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And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.” John 2:28 (NIV)


What does it mean to listen to the Spirit? I often think that churches try too hard to force the Spirit into doing what “we” want. That often fails because we cannot force the hand of God, but following the Spirit is like being on a surfboard riding the perfect wave into the coast. Imagine that you are the surfer, the church is the water and all the Spirit is what moves the water. Without the Spirit we are all just sitting there. But when the Spirit starts to move we ride the beautiful wave of the Spirit. I believe the Spirit is on the move in our church, but are we still trying to paddle or will we ride the wave?

The above section came from the pastor’s report a couple of years ago. I put it in here again to remind us that we cannot force God into a box, but allow God to use us for His glory in the way he would see fit to use us.

The past year has been a year of ups and downs, stresses and joy, as well as growth and decline. In many ways it reminds me of the cycles of life, like growth and then the pruning. After years of growth 2014 was both a year of loss and growth. Our attendance ended at a similar number as the year before. Some new people have joined and some have left.

The PC(USA), the denomination in which our church is affiliated, took some turns at a national level which disturbed many. The church prayed while the elders studied and discussed the best way for our church to move forward. It was a hard time for all and the elders made a tough decision. As we know, the elders made a decision to stay within the same structure and continue teaching the way we always have. There was both joy and sorrow from the decision. Even though First Presbyterian didn’t change any stances on controversial issues, some of our brothers and sisters felt that they could no longer stay in a church yoked to a larger body in which they had differences. Let us pray God’s peace upon those who have left. Now we face the dawning of a new year with new opportunities. This church has brought so much to Casa Grande and Pinal County for nearly 120 years. Let us pray that God would continually show us His way and our only response would be, “Here I Am, Send Me.”


Here we are in 2015, Lord. Send us!


Pastor Ben

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702 E. Cottonwood Lane
Casa Grande, Arizona 85122-2703
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