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     The Book of Acts recounts the coming of the Holy Spirit to the disciples, as Jesus promised. This is the same Spirit who was at work in creation, in the exodus, in the nation of Israel, and in the prophets who spoke God’s word when Israel went so far astray. And it’s the same Spirit who is at work here and now in ways we sometimes don’t notice and often don’t comprehend.

     It’s important to remember that God’s Spirit is not confined to working in what we call “spiritual” things. After all, “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof”, and God teaches us many things through science and the natural world. I just heard a report on how animals grieve, and how observing them may help us humans as we face death. God teaches us in many ways.

     When we come to a pivotal time in the life of the church, however, we do well to look for the Holy Spirit’s work among us. It is always amazing to me to see how many disparate strands of intentional action, “coincidental” happenings, and seemingly random conversations work together for a certain outcome. We often see this only in hindsight. C.S. Lewis put it this way:

In friendship...we think we have chosen our peers. In reality a few years' difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another...the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting--any of these chances might have kept us apart. But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking, no chances. A secret master of ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you," can truly say to every group of Christian friends, "Ye have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another." The friendship is not a reward for our discriminating and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each of us the beauties of others.

    The Holy Spirit has been at work in this congregation, side by side with the search committee, and in the life experiences of Gene Stringer, to bring him as a pastoral candidate this month. I hope you will be able to attend on Candidate Weekend, and that you will join me in prayer as we look forward to what the Spirit has in store for all of us.

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