Highrock MetroWest News!

Jul 21, 2022

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Love Over Litmus

People So Dearly Loved By God,

This coming Sunday we have the privilege of hearing the final sermon of the “Bodies” series from Pastor John in person. So far we’ve heard about our God-given bodies in the context of knowledge, fragility, family, race, work vs. rest, and play. This weekend Pastor John addresses our identities as sexual bodies. While it is the last sermon of this series, it also serves as a very natural segue to the next series called “Centered: Moving Toward What Matters Most.”

Let me take a moment to explain.

Pastor John will provide the groundwork for what will hopefully be an ongoing conversation about a Christian understanding of sexuality. He will not be sending you home with a checklist of approved beliefs or bible verses to use against the people who disagree with you. What he will do is invite us into a conversation that keeps the biblical values of hospitality, humility, and compassion at the center. It is an excellent sermon and I am eager for you to hear it!

The following week we’ll begin a sermon series that tracks along with some of the central affirmations that Highrock, as well as our parent denomination, holds as foundational. What you’ll see as you journey along in the next few months is that we are not a church community that gathers around doctrinal litmus tests and proof texts. We don’t ask for fidelity to a lengthy list of statements or systematic theology. What we do focus on is communal submission to godly, biblical values that guide our relationships and transcend common issues of disagreement.

To be totally frank, Pastor John’s sermon and the following series will be a taste of what convinced me to spend the last five years of my life in the process to become ordained by our denomination. The next few months will be a glimpse into the beating heart of my, and many of your pastors, sense of call to the Church. To say that these next few weeks of sermons are important would be a massive understatement. This is also why I am so eager to have you join the accompanying online small group that will learn about these values by reading a book called The Pietist Option. You can find the link for that study below and on our website. I will convene a MetroWest breakout group if the numbers warrant that.

I’m praying for you as we move from this sermon series into the next, and I can’t wait to see what God does in our community as we go!

Blessings,
~Pastor Ryan

Parent/Guardian Content Note: Pastor John’s sermon contains language (sex, same-sex relations, rape) that may cause your children to ask “what does that mean,” though none of the content is graphic. Knowing what I know about this upcoming sermon, I will not hesitate to have my own children (7, 9, and 11) in service with me. In fact, I am eager for them to hear their pastor speak about sexuality in this sensitive and compassionate way. If you have more questions, feel free to reach out to me or Pastor John.

 

Highrock MetroWest Student Writers Begin Thursday, July 28

Starting next week, the opening newsletter piece will be written by different students each week through the end of August. Our youth Highrock MetroWest intern, Averie Lee, is serving as editor of the newsletter and recruiting student writers to reflect on the theme What is a recent God sighting you have seen in your life? 

 

"Sexual Bodies"

This Sunday Pastor John Mury will be concluding our Body Parts sermon series with the topic of Sexual Bodies. He will explore how our sexuality was created for good, but quickly became a place of shame and fear. However, God wants to bring healing and hope to these painful places! While the sermon will be respectful and thoughtful, we wanted to give you all a heads up so you and/or members of your family can make a determination for how you will participate in worship this week. If you have any questions, please reach out to your pastors, who will have already reviewed the message.

 

New Sermon Series and Study Resources -- Starting July 31

Centered: Moving Towards What Matters Most

Are you in or out? This is a question that has come to define many communities, especially spiritual ones. Do you believe the right things, say the right things, act the right way? If so, you can join. If not, you're out. But what if there were a different way? A way that puts life with Jesus at the center, and invites everyone to move towards that life together, regardless of difference? We want to be a community like that at Highrock. Beginning on July 31st, our Centered: Moving Towards What Matter Most sermon series will look at the six Affirmations that shape the center of our church and invite all of us to transformation and relationship. We hope you'll join!

Book Discussion Group: The Pietist Option

In parallel with the Centered sermon series, Pastor Meghan will be leading a six-week online small group discussing The Pietist Option by Christopher Gehrz and Mark Pattie, III. This book is a great introduction to our church’s historical and spiritual roots in the Pietist movement. Pietism lays the foundation for a way of being the church together in the face of a world that tends to offer only polarized options. 

Intrigued? Join the discussion! Groups will meet on Tuesdays from August 2nd to September 6th from 7:30-9:00 pm on Zoom. Please register by July 26th so that we can plan well. Highrock MetroWest break-out sessions will be led by Pastor Ryan Marshall. 

