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Pastor Stuart
March 20, 2014

Church: Make Sure Everyone’s Included

Church: Make Sure Everyone's Included

I recently learned about a¬†conference in England last summer¬†intended to help people think about how churches can enable disabled people to be more involved in the life and mission of the church. The speakers were disabled themselves or worked closely with people who were–areas like physical disabilities, the deaf, autism, blindness, and learning disabilities, for […]

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March 4, 2014

A Word from the Pastor

I loved the children’s message Sharon did a few weeks ago, when she held some pencils and asked, “What do they have in common?” The answer: all their erasers had been used up, so the people who used them must have made a lot of mistakes. And in life, we all make mistakes. But through […]

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February 5, 2014

“Can you hear me now, God?”

Having an always-online smartphone is great, but does that super-connectedness make us view life differently? Or even view God differently?? Do we expect God to answer our text messages as fast as we expect friends to?

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January 31, 2014

Gimme that Awe-Inspired Religion

Gimme that Awe-Inspired Religion

Church shouldn’t be boring. Worship shouldn’t be boring. It’s intended to help people connect and communicate with the Creator of the universe. So if anything, it should be the complete opposite of boring. But first, we need to make sure our faith isn’t boring either.

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January 28, 2014

The results are in: “Church is Good for You”

A recent psychological study suggests that people “who are more actively religious are more likely to report low levels of anxiety, depression, and fatigue–and feel that they cope with stress better and that their lives have meaning.” This is one of those things that church-goers have known for a long time, but it’s just nice to have scientific proof of now. It supports a ministry motto I like to use: “Church is good for the soul.”

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January 16, 2014

A Word from the Pastor

Even though it’s already printed here in the newsletter, I want to repeat the church’s newly-crafted mission statement: The mission of Hickory Rock is to show our love for God through worship, prayer, service, and fellowship, as we proclaim God’s love for all people, encouraging them to grow in the hope, peace, and joy of […]

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January 16, 2014

Motivated by Our Mission

Something really important happened last week in the life of the church: we formulated a mission statement for our congregation. It’s one sentence of what we believe God wants us to be and do. So how do we apply it?

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January 7, 2014

How To Be Unsatisfied With Your Church

How To Be Unsatisfied With Your Church

Everyone wants to be satisfied with their church-going experience. And there are a lot of things we can do to improve not just our church experience but the overall impact and warmth of our church for everybody who connects with it. But what if you didn’t want to be satisfied with your church?

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December 30, 2013

Bad Break Ups

No matter how nice you are, there’s always going to be people who manage to get on your nerves. It can be co-workers, supervisors, neighbors, frenemies, or even family members over the dinner table during Christmas. But what if there are people at your church that rub you the wrong way?

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December 19, 2013

E for Ethical – Grading Fashion Companies

As a kid, I was overwhelmed with curiosity about what Christmas presents I would get. For gifts that were wrapped under the tree early, I examined them like a CSI forensics expert examines a body for clues. Now, though, I don’t need anymore toys. But I do need socks and undershirts, so I actually welcome gifts of clothes. However, when money is spent on me, I don’t want it to go to mean, jerky people. So what’s a gift-giver to do?

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