MESSAGE. My sermon for this Sabbath was born out of recent conversations with a number of our church members. I was asked the same question again and again in the last couple of weeks: ‘Does God really care about me?’ I wouldn’t argue that this is a valid question. The reality of this world is harsh. Someone young lost a job, someone else is battling cancer, a father is having serious issues with his two kids. How can I be sure that God truly cares? How can I know that I’m not on my own? Apostle Paul had a good reason to doubt God’s care while he was in a jail. However, he made a startling statement in Philippians 1:12 “Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel.” He is celebrating while rotting in chains, “and I will continue to rejoice” (1:18). If we focus our attention on chains and bars, we lose sight of Christ, who is right next to us. He is holding our hand and saying, ““I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
MINISTRY. Last Monday night our church Board met for its monthly meeting. Encouraging reports were shared by the Juniors’ Sabbath school class and by the Pathfinders’ after their last week’ camping, and OAKS showed steady financial and educational results. One new initiative was shared by Lucas Patterson. He is encouraging the church to participate in the “Feed My Starving Children” ministry. If our church chooses to partner with three other area churches we could prepare hand-packed nutritious MannaPack™ meals specifically designed to assist in reversing and preventing undernutrition for a 100,000 kids. Lucas will gather more details in the next few weeks and will share them with the Board in April.
One of the highlights of the board meeting was a brief story shared by the SALT team. That same night they went out to offer Bible studies in the neighborhood around the church. God led them to a house adjacent to our church property. A lady recently moved into that house and was praying about someone to help her with Bible studies. That was a wonderful testimony encouraging us all to keep evangelism as our priority in everything we do.
Here is a report from pastor Matthew: “Last Sabbath a group of our teens and young adults traveled to Cartersville, Georgia for Regenerate, our conference’s annual youth and young adult festival. We worshiped together with hundreds of other youth and young adults from across the conference. The music was great; all of the worship leaders were young people themselves. We listened to inspiring messages from Pastor Mark Witas, who pastors the Sunnyside Adventist Church in Portland, Oregon. And we enjoyed a variety of afternoon activities; the improv room was a big hit.
As always, I want to thank our church family for your support of our youth and young adult ministries. Your generosity, prayers, and encouragement are much appreciated. Special thanks also to our youth leaders—Jenny Spicer, David Reynolds, and Sarah Penagos—and our young adult leader—Noah Banks—for their dedication and service. Also, this Friday evening our teens will be gathering at the church for our monthly youth Vespers.”
Saturday the Ooltewah Juniors class met for a hike on the SAU biology trail. The kids got to know one another more and even went geocaching. They had so much fun. They look forward to getting together again soon.
This morning I had a special blessing participating in the OAKS weekly chapel. Great music! Thank you, pastor Matthew and Wes Bradford. After the song service every grade reported on their support of a selected charity. Isn’t it great that our students care not only about their own school programs and projects, but also about community needs? Below is a video clip from the chapel.
Here are several pictures from the Pathfinder camping weekend (downloaded from Aaron Brewer’s Facebook without permission 😉
This coming weekend Michael Carducci of Coming Out Ministries will be at our church. He’s going to show their movie, Journey Interrupted, on Sabbath evening and again on Sunday afternoon. Click here to view the trailer
PRAYERS. Words of Praise for Mike Haughee. He is planning on coming to church this Sabbath! We will continue prayers for your full recovery, Michael.
Richard Dahlberg is at home on hospice care and appreciates your prayers.
On Friday evening, April 19, 2019, beginning at 7:00 p.m. the Ooltewah Seventh-day Adventist Church invites you to hear internationally acclaimed Gospel recording artist, Steve Darmody, share a free Good Friday Gospel Concert entitled “Road to Calvary.”
This Sabbath we will launch the promotional campaign for our church’s outreach for Easter weekend. The event is a concert from our own Steve Darmody, featuring songs of Calvary and the Cross. But we need each of you to help.
This weekend we need individuals to take 11”x17” posters to their place of employment and display them. Some of you have the skills to approach businesses, restaurants, and community spaces to ask the proprietor to allow you to display the poster. We also have thousands of concert fliers for you to take to friends, neighbors, and work associates. Face to face invitations mean 100 times more to people than the costly and impersonal approach of mailing fliers through the Post Office. Think of four or five people and then take that number of fliers. Make a private pact with God to find the time to reach out with a personal invitation.
Next week we will have 1,000 mini-posters to ask our members to spread like the leave of autumn. These card stock, 5×7 mini posters can go up almost anywhere. Be creative. Staple one to a telephone poll near an intersection, stick it in a window at the mall, or tape one to your office door at work. These can also be addressed and mailed as postcards as a follow-up contact to the individuals you have already invited.
This is personal ministry at its finest. You will discover this to be a very easy personal ministry activity. Many of us only talk of our church and faith to people when we are having a crusade. That’s too far of an emotional jump for most people. That’s why a Community Concert is such a wonderful bridging event. It is a first step to know and love us here at Ooltewah. Let’s all get involved.
Thank you for your precious birthday cards and wishes on paper and on Facebook! 🙂 You are too kind to me.
See you tomorrow.