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On one beautiful Easter morning the world witnessed an usual event; an event that to this day still reverberates all over the world; an event that caused the earth to shake; an event that popularized certain previously unknown words and increased the geographical knowledge of many. That event brought a new meaning to the concept of the Cross, Golgotha, Calvary, crucifixion, crown of thorns and the like. But that singular event also unveiled and brought a new meaning to other words such as forgiveness, redemption, salvation and resurrection etc. these are beautiful words, so beautiful and especially at such a season as this. This is the season of Easter! This is that season, once again; the season that changed everything. This is the season that reminds me and many others of that man, the Man of Galilee, the Son of God who by enduring the trauma and brutality of one certain day called “Good” Friday, a Friday that was bad and painful for him but good and memorable for the world. Indeed it the season that reminds me, and very many others, of the real cost of our salvation. Simply put, it was the day we were set free at last.
Satan’s interference in the world has since continued unabated. For over two years the world, our countries, our church and our families have suffered immensely from his nefarious and wicked activities. Governments and authorities have proved again and again that no one truly has the answer to Satanic troubling. But God’s people, you and I, have once again trusted in the saving power of the once whose power to save was proven through the salvation of our souls. But the problems have kept mounting. From the devastated, once beautiful cities and country sides of Ukraine to the unceasing reports of deaths, sickness and hunger in places, we must now continue to draw from our indisputable knowledge that Jesus saves. But he saves only for as long as his people are ready to pray. 2Chronicles 7:14 that, “If my own people will humbly pray and turn back to me and stop sinning, then I will answer them from heaven. I will forgive them and make their land fertile once again” (CEV). As the season of Lent continue, leading to Christ’s resurrection, let us humble ourselves and pray that the one who saves will save yet again. When we do, he will surely save again.
With great joy in my heart, I welcome and congratulate all the chosen leaders of our congregation. I am excited to have to work with you all during the next one year to do all that the Covid-19 restrictions could not enable us to do in nearly two years. As the prophet Nehemiah charges, let’s all now rise and build the Lord’s house together, (Nehemiah 2:18).
Finally, I pray that the lessons of Jesus’ passion during this season of Lent will help us identify with his sufferings, but also, that we shall embrace the joy, the victory of that resurrection morning, the day we all became free at last! We are FREE AT LAST! Glory be to God!
Rev. Sam. E. Nweze
- Kategori: Pastor Samuel
I bring you all greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I praise God that we are back to our normal church routines after the evil rain of the virus. It is to that extent that I consider this edition of our church magazine to be a special one indeed. It’s special because it serves as our expression of praise and thanksgiving to the Lord who, despite the trying times, our breath remains intact and we are still counted among the living. The last time I checked, I saw nothing so special that God should love us like he does. No wonder why King David exclaimed, “What are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them?” (Psalm 8:4 NLT). As Satan and his foot soldiers unleashed the deadly virus on the whole world, the Lord in his faithfulness shielded our entire congregation with his feathers, causing us to successfully dodge those ferocious arrows. Thus I am happy to announce to his glory that no one in our own congregation was lost to the virus. Once more, not because we are special, but simply because of his great grace. To him be all glory in Jesus name! However, we offer our prayers of support to the families of our other colleagues who were affected by the disease. Divine comfort in Jesus name!
Now that we back, what does the future hold going forward? While we remain optimistic that this affliction shall not arise again, everyone must however realize that a long period of incapacity often requires an even longer period of recovery and rehabilitation. We are facing that long period at the moment. Many members appear to be having a difficult challenge moving beyond the pandemic. Unfortunately, the cost of incapacity is way too high for anyone to bear. Clearly, the worst appears to be behind us but the world isn’t yet out of the woods. For that reason, these are no times to give up; these are no times for complacency, neither are these the times to cry over spilled milk. On the contrary, these are times when, as the prophet Joel admonishes, the weak must say “I am strong.” However, that strength only comes from God as the arm of flesh only produces utter failure.
Consequently, my sincere admonition is that if there is any time when we need one another in close fellowship, that time is now. No wise Christian person can afford to be lukewarm at such trying times as these. We need God and we need one another to survive. We need more prayers now than ever before. Jesus said, Watch and pray that you enter not into temptation, (Mark 14:38). We are doing exactly that in our church and we need everyone to return. We all need more love, more faith, more of God’s Holy Word and we need to see everyone that had been missing until now.
I would like to take this opportunity to really appreciate our able worship team members and all the church workers who risked the very possibilities of the virus to conduct our online and zoom services throughout the peak period of the Covid-19 pandemic. Also, to our prayer group who prayed relentlessly all through the period I demand limitless blessings from God for you. You all gave sacrificially and you will receive back generously in Jesus name.
