Uncle?  It was the word of surrender.  My dad would wrestle with us when I was growing up and when we were pinned down with no way out, “uncle” was the word we had to say.  I didn’t surrender easily, even when pinned down securely by a much larger and much stronger opponent.  While much has changed about me in the 40 years since I wrestled with my dad, I still don’t like to give up easily, if at all!  Don’t you want to win?  It is a lot more fun than losing and the victory is so much sweeter when well earned.  This week we are looking at Acts 2:14, 22-32 where Peter was preaching about Jesus’ death and resurrection.  When the forces of darkness cornered Jesus, they thought they had out maneuvered him.  We might even say the devil thought he pinned Jesus permanently by nailing him to the cross.  In a surprising twist of events, Jesus didn’t cry “uncle” but left the tomb empty come Easter Sunday morning!  It was a hard fought battle and a well earned victory for Jesus and all who follow him.  Where do you feel pinned down?  Where are you tempted to give up or quit?  Be sure to worship this weekend where we’ll look at how instead of surrendering to the devil, Jesus pinned the devil down and made him cry “uncle!”

As our times of worship draw near, please consider the following opportunities as invitations from God to you:

  1. Please help me pray our way through this time of transition. In recent days we have learned of a pastoral change to be made this June for Sunrise Church.  Details are being revealed and we all have questions which have not been answered (me too!).  Joshua and I love Sunrise and our church family here and it will be very hard for us to move.  We are trusting God and looking for our blessings, both now while we are still with you and well into the future as we begin to serve in a new setting.  I need your prayers as does the new pastor who has been identified who will begin serving Sunrise on June 27 (be sure to worship this weekend, we may learn more about who he or she is!).
  2. Are you Ready to grow Spiritually and see God do amazing things through you? Are you a “people person” who loves helping others know Christ?  Are you open to perhaps leading a Life Group next fall?  Contact Ann Lawton for more information (alawton@mysunrise.org).
  3. Enjoy a good meal with good friends and learn about the Bible! Eating the Bible is an innovative Bible study that incorporates Scripture, discussion and cooking.  We’ll meet again on Thursday April 27th and there’s room for you!  Look for more information or sign-up at mysunrise.org/ETB.
  4. We are going back to Haiti! Sunrise is sending a mission team back to Haiti this summer.  You may not be able to go in person but you can show the love of Christ for the people of Haiti by supporting our Yard and Bake Sale April 29.  Yard sale donations, including clothes, are needed and appreciated.  We are also in need of bake sale items including cakes and cookies.  Please drop off yard and bake sale items between 2:00-9:00 pm Friday April 28.  If you need to drop off yard sale items in advance, please contact Matt Raymondi at 919-608-7560 or mraymondi@att.net.  He has graciously offered to store items in his garage.  If you have questions about the Bake Sale please contact Paige Mileski at 919-267-5634 or mileski1@mac.com.
  5. Join the team and help end hunger in Wake County! With Love from Jesus is an outreach ministry that distributes food and other items to qualified recipients in southern Wake County.  We will be offering a team Friday May 5th.  We’ll serve for about 4 hours and leave the church about 8:15 AM.  For more information, to volunteer, or to secure your ride, contact Bob Holm (holm104@att.net).
  6. Show your love for Sunrise Church! Join us for our annual “Love Your Church Clean Up Day” on Saturday May 6th from 8 am – 1 pm—Come and help make our campus beautiful for summer. Contact Mike Barker (barkfit@nc.rr.com) with questions or specific project ideas.
  7. Men’s BBQ on May 12th! Join the Men of Sunrise Church as we offer delicious Eastern NC style pork BBQ plates with all the “fixin’s” plus dessert for just $9 (kids plates available for $4 with optional hot dog & chips).  All proceeds benefit mission and ministry.  Eat in or take-out from 11 AM until 7 PM.  More information is coming.  Helpers will be needed in a variety of roles.  To volunteer to get the latest updates please contact James Bingham (jamesbingham62@gmail.com). Be sure also to c heck out our Facebook event for the BBQ and either click “like” or tell us you’re coming.  With 100 RSVP’s we will begin to get a lot more exposure to people in Holly Springs through Facebook!  https://www.facebook.com/events/157616798098047/.
  8. Join the movement to end hunger! Sunrise will once again host a Rise Against Hunger (formerly Stop Hunger Now) meal packaging event on Saturday, May 13, 2017 from 10:00am to 12:00pm.  Sunrise has been partnering with Rise Against Hunger/ Stop Hunger Now since 2009 to fight world hunger. Each Spring, we package approximately 10,000 meals to be sent to areas of need. Last year, our meals went to impoverished children at schools in Uganda.  This year, thanks to a generous donation from the Sunrise Youth, we will be packaging approximately 12,100 meals!!  There is no cost to participate, it is fully funded by the Missions Committee (and the Youth). This event is also open to all ages! A webpage has been created for our event at http://events.stophungernow.org/MySunrise. Registration is MANDATORY for all participants. If you have any questions, please contact Ryan Brummeyer at ryanbrummeyer@gmail.com.
  9. Help make it a special time for someone with special needs! The Holly Springs Civitan Club and Sunrise UMC are partnering to host the 2017 Steppin’ Out Dance on Friday, May 19.  The annual dance is for individuals with special needs.  Volunteer registration is now open.  If you would like to donate your time, please contact Laura (JLRabon3@aol.com) or Mary Kay Calloway (callowaymk@aol.com).  Volunteer opportunities are open to ages 14 and up.
  10. Vacation Bible School will be here June 19-22nd– 5:30-8:00pm (including dinner!) – Get more information, watch a preview video, and register online at mysunrise.org/VBS.

With whom will you share this message?  Evangelism can be as simple as a forwarded email and an invitation to worship together this weekend!

Happy Easter!

Tom Newman, pastor