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I’m sitting here in the office on the Third of July thinking about the change of pace the middle of summer brings. Things slow down just a little bit and the evenings stretch out. I hope for you all some time of rest and relaxation on the Fourth of July. It’s a time for us as well to think about the freedoms which we enjoy in our nation. We are so blessed to be in a place where we are free to worship God—may we never take our freedom for granted.

It’s good for us to consider the spiritual freedom available to us as well. In the sermon yesterday I mentioned Jesus’ words, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31b-32, NIV 2011). We can be set free by the truth of Jesus’ teaching. It makes me think about something else that Jesus’ said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30, NIV 2011). A yoke and a burden might not always be the picture of freedom for us, but Jesus promises that his yoke is light. What burden are we carrying that is of our own making? Do we need rest for our souls that Jesus promises us? If so, then this Independence Day may be one in which we can enjoy the freedom that is offered by our Savior.

Summer travel and activities continue, so we were missing some familiar faces again in the worship services yesterday. I’m enjoying hearing the stories of those who’ve been on trips. Some have had an opportunity to see family, or to see some new sights, or to have new experiences. It’s enjoyable to break the routine and enjoy God’s great creation.

The first Danvers Band Concert of the season took place last night. The weather was nice and there was a nice crowd. Many thanks to all of those who volunteered in various ways for the Ice Cream Social. We had a great group there to serve and to pick up trays. Jim Hubbard and I were talking about how nice it is to see so many people from our congregation working together to make it happen. We are blessed to be a congregation where so many are willing to serve! A special thanks to Annette and Margie for organizing and leading our efforts. You both did a tremendous job!

I hope to see you all in worship services next week. Bring a friend along as well.

Love you all.

God bless,


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