Dear Friends,

Fall is officially upon us with a new school year in full swing and Christmas just around the corner. My pastoral brain is trying to put all the pieces together for the rest of the 2014 year of ministry here at Torrance First and I am realizing that there is so much to do and not too many months to do it; yikes! New Bible studies are coming, our Quad nights will be kicking off in November, the youth group is planning retreat and service opportunities, the college age ministry is taking root, UMW and UMM are back after summer breaks, and as exhausting as it may feel at times, each is an opportunity for the Spirit to move and Christ to be present with us.

I have been challenging the leadership and different ministry areas of the church to consider the four reasons that people choose not to go to church: that the church is judgmental towards them, that the church is not relational, that the church is hypocritical, and that God is distant or dead. We know that these are not true, but we seek to find ways to show the true nature of the church and Christians through four acts of love: radical hospitality, fearless conversation, genuine humility, and divine anticipation. As we move forward we will continually look through the lens of these acts to reveal how we can demonstrate the true body of Christ embodied in this place and by God’s grace bring new people into our faith community.

How will you choose to be a part of this witness through your presence and involvement here at Torrance First? Can you show radical love to your neighbor? Can you step out of your comfort zone to open your heart to someone in need? Do you come to worship seeking God’s presence and not just a nice worship experience? Do you come with an open mind to seek answers and not just give them?

Let us open our arms wide to accept the grace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior and see where He leads us.

Pastor Stacy