New Life in Christ Weekender
A short reminder of events happening this weekend.
[Scroll down for weekend events]
Dear New Life in Christ Family,
Laurie Burrows wrote an excellent article in the bulletin last month. In case you didn’t see it, I wanted to reprint it this week:
Recently, I spent several weeks in Florida to help care for my parents. One of the “perks” of living again at my childhood home is the 24 hours a day, 7 days a week listening of a local Christian radio station which my parents listen to on the kitchen radio. They are a little hard of hearing, as both are in their 80’s, so you can pretty much hear the station from most rooms on the main floor. Mostly it is nice and plays all the great hymns by all the “popular” artists. There’s a children’s hour – Odyssey stories and all the childhood Sunday School songs I’ve ever known (are your kids in Junior Worship? They are learning them, too!). Then there are various sermons, devotionals, prayer times, etc. I would venture to turn down the volume from time to time, but my parents would eventually notice and it would be blaring again! Just for fun, I even told my Dad one day to “turn down that racket”, as that was his usual admonishment during our teen years when our music was too loud. Although some days I thought it would drive me crazy, I more often found myself really listening – and even taking notes. You see, Jack and I have found ourselves in that place familiar to many – kids nearly grown and nearly all independent, parents very elderly and becoming more dependent. So the familiar words have new applications and we are listening to the Scriptures from a new perspective.
Although the “services” I heard were nothing really new, I marveled at the timing of God broadcasting the Scriptures as I was a captive kitchen audience, cooking or washing dishes. My father often speaks of his father’s devotion to reading Scripture and how “Dad always learned something new”. Indeed, Lamentations tells us God’s mercies are “new every morning.” So what did God have for me to learn in these familiar words? My parents were both great examples of being servants – teaching in all areas of church family life and often hosting anyone who needed a meal or a place to sleep. One day the radio sermon was on the topic of “teaching and service.” I often feel frustrated in children’s ministry wondering how to recruit and inspire fellow brothers and sisters to answer the call of service in teaching the children of our church family. The speaker said that service is the muscle of ministry and teaching is the mouthpiece of ministry. I had thought of them as almost interchangeable terms – teachers and servants. Servants teach – if only by example. But this speaker made a distinction. Teaching is usually a public service, and service is often a private offering. He gave a poignant example of the military service members who are chosen to serve at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I thought this was a great visual for our church family, as many of us who live in this area have witnessed the solemn “Changing of the Guard” ceremony while visiting Arlington National Cemetery. For six months, the service member studies – limited talking, not much human contact. He learns all about Arlington Cemetery itself – its history and significance in the life of our country. The physical requirements are very specific – a height of 5’8” to 6’2”; a waist measurement of 30 inches. It is a two year commitment in rain, snow, blistering heat, dark of night – not an easy assignment, requiring commitment and sacrifice, and it is an honor to be chosen.
