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    December 19, 2021

    The Spirit of Christmas at the PA Capitol

    For the last three years, Rep. Andrew Lewis and his colleague Rep. David Rowe have made it an annual tradition of recording a video of themselves playing a Christmas song on the two pianos located in the PA Capitol. Normally this has been done in the Main Rotunda, but this year, through permission given by the Speaker of the House and Parliamentarian, they were able to perform on the House floor. In addition, they created special ornaments that were delivered to the 253 members of the PA legislature that said, "More Unites Us Than Divides Us." Click the picture below to enjoy the video of their performance (unmute video for audio, lower right hand corner).

    Also included below are some exceedingly kind words that Rep. Andrew Lewis shared about my ministry to him over the last year.

     
    “I’m grateful for the ministry of Jeff Whitebread and Capitol Commission. Jeff has been an encouraging presence here in the Pennsylvania Capitol and is making a real difference here for the kingdom of God. Through our weekly discipleship meetings his example and mentorship have had a tremendous impact on my walk with Christ. Not only am I personally grateful for his ministry to me, but I also appreciate his ministry to my fellow members of the legislature. To say it succinctly, Jeff is the man!” - Rep. Andrew Lewis, 105th Legislative District

    Clarifying My Approach

    Recently, a friend graciously offered to host a dinner in which he would gather some mutual friends together to help them learn more about my ministry in Harrisburg. Often when asked to share about my work, I find myself  easily talking about how we at Capitol Commission approach ministry in this arena. This can be briefly summarized in these three words: Prayer, Presence, and Proclamation. But this opportunity has led me to not only answer how we approach ministry, but also the following two questions.
    • What are we seeking to accomplish in the lives of the legislators?
    • Why is this so important?
    What we are seeking to accomplish is to help individuals at the Capitol enter into a relationship with Jesus in which they are learning how to carry the load of life's cares and responsibilities together with Him ( Matthew 11:28-29). This type of relationship becomes possible as we orient ourselves correctly towards God, towards ourselves, and toward others as briefly sketched out below.
    • Toward God: Faith/trust in God, a life in which we trust God and rely upon him in the face of all our fears.
    • Toward Ourselves: Death to self, a posture in life that is able to say no to self so we are able to say yes to God.
    • Toward Others: A life possessed of agape love, in receiving his love into our lives we become free to allow his love to flow through us into our desperate world.
    Why this is so important lies in the fact that our lives are broken. All this means is that our lives don't work as they should and are unable to produce the good we want to bring about. While we're people who want to do good, desperately so; we're also those who are prepared to do evil when necessary - this is the human condition.

    We all experience the consequences of this type of life, and as the Scriptures says repeatedly, "God does not show favoritism." I wonder, is it possible that God does not rubber stamp our desires, even good desires, if we choose to live contrary to his character? Maybe one of the lessons to being yoked to Jesus is that when life is hard, we might actually be working at cross-purposes to Him and are pulling life's load on our own.

    I'm convinced that what's most needed at the Capitol are individuals who make it their intention to enter into a working relationship with Jesus. It's a relationship in which they are seeking to accomplish things they can't do, but things that will happen because God gives it to them.

    Current Opportunities:
    • Much of this is covered in the slow progression of our devotional content. If you would like to move through this material more quickly, please consider picking up a copy of Dallas Willard's book, A Life Without Lack. These devotionals are based upon Willard's book and made available through a partnership with Dallas Willard Ministries.
    • Please contact me if you would like to be included in the distribution of our "weekly" devotional content.
    • If you would be interested in hosting a small gathering where I could share about the ministry to some of your friends, please contact me. My goal is to have one of these gatherings each month of the year.
    • Please pray that these efforts would help increase our donations by $2000/month. This would increase our budget from $4000 to $6000/month. This increase would allow me to update some of our technology - specifically our printer, travel more freely through the state to minister to our legislators, pursue continuing education opportunities, and bring some stability to our personal finances.

    For all those who have given so faithfully to our ministry, I just want to thank you for all the ways you have allowed our work at the Capitol to continue.

    If you are able to help toward this goal please consider making a monthly commitment or a year-end gift to the ministry. To give please click here for further instructions. 

    Your Servant for Jesus’ Sake,