I celebrate our youth and their coordinator and teachers who found a digital alternative around the restrictions. Amazing! We are unstoppable! But the challenges remain, especially as our children and youth have suffered devastating assault on their minds and motivation, even if few people can understand that. Let’s all brace up for the challenges ahead. It’s not yet uhuru. But the Lord will help us in Jesus name!
Finally, our Christmas and end of year activities start in earnest very shortly, make yourselves part of it all because we must end this year on a strong note of praise in Jesus name! I love you all!
- Kategori: Pastor Samuel
Dear friends, the Advent/Christmas season provides me with the opportunity to bring my warmest greetings to the entire family of Equmeniakyrkan Hallunda [Inter’l], Equmeniakyrkan Hallunda Parish and all our friends and partners everywhere. It has been a thrilling ministry year, one in which we can all look back to with great satisfaction, but also with gratitude to the Lord for his great grace to get to where we are today.
It’s quite unbelievable how time has gone so quickly, bringing us to this joyous Christian event once more. With us again is the season of lights and life; the season of hope and happiness and the season of peace and love. It is the season of celebration all over the world that the world got the rarest gift of all – God’s Son, coming as a baby but armed with the mission to save a fallen world, a world completely corrupted by sin and disobedience to God. No wonder halleluiahs and beautiful carols rend the airwaves everywhere there are reasonable and grateful humans. Aren’t you glad to be alive to witness this holy and beautiful season? I hope you are!
Clearly, the journey through the past eleven months obviously may not have been without its challenges for many of us. But remember that without tests there would be no testimonies, and I praise God that many of you have shared fantastic testimonies of God’s faithfulness and interventions in your lives as 2019 rolled by. We must all give God the glory for all the deliverances, all the victories and all the blessings both to individuals and to our church. In the words of the Psalmist, “If it had not been the Lord who was on our side...” (Psalm 124:1a), our adversary the devil could have inflicted maximum damage to very many. But thanks be to God who causes us to triumph in Christ Jesus, and makes manifest the aroma of his knowledge by us in every place (2Corinth.2:14). To Him be all the glory in Jesus name!
Blessings all the way...
The year 2019 has unquestionably been one filled with much blessings. We all began it together and we shall finish it together in Jesus name! I have the privilege to announce to to you all that everyone made it alive as we recorded no deaths, no accident and no incapacitations. Can I hear “Praise the Lord!” On the contrary, we instead experienced a steady growth in our congregation, both in the number of adults finding our church, but also in the number of children delivered. To the glory of God, no fewer than eleven children were presented for dedication this year 2019. This is a record. In addition, four individual underwent immersion baptism during the year. The Lord is faithful and we give all the glory to Him.
All things considered, I would say that, the Lord helping us, we were able to significantly address much of our ministry goals as set in our activity plan for the year. However, the ministry year ends in March 2020, so we have the opportunity to do even more. However, with the very exciting programs such as our powerful revival meetings that saw us play host to guest speakers but also, our annual International Cultural Week which was very colorful and exciting, we can all give ourselves a pat on the back. Besides, it is obvious that many of you have found strength and blessings through our weekly prayer meetings, Bible Studies, night vigils and others. I congratulate all the regular participants while I appeal to those who shy away from such activities to change their ways in the coming year. To the Advisory Committee, the Men’s Fellowship and the Ministry groups, I appreciate you for your efforts. The Women’s Fellowship has got new leaders that will take them to the next level in the year ahead.
Lastly, as Christmas comes upon us very soon, let us share Christ’s love among ourselves, ensuring that we become agents of disseminating the real message of the season. Christ is born, halleluiah!
My wife and I, with our entire family wish each one of you the happiest Christmas ever!
Pastor Sam. E. Nweze
- Kategori: Pastor Samuel
It’s so good to see many of our vacationers dropping back in one person and one family at a time. Without controversy, no year did our congregation ever witness such a high rate of vacation travel by members like this summer. This is quite commendable and in line with the standing biblical injunctions on the need to take out time on occasion to rest. I hope you all brought with you, experiences and testimonies of God’s faithfulness and preservation from the
many dangers that people face across the world presently. Praise God that He remains our “refuge and strength” (Psalm 46:1), and everyone has remained safe and sound.
