CORE Christianity

The Core of a Tree

I have come to really enjoy trees over the past few years. My wife has helped me take notice of this beautiful part of creation in its varied forms. As fall approaches, I’m sure most of you will look at the subtle change of colors as they parade across the leaves. Some of you will be excited by these colorful changes while others will dread the leaves and limbs which will need cleaning up. I also think many of you will be like me and look at it as a mixed blessing. Yes, we’ve got leaves and limbs on the ground but we also have this wonderful bit of change coming our way giving us a glimpse into the color filled world around us.

This is the way most of us approach change. Many are excited about change and will embrace it at a moments notice. Others are frightened of change because they’re thinking of all the things that can go wrong. The rest of us are both excited and worried at the same time. Therefore, with change in the air, we will begin a series of messages on “Core Christianity” in October. We will try and live into the old saying, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” It’s my hope and prayer these messages will bring change into lives and place us in some uncomfortable spots. However, I also want us to see and share the joy, which I hope they will also bring.

These messages will center on what I believe is the “heartwood” of Christianity. “What is heartwood,” you ask? Heartwood is, according to, “The central wood in a branch or stem characterized by being composed of dead cells, more resistant to decay, generally darker and harder than the outer wood.” There is some debate over whether heartwood is truly dead or not because chemical reactions continue to occur in the wood. The point I find really interesting is the heartwood is the densest part of a tree and is very resistant to decay. It is, in essence, the core of the tree doesn’t rot very easily!

This is what we will be discussing over the next few weeks. What keeps our faith resistant to decay? What keeps it fragrant and as wonderful smelling as heartwood? It’s turning to the CORE: a Caring, Open, Resurrecting, Encounter with Christ.

It is my hope you will join us over the next few weeks and invite your friends as well. We will begin by talking about Faith and Grace as we move on toward The Cross and The Resurrection. Discipleship plays an essential role in this series and we will close with two compelling and interconnected Christian beliefs: Sin and Forgiveness. Please keep these messages in your prayers over the next month as I hope they will transform the heartwood at the core of our being.

God’s Best Always and in All Ways,

Pastor Derek White

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