Dear Friends in Christ –

I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

Rick and I returned this week from two weeks of vacation touring the South Sound on the “Willie C.” (our 44 year old 25’ troller camper boat) and boy did we have fun!  We were probably never more than 50 miles away from our home as the crow flies, but out on the water we were in another world, and I felt as removed from my regular routine – and upon return, as rested and renewed – as I have ever been. 

I jumped back into pastor mode on Wednesday at the Grand Opening of the “Compass at First Presbyterian” 24/7 shelter.  And what a way to re-enter! I was blown away by how the remodeled basement looks.  (For those of you who were not able to attend, I think we might be able to do a quick tour with Program Manager Rev. Mark Smutny this Sunday).  In addition, the folks from the City said they have never had a more well attended and celebratory shelter opening ever.  Our First Hill neighbors are welcoming this shelter with open hearts and arms. So many people expressed their extreme gratefulness to First Presbyterian for opening our doors in this way.  My response is, To God be the glory!, My prayer is, Thy Kingdom come!

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So, I really missed preaching together, and can’t wait to dive into this week’s text: Matthew 16:21-28.

In last week’s passage Jesus asked, “Who do you say that I am?”, and Simon Peter nailed it: “You are the Christ (Messiah), the Son of the living God.” Bingo! Even Jesus seemed impressed!

But in this week’s text, Peter goes from solid Rock to stumbling block (yikes: Jesus even calls Peter Satan!). And Jesus begins defining his own terms. How Jesus will be Messiah begins to come into focus, and it’s not what Peter or other people think. What’s more, Jesus’ Messianic job description has got some pretty profound implications for how his followers are to live, as well. And hang on – because I wouldn’t exactly call it the promise of smooth sailing! 

See you Sunday!

Grace and peace,

Pastor Heidi

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