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A Message from ANE District Executive, Pete Kontra


I have noticed that there are a lot of stories and images using stones in the Bible, this by no means an
exhaustive list.

Stones have been used for good:
• To mark the places where persons have encountered God, as did Jacob at Bethel and the Israelites after they crossed the Jordan River.
• To build great structures, including the Temple of God.
• To symbolize Jesus’ place in all life: “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.” (Psalm 118:22)
• To glorify Jesus’ authority, as He says, “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.” (Luke 19:40)

Stones have been used for pain:
• As Jesus laments Jerusalem’s blindness: “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it!” (Luke 13:34)
• As Jesus encounters the woman caught in adultery, the crowd is ready to stone her for her sin, as Jesus replies, “Let anyone who is without sin cast the first stone.” (John 8:7)
• Stephen, one of the early church leaders, was stoned for sharing the message of Christ.

What kind of stone do you carry in your hand?
Stones to build and glorify God, or stones of fear and pain?

God has taken away the biggest stone of all: The large stone that sealed Jesus’ tomb was no match for the
power of His resurrection. Moved away, it revealed the new and glorious life God has given to us—that sin and death no longer prevail.

That means we no longer need to carry around the stones of suffering. God has transformed those so that
now we can put them down and with them start building new life. That is where we are to be as the
Church—building, creating, glorifying God. We are at an important place in our journey, where we may look at the stones we have laid along the way as markers for our walk with Christ, and now carry new stones forward into the vision He has for us. We cannot use the stones as weights, anchoring us to our past, or as weapons of judgment we cast at our perceived threats, or as pieces of a wall we build around ourselves for protection.

My Sisters and Brothers, I invite us as our District vision statement says, and God has called us, to be
congregations who covenant and network together to further the Kingdom of God. Be builders, so that
we become a beacon of hope to a world that is hurting.

-Pete Kontra
District Executive


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