter Bible, Jesus' words are written in red. Today during worship we will be focusing on, meditating on, and processing the red letters of John 6:26-69. The Holy Spirit brings alive God's Living Word to us and we will ask Him to do so today as we contemplate this "hard teaching" of Jesus. God is speaking all the time through His Living Word and all three of the Godhead, Father, Son, and Spirit are present and can be heard and understood as we prayerfully meditate on His Word and process it with others. What's He saying to you?
This year we have been challenged to read through the Bible in a year and now reading and studying through the Gospel of John for the rest of the year. We are prayerfully meditating on God's Word and beginning to learn to hear His voice, understand and do what He says. It's all part of the Become Me in '23 challenge as we work on growing into our true created identity and doing the things we are created to do. Check out TWFYT below. They share some helpful tips for beginning students of the Bible. Our focus on prayerfully meditating and processing through the Gospel of John is partly to help us learn how to use God's Word to disciple others. These thoughts can be applied to that as well. Are you hearing God? You can as you pray, meditate and open His Living Word! Note this too: What you are hearing may be different from others as the Holy Spirit highlights things just for you. He may also highlight things for others and even our fellowship. Look for others to process with. Plan to join us each week as we engage with God's Living Word in huddles Tues and Wed and Sundays during worship. God is always speaking. We just need to make time, turn off the noise and tune in.
This week we will be reading Ezekiel 1-21 and John 7 and 8. Consider prayerfully opening God's Word and meditate on what He is saying to you as you study with some others and process to put into action what God is revealing just for you. As we study John we are asking three questions of what we read. We can apply these three questions to any Scripture we read: What's going on in this passage (are there any promises or commands?)? What's God saying to me? What specific and measurable steps will I take towards doing this? Invite God to speak to your heart and direct your steps as you still yourself and listen. His Word is so sweet and powerful and effective when pronounced and released in prayer.
Today, let us prepare your hearts for worship and release some of His powerful words as we use some prayer starters from my prayer starter book, Patterns of Prayer by Alvin Vandergriend:
"Shout Hallelujah! to the Lord God Almighty. Praise God for His power and glory. Thank Him for salvation (Rev. 19:1). Confess how rarely recently you have meditated on God's wisdom and strength. Commit yourself to thinking more about what you can do for God, rather than what God can do for you. Pray for family members and friends who hold God at arms length. [remember, we are praying for God to give us five people that don't know Him or walk in His ways, for someone to bring along to any of our gatherings and for God to add to our numbers weekly those who are being saved.] Plead for personal peace and joy in Christ, so they will want what you have. Pray for your worship leaders to be sensitive to those with unusual personalities or special needs. Many parts form God's Body (1 Cor. 12:12-31). [Pray for us to become a house of prayer for the nations including all who God sends] Pray that Christians will be willing to examine and change even time-honored forms of worship--if such changes draw unbelievers to God and salvation and growth. [Thank God for our openness to trust and follow God to His new things!] Pray that unsaved people who feel empty will find salvation and be drawn to God through our worship and obedience. [Thank God for all our servants at St. Matts who go, welcome, and love like Jesus!]
Phillips Brooks said, "Prayer is not conquering God's reluctance, but taking hold of God's willingness." Amen! We hear what He wants us to pray and release His willingness as we prayerfully meditate and study His Word. His Word does not come back void and the prayers of His righteous in Christ servants are powerful and effective. Thank God for that and process and pray with others, even today. God is willing and able to do way more than we can imagine! Amen!
Next Sunday Oct 8th from 2-4 we will have a season of prayer in our sanctuary to release God's willingness and power. We will be praying for our denomination, district and churches to become a dynamic movement of God as prophesied by our bishop. We will also be praying for and releasing God's willingness for individual needs as well. Pray into this day. Plan to join us. Bring some friends along. Prepare the soil in prayer.
TWFYT (The Word for You Today)
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Wagner's news:

Greetings from Kenya,

Meet our Fabulous Five!

