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Worship Service, 19 May and The Congregation's SWOT data

posted May 20, 2013, 6:51 AM by St.Andrews Lisbon   [ updated May 20, 2013, 8:35 AM ]
Many thanks to the Reverend Jim Dick for providing this week's worship service. His message got me to make use of my notebook, which is one of my personal measures related to hearing the Word in ways that stimulate my spirit. I'd like to 'Have My Say' by sharing; 1) Notes and 2) Reflections on today's service.
1) Notes
Old Testament readings: 
1st passage: Isaiah 40:27-31
27 Israel, why then do you complain that the Lord doesn't know your troubles or care if you suffer injustice? 28 Don't you know? 

Haven't you heard? The Lord is the everlasting God; he created all the world. He never grows tired or weary. No one understands his thoughts. 29 He strengthens those who are weak and tired. 30 Even those who are young grow weak; young people can fall exhausted. 
31 But those who trust in the Lord for help will find their strength renewed. They will rise on wings like eagles; they will run and not get weary; they will walk and not grow weak.
2nd passage: Psalm 147
New Testament readings were not included in this Sunday's scripture.
Theme of Sermon: - Working with our SWOT:The 'S' of the SWOT in our recent congregational self-assessment data.
Basic message: New Strengths often lie within perceived weaknesses. Look to our weaknesses and trust in the Lord's transformative power to assist us in remaking them as strengths.
Story Sharing: Ways other congregations built new strengths from their identified weaknesses.
2) Reflections: 
a) By re-framing the 'Weaknesses' of our SWOT into 'Challenges', we can transform a negative piece of data into - a positive seed which we may sow to begin the transformation process. 
For example: re-framing "not enough parking and hard to get to" (weakness) into "making worship services and events more accessible" (challenge) might help us to focus on and identify new opportunities.
In this small step, we can immediately see a joyful transformation - we transform SWOT into SCOT:
b) By living in, with, and through the love and grace taught us by Christ the Saviour, our weaknesses will be transformed; just as accepting and attempting to live Christ's message of forgiveness and all encompassing love, transforms our personal weaknesses through the saving grace of The New Covenant.
New Testament scripture that seems appropriate to 'new strength from apparent weakness':

NIV Bible. 1 Corinthians 20-22 & 35-37
20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 35 But someone may ask, "How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?" 36 How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. (Drory)