It was announced Sunday that our shepherd David Rickelton is resigning from the eldership effective immediately. David and Aleda have had many health and family concerns over the last several months. They have continued to serve as best they could but have decided that the work and service as a shepherd is more than they can do right now. I personally understand their decision, but am torn as I see David step away from being an elder. David was one of the elders when we first came here in 2005, and as Charley Belch said Sunday brought some much-needed qualities and direction to the eldership. Thanks, David and Aleda, for your years of service and ministry. We are thankful that the Lord will continue to use them here as they work for Him alongside us.
One of the issues that David has been especially concerned with is the deteriorating morality in our country. I began a few sermons on related issues this past Sunday with a message about the place of the church in the world. I will have a sermon next Sunday dealing specifically with being “Faithful Families.” This Sunday I would like to share some thoughts regarding issues related to the upcoming vote on a “Constitutional Amendment” that would add this new section to our state constitution:
“Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State. This section does not prohibit a private party from entering into contracts with another private party; nor does this section prohibit courts from adjudicating the rights of private parties pursuant to such contracts.”
While on the surface that sounds like something we could all easily support, there are other issues and concerns associated with the amendment, including its impact on the rights, services and protection of children in non-marriage households, domestic violence victims, and others. Of course there is also a difference between our personal values and practices and civil legislation. That being said, I will speak Sunday about the Biblical call for marriage to be between a man and a woman, and the important opportunity I believe this is for Christians to take a stand for that Biblical teaching in our community and our state at a time when that stand is critically needed.
We will have information sheets available Sunday, as well as yard signs if you care to be involved in this issue in a more public way in your neighborhood. You will need to take up the message sleeve each night, as $10,000 worth of signs and billboards have been vandalized and destroyed in recent weeks by those who oppose this amendment. We ask that you do your own research and recognize that not everyone who is against homosexuality will be for this particular amendment. And of course be prayerful for our society that we will seek the Lord’s will and be the light of the world.
Here are a couple of web links with further information.