MESSAGE. Every Christian is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19), but not every Christian has strong and solid walls. In fact, some Christians are like some of the people in Nehemiah’s day–content to live in the midst of broken down walls. How are your spiritual walls? Spiritual wall-building is not easy. It is hard work. There are obstacles and oppositions to overcome. There are discouragements and doubts along the way. But the great encouraging truth is that God is the One building the wall if we allow Him to bring His brick and mortar (Zachariah 2:5). Our walls will fail. God’s wall will stand forever.
“How to Build a Wall” is my sermon message for tomorrow morning.
MINISTRY. Here is an exerpt from Steve Bremner’s email message: “Please pray for the prison ministry. Last night (Sunday) was the second week in a row Paula Wolfe and I were not allowed in. I was very inspired by Paula last night. We were told it would be awhile before our service could start because of an incident in the unit we are assigned. Then we were led into the prison and told to wait in a hallway. We saw a guard with a rifle and several other guards with weapons. Paula looked concerned and said “I’m not sure if I want to go any further.”
I asked Paula if she wanted to leave? She thought for a moment, and said “I want to be were Jesus wants me to be and Jesus wants me here. I’M STAYING.” ”
Is your faith as strong as Paula’s?
Hope Bible Study Group. Our church is starting a new off premises Bible study group. The group meets tonight at 6:30 at the Samaritan Center. Mark Phillips is leading the Bible study. Bring your friends.
Health Seminar. Attention! This is already tomorrow. Melody Prettyman, a Texas-based vegan chef and author, will give two health seminars on Saturday, September 17 at 5:00 pm, and Sunday, September 18 at 3:00 pm. The vespers program will start at 4:30 pm. Light supper will be provided right before the first seminar.
Hispanic Evangelism. I am so happy that our church could host the Hispanic church meetings. The baptism will take place tomorrow at 7 pm in our sanctuary. Praise God for their ministry.
Elders. Last Sabbath night our church elders gathered to review the spiritual life of our congregation. There were two main areas of concern discussed by the elders. First, a great number of “inactive members.” We have about a hundred and fifty names on the church books of those who have not attended church for a long time. Pastor David Bissell, the InTouch Ministry coordinator, broke the long list into ten shorter lists. Many of our elders agreed to initiate personal contact with the “inactive members.” We still need help with visitations. If you feel inspired by God to join the InTouch Ministry please talk to pastor David or any other pastor or elder.
The second concern discussed by the elders was the seating problem. With many new members and regular visitors we are way beyond our capacity. I feel aweful seeing people seated in the church lobby. They feel disconnected and can barely hear anything (the same problem with balcony seating). Church elders looked into several options to help resolve this issue: moving the second service into the Fellowship Hall, building a new sanctuary, planting a new church, expanding the existing sanctuary into the backyard area (currently occupied by propane tanks). Please, pray for God’s guidance in this matter.
Connect. That same night the Connect Ministry brought the church together to brainstorm about ways which would help us build a strong community in our congregation. I was personally impressed with the process itself. Round table discussion already served the purpose set for the meeting. It was a fun and beneficial experience. The expressed ideas will be processed by the Connect Ministry and presented to the church leadership in various ways and formats. Thank you Steve Kulik, Edymar, Sarah, Michael Houghee, John Turner, Fred Turner, and everyone else working with this ministry.
Ice cream arrived just at the right time. We were all overheated holding the meeting in the OAKS gym (with no AC) :-). Thank you Greg Wellbourn.
Pastor Aubrey. Here is an update from Aubrey and some cool pictures: “For the last few days I’ve been traveling in Georgia and Florida. I started at our own conference center, Cohutta Springs, for some meetings with fellow interns in the conference. Then, off to Florida to throw my mom a surprise 50th birthday party! I finally ended my journey in Ft. Lauderdale, FL at a NAD Women in Ministry Conference with training and great fellowship. It was a great trip and now it’s good to be home.” Welcome back, Aubrey!
OAKS. OAKS Week of Prayer is starting this coming Monday morning. Steve Darmody accepted the invitation to be the guest speaker for the meetings. Next Sabbath, September 24, Steve will be the speaker/singer for both services.