A celebration service is where all the Family Groups gather together to share how God was present and blessed them. It is also a time when we hear from God's word to seek how to continue revealing God's presence and blessings in the lives of our friends and neighbors. It is a point of accountability as we seek to become healthy so that we are better able to represent Jesus. It is a reminder of our goal to provide hope to our community, to help them become healthy, and in turn assist the Holy Spirit as God begins to heal them of the things that keep them from a closer relationship with God.
What we do doesn't seem weird to us, but it might to some. We usually start the service with a call to reflect upon God's presence and blessings, followed by announcements and a reading of a biblical passage. Quite often we will follow that with songs that help us know more about God and remind us of what God does for us. Our pastor will give what we call a sermon which is basically a talk about a Bible passage. It is meant to tell us how God desires for us to live and often provides insights that we may not have gotten out of our own reading of the Bible. Following that we will take communion which is a lot like joining family at the table for a meal. In fact when Jesus gave instructions for us to take communion it was at the last supper he had with His disciples. It wasn't weird at all to them. Jesus simply used the bread that was on the table to symbolize his body that was to be sacrificed so we could live, and the wine was used to represent his blood which cleanses us from our sins. We use blood as a symbol for cleansing because in their rituals they understood that blood contained life. When they sacrificed an animal to get forgiveness from God, they understood that life was being sacrificed on their behalf. It also cost them because each animal held real financial value for them. This is a big part of Jesus story as we understand God sacrificing Jesus so that we would have forgiveness. Because Jesus was the perfect sacrifice it wasn't necessary to repeat it. It was a big deal because God paid the price for us. There is nothing we can do to earn forgiveness. It is freely given. But in order to have eternal life, we do have to give our life to God.
We hope you are interested in learning more and will come and join us. Sometimes when we talk about God it can be confusing. We hope you are never embarrassed about not understanding something. We want everyone to better know why God is worthy to lead our life and why we should devote our life to serving God.