 

Ways to Be Involved!

 

SUMMER AT HIGHROCK METROWEST

Summer slows down at Highrock programmatically, but we are busy planning for the Fall. Please know that your pastors are available. The prayer group meets weekly as described below and many of the small groups continue as well. Please pray for your staff as they meet in August to combine plans for a meaningful Fall and Winter together exploring what it means to live out the extravagant love of Jesus at MetroWest. 

 

PRAYER REQUESTS 

Please send your prayer requests to our Prayer Team Leader Foluke Ajayi at mofoluwake09@gmail.com. The prayer team meets weekly by zoom on Wednesday evenings to pray for the needs of the church and in-person at HighrockMetrowest on a monthly basis (see below). Please consider praying with us.

 

JULY 28, 7- 8 PM. Prayer Meeting at Highrock MetroWest - Praying the Scriptures

The Highrock Prayer Team (Foluke Ajayi, Kathryn Dietz, Anita Tenbrook) invite you to join them for an hour of prayer in the prayer room at Highrock MetroWest on Thursday evening, July 28, from 7 - 8 PM. This time of structured prayer is deeply meaningful and spiritually refreshing, benefitting both those who pray and those prayed for. This month our theme is "Praying the Scriptures."

 

JULY 29, 7 PM. Free Christian Concert

Liberty Church located at 495 Hartford Turnpike in Shrewsbury invites area churches and neighbors to their summer concert Holy Spirit Come! The concert features area artists singing contemporary Christian favorites. No tickets are necessary; there is no charge for the concert. 

 

OCT. 2 -- Edible Theology: A Hands-on Food Event with a Deep Meaning by Kendall Vanderslice. 

This will be a lot of fun and richly meaningful and educative! Save the date!

 

OCT. 22 -- Women's Fall Retreat: Forgiveness & Renewal.

Saturday, Oct. 22, 9:30 am - 3:30 pm at the home of Camile Humphries Lee, 11 Cushing St, Wellesley, MA.

Our Fall HRMW Women's retreat will take place on Saturday, October 22 - 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. . Spiritual Director and former RCC pastor Adele Calhoun will lead us in a study of forgiveness and renewal through three more chapters of her book, Invitations from God. 

There is no need to have attended our winter retreat to derive full benefit from this fall retreat! 

We have 20 spots. The cost of registration is $35 for women who already have the book, and $50 for first-timers, which includes a copy of the book. We look forward with joy to this time of togetherness.  

Purchase your spot for the retreat, and a book if you need one, using this form.  Registration question? Contact katiesmith.milway@gmail.com

 

Resources for Growing Deeper!

For Parents, Youth, and Families

Kidsrock is on summer break. Activity clipboards are available for children in the worship service. 

Youth: Read about Middle School and High School youth programs.

The Highrock Family Ministry Team released excellent new resources for parents of tweens, teens, and young adults. The resources are entitled Fresh Ideas for Better Connections related to our current theme Growing With. Check them out here!

High School Internships

Highrock MetroWest volunteer high school internships for the Fall of 2022. The program involves both service to the church and also leadership development training resulting in a public ceremony in church and the presentation of a Certificate in Leadership Development for a Non-Profit. For more information on the HRMW program, contact Pastor George at GeorgeC@highrock.org

Study and Small Groups at Highrock

HighrockOnline has a broad range of learning opportunities. Check them out here

Sermon series and related study guides are here.

Scroll down to the bottom of this page for more devotional and study links.

We have newly formed Highrock MetroWest small groups. Contact Pastor George for more information: GeorgeC@Highrock.org

SoulCare and Pastoral Care

For those wanting to go deeper in spiritual practices and contemplative prayer, we encourage you to look into the work of our guides and the work of the SoulCare ministry

 

Daily Devotional with John Mury, Dave Swaim, and Highrock Staff

A 15-minute devotional is released daily at 5 am. 

"God in Five Minutes!" 

A five-minute weekly podcast based on the last sermon preached.

It's Greek to Me! 

Biblical exegesis in a five-minute read by Pastor George (Note: this link takes the reader to GeorgeCladis.com.)

HRMW Feedback Form

Let your church know how to improve worship and ministry to draw people into a deeper life with Jesus.