And Now Comes a New Season
The work of the kingdom stares us in the face as we enter the final and decisive season of the year 2019. What happens from now until the end of the year determines whether or not we shall finish this year on a strong footing. A look at our activity plan for the year indicates that much ground remains to be covered. Consequently, there is a need to move with a great sense of urgency going into the final months. Jesus highlighted this need when in John 9:4 he declares, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night comes, when no man can work.”
We have quite a couple of exciting things coming up requiring our urgent attention. Work among our children and youth remains top on our agenda with more children and youth workers needed in both departments. Our children’s demography continues to grow in leaps and bounds and we must step up to the challenges. By the grace of God we added a new dimension to the ministry among our youth in August when fifteen of them embarked on a fun/mentoring boat cruise to Finland. That trip was such a rewarding and unforgettable experience to all the participants. Such an exercise must be made a recurring experience among our youth.
Secondly, establishing a formidable business men and women’s fellowship within our increasing number of business members is a passion that I want to see accomplished within this ministry year. Thirdly, the Women’s fellowship is in need of revival and I urge all our women to be on alert as plans are on to revive that very important aspect of our ministry. The media department needs some level of modernizing in order to show our services and programs more to the media-savvy world.
International Cultural Week
Plans are on for our annual International Cultural Week (ICW), a program which always intermarries with the anniversary of the establishment of our congregation. A vibrant planning committee is presently working to give us what is hoped to be the best version of the program ever. As usual, the various nationalities in our church are expected to put up sterling and God-glorifying performances during the three day-long program. Talks are ongoing to ensure that get hold of the appropriate speaker for the event. I urge everyone to be in prayer as the events approach.
Finally, keep in mind always, the words of our theme for this year, Daniel 11:32, “The people that know their God shall be strong and do exploits”. Let us therefore remain in the knowledge of the Lord, ceasing every opportunity to bear witness to the gospel. And always remember, PRAYER IS THE KEY!
Much blessings on you all!
- Kategori: Pastor Samuel
Friends here we are again, and it’s yet another season of transition from darkness to light. The Spring season is a good reminder to us that darkness and gloom do not last forever. Little wonder why the wise man King Solomon tells us that “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” I believe we can all relish watching those frowning faces of that convey discontent and disappointments begin to brighten up because joy has come. It clearly has come to substitute every trace of fear, of sorrow, of pain from losses and the ravages of death and sickness in our lives and in the lives of our beloved one. I hope our sighs and feelings of resignation to the unknown tomorrow will begin to respond to the shining light of Christ’s presence which has brought us tremendous hope and unbreakable promise.
The Lenten Season will soon give way to the joy and hope of the Resurrection of life – the life of Jesus our Savior by which we are also raised from the dead and from the onslaught of iniquity and wicked principalities. The Resurrection is the ultimate hope of every believer. This is the reason the glorious event of that glorious morning has been taken very seriously and celebrated with great pomp throughout every generation of the Christian faith. This Easter season, we too must be joyful because our Lord overcame death. By his glorious grace we too have become overcomers. Romans 8:37 calls us “more than conquerors”, and that is what we are!
Before I conclude, I want to use this opportunity to congratulate all the new Ministry servants in our congregation chosen on March 16, 2019 at our church’s annual meeting. The Lord has chosen you for a purpose irrespective of whatever position you have found yourself. It is he that gives grace and unction to function for him and I believe he has equipped you with the grace you need for this work. I therefore call on you all to man your duty posts faithfully and with gratitude to God who has given you the opportunity to serve him at this time. Always remember that diligent and faithful service is a prelude to heavenly reward. Welcome on board! To every other person, I call upon you to locate your places in the ministry, especially as it is my heart’s desire to provide opportunities for people to grow into their full ministry potentials. Simply let me know the area God has gifted you and you will receive all the encouragement you need to develop yourself.
Lastly, I enjoin everyone to be part of all our Services and meetings so that we can continue to grow together in the Lord. I will end with the text of the message preached to us on February 24 namely, Galatians 6:2, Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ”
My family and I wish you all a very happy Easter in the name of our risen Lord!
- Kategori: Pastor Samuel
For every well meaning Christian, the Advent season is the season when the adoration and worship of Christ our savior is at its highest point. Through each day up until the Christmas day, the world comes to a near standstill. With spoken and unspoken languages there is a general acknowledgement that someone special was born into the world to meet the human race where they are. The sweet melodies of Christmas carols, Christmas bells chiming through the air, not least, through the maze of human activity witnessed through unequaled travels and movements of people through every available means coupled with the greatest season of commercial activity as people frantically make purchases in readiness for exchange of gift all bear witness to the fact that a special season is unfolding.
