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An Introduction to James

When it comes to what being a follower of Jesus actually looks like, the New Testament letter James writes to the early Church is very practical. But who is James? Good Question! James was a son of Mary and Joseph, half-brother of Jesus and throughout his life a number of other things.

James was…
A Skeptic of Jesus 
– “Even his own brothers did not believe in him.” [John 7:5]. A Believer in Jesus – “Jesus appeared to James” and he believed.” [1 Cor. 15:7] A Church Leader – “Paul went to see James and all the Elders.” [Acts 2:18]
A Christian Martyr – Stoned to death in Jerusalem in 62 AD.

Reflection:
When reading New Testament documents like James, we tend to do so in chunks created by chapter breaks. Originally, the document had no chapter breaks because it was actually personal correspondence. Take time to read straight through James as if it were a letter written personally to you.

Listen:
Take some time to ask God to reveal Himself to you through the book of James as you read. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you as you read and take a few moments when you are done to listen for what He would want to say to you.

Action:
What are a few key things that stand out to you in the letter?

Are there any statements James makes that genuinely feel like it’s written to/for you?

If you were to summarize his letter, what might you say was James’ main purpose in writing it?

A Prayer:
Dear Lord, I pray that Jesus might be seen in and through my life every day. By the power of your Holy Spirit, may all I say and do be to your honor and glory AMEN.

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Greetings,
 
On August 26, 2021, IL Governor J.B. Pritzker issued an Executive Order mandating that masks be worn at all indoor gatherings. Although churches are exempt from the Executive Order, out of respect for governing authorities, Parkview has continued to ask staff, leaders, volunteers, and those attending Sunday gatherings to wear a mask while indoors. We are grateful for our people’s understanding and willingness to do so. The Governor recently indicated that his Executive Order will be rescinded on Monday, February 28th making masks no longer required in most indoor settings. In anticipation of that, on Sunday, February 27th Parkview will return to a “mask optional” policy.

While the mask policy has once again shifted, our commitment to your health and wellbeing has not. We remain dedicated to thoroughly cleaning our public spaces before and after our gatherings. Masks and hand sanitizer are still readily available to those who want them.

Navigating these difficult days has not always been clear or easy. Whatever your perspective on current realities, as fellow Christians, let us allow kindness, grace and compassion characterize our interaction and relationships. In the words of the Apostle Paul, “Let us be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

I look forward to being with you on Sundays.
 
Grace and Peace,
 
— 
Ray S. Kollbocker
Lead Pastor