We welcomed these 5th and 6th grade boys into our home and hearts at the end of August as a new school year began. Two are brand new to RVA and three returned to our dorm from last year. They are so much fun to have around and have transitioned well into school. When not in school, they love to play board games, build with Legos, ride the zipline across the playground, and jump on our trampoline.  Their parents all serve in three East African countries, sharing the love of Jesus with those they meet. We are already heading into the sixth week of this new school year with midterm break just around the corner.

Spiritual Emphasis Week is held every year just after midterm. RVA invites a speaker and visiting worship team to come for five days to share Jesus in a focused and deliberate way. This year is especially exciting for us as the speaker is an RVA alumnus who we have known for many, many years, and it will be a blessing to hear from him now. The worship team is coming from one of our Pennsylvania supporting churches who has been praying faithfully for our family and RVA students for more than twenty-five years! How cool to think that this church was praying during the years our speaker was a student here on this campus!
Would you commit to praying diligently for our students during SEW? We know the evil one will be trying to distract, discourage, and fill minds with doubt.
Ways to Pray!
  • PRAY that RVA students might know Christ more fully during this time (Eph 1:17-18)
  • PRAY that RVA students will delight in God’s Word and not neglect time in it (Psalm 119:9-16)
  • PRAY that RVA students will know Christ’s love and let it dwell in their hearts (Eph 3:16-19)
  • PRAY that RVA students will be able to discern what is best and be filled with righteousness (Phil 1:9-11; Rom 12:1-2)
  • PRAY that RVA students will love to meet with other believers and be a contributing part of the body (Heb 10:25; Rom 12:3-8)
  • PRAY that RVA students will fight temptation and bear much fruit (1 Cor 10:13; Col 1:9-12)
  • PRAY with thankfulness and joy for RVA students, confident that God will complete the work HE started in them (Phil 1:3-6)
  • PRAY that RVA students will raise up in their youth and do even greater things for God’s Kingdom (John 14:12; 1 Tim 4:11-16)
Coming Soon!
As was mentioned in our July update, we will be returning to the States for an 8-month home assignment, early December 2023 to early August 2024. We have already scheduled several church visits and conferences and would like to remind you to contact us directly in the next few weeks if you’d like us to come and share with your church or small group. We really enjoy sharing with smaller group gatherings, so feel free to ask about daytime or evening events during the week. We are excited to connect and share the exciting ways God is moving all over Africa.
Some more ways to PRAY! And maybe YOU can be part of the answer to these PRAYERS!
As we prepare to land in PA just two months from now, we still have one BIG need. We are looking to purchase a mid-size, reliable vehicle, with good gas mileage, as we will be traveling many miles to visit with family, friends, churches and RVA alumni. Please contact us if you have any good leads for us to explore. Above all, would you commit to PRAY with us for the right vehicle?
We are also still waiting for confirmation on who will be covering our dorm for the two terms we are away. PRAY for God to reveal the couple he has chosen to love and care for our fabulous five! We are thankful that Missy has been able to begin training the one who will be stepping into the Admissions Director role. PRAY for clarity and understanding as there’s a lot to learn in a short period of time.
Finally, it would be great if someone would like to teach a couple of AP Calculus classes for at least one term (from January through March) or even the remainder of the year through July. Perhaps you or someone you know is a retired Calculus teacher who wouldn’t mind leaving behind some cold winter weather for some African sunshine and 32 amazing students in Calculus AB and BC. PRAY with us that someone will respond to this opportunity soon. Please reach out to us directly if you or someone you know might be interested.
All of our grown kids and their spouses are doing well and we are so looking forward to spending quality time with them soon. PRAY that God would orchestrate our travel schedule with solid blocks of time to visit with family. PRAY, too, for good health for Luke, Rachel, and our grandson coming soon! Isn’t our Father so good to bless us with this precious gift at the very beginning of our home assignment?!
You, too, are a blessing! Thank you for your prayers.
Brian & Missy

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St. Matthew's EC Church

5th & Ridge Streets
P.O. Box 433
Emmaus, PA 18049
Telephone 610.965.5570


We are learning to live and love like Jesus. 

We are working on becoming who we were created to be and doing our custom made purposes well. 

We are part of the Evangelical Congregational Church

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