As God’s people who are privileged to be associated with this special child who have become the King of all kings, you and I have a huge responsibility. We must all step up our efforts to ensure that the message of Christ’s birth is not drowned by the loud and alluring drums of profanity and fanfare. The unbelieving world is fast losing touch with that message. Christians are therefore called upon to speak up. Go, tell it on the mountains, over the hills and everywhere that Jesus Christ is born. One person at a time-and the reason for the season will be made known to all people everywhere.
THE YEAR 2018
The season of Christmas also immediately leads us to an important transition point in the life of each of us as well as in our church. The end of the year and the start of a new one both follow in quick succession. It is needful therefore to use this space to appreciate every member of Equmeniakyrkan International Hallunda for such a wonderful ministry outing this year. I believe we all had a most wonderful time in the presence of God and very blessed through each and every meeting opportunity that we had.
Special mention must be mentioned however, of the exciting 10th anniversary celebrations that ran through two consecutive weeks ending early in October. What an eventful moment in our church! I thank each and every participant who contributed ideas and resources to make it what it was. My appreciation goes particularly to the few people who worked assiduously to ensure that the event was successful. God bless you real good! Also to every member of the Advisory Committee, as well as all the ministry groups I say a big God bless you! The Scripture tells us in Daniel 11:32b, “The people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits”. From this Scripture springs up our theme for the coming year, 2019. It will be a year of “GREAT EXPLOITS.” I urge you all therefore, to begin to get excited because a great year is ahead of us.
I conclude with an important program information. Effective January 2019, our “Miracle Tuesday” will move to mid week fellowship under the title “MIDWEEK COVENANT ENCOUNTER. With this change, our first midweek fellowship will take place on Wednesday January 2, 2019. Be sure to adjust your schedules accordingly to enable you embrace these covenant meetings. Lastly, mark your calendar for our New Year retreat on January 13.
My family and I wish you all a very happy Christmas and a joyous and prosperous New year!
- Kategori: Pastor Samuel
From Pastor Sam’s Desk
Wednesday February 14 was Ash Wednesday in the church calendar. It marked the beginning of the Lenten season. It was also the beginning of the six weeks that will take the church to Easter Sunday. What does that means for you? First, it makes you a part of the Christian
heritage. Our Christian faith was not born the day you were born. It began 2000 years ago when Jesus came to die for you. Second, it gives you the opportunity to identify with the sufferings of Christ during his ministry on earth. These are the expectations from you throughout the season of lent. Spend each and every day repenting and reflecting on the sacrifice of Calvary. Calvary was the place where your sins were paid for in full. Lent demands therefore, some level of sacrifice on your part. What can you sacrifice as a response for what Jesus did for you? In case you are wondering, there will at least, be one corporate opportunity for you to respond in kind. Throughout the Holy Week namely, March 26 - 31, we shall observe our annual “Week of Sacrifice” as a week of sober reflection and abstinence from much indulgences. In practical terms, you will be expected to save from food and drinks abstinence and be ready to offer your savings as a special offering to Jesus during our Easter Sunday celebration. Get excited about this opportunity!
As you are already aware, March 10 is our Church’s Annual Meeting. As has been the practice in the past, issues relating to church economy will be lifted and positions filled at various levels of our church life including our own Executive Committee. You must all pray for this process so that both the returning and new leaders will be chosen into the work with great enthusiasm and dedication. But in addition to your prayers, you are expected attend this important meeting so that our congregation will be well represented.
Our new preaching schedule just kicked off with the theme “Experiencing the Power of God”. Under this theme, we shall examine the demonstration of the power of God in the lives of a number of people in the Scriptures. This theme will lead us through Easter when this power raised Jesus from the dead. I urge you not to miss any of these topics.
Two important programs are coming up during the season. March 24 will be an Easter musical outreach in Hallunda Centrum at the usual
time of 12-2.30 pm. We thank the Lord for the continuing opportunity to take the gospel out to the shopping mall. Also, our usual Good Friday “To Golgotha with Jesus” will be replaced with a Good Friday evening Gospel music experience tagged “Sound of Majesty”. We may have one or two guest artists join us on this day. Get excited about these and other events coming up in the coming weeks and months.
The final program alert worth noting is that we shall be marking our 10th anniversary this year in grand style during the period 1st-7th October. Some of you will be called upon to take up some responsibilities towards this. We hope you will gladly answer that call.
Soon this darkness of winter will begin to give way to brightness of Spring and Summer. Until that happens, may the Lord remain your light and the Rock of your salvation, always keeping in mind our theme for the year, “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2).
With lots of love from my wife and I.
- Kategori: Pastor Samuel
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