There is a story of a wealthy south Indian landowner who had some very quarrelsome sons, always jealous of one another and always in conflict among themselves. On his deathbed, the father called his sons in and divided his property between them. Then he called for some sticks to be brought, nicely tied into a bundle, and asked them one by one, beginning with the eldest to break the bundle. But so long as the sticks were closely bound together, no matter how hard they tried, none of them could break the bundle. "Now," the father said to the eldest, "untie the bundle, and try to break the sticks." This was not too difficult, and soon each of the sticks, broken one by one, lay before them in pieces. The father taught them that - united they stood, divided they fell.

This week we continue our series on the core values of the church. One of those core values is BELONGING. As members of the church we are called to belong, not just to believe.

When you become a believer in Christ, you become a member of a family.

We are family. That's good news. We are not alone. We have a big family that cares about us. The church is a family that takes care of its own.  Our brothers and sisters are there to support and encourage us. When we are down, they lift us up. When they are discouraged, we cheer them up. When they hurt, we hurt. When they are honored, we share the joy. The family includes older folk from which the rest of learn. The younger folk make us laugh, encourage us, and remind us that the family will live on even when we won't. That's good to know.  The church is like a family.

Join us as we are reminded that together we are strong and can do mighty things, but if we are divided we can be broken and we will fail.

See you Sunday!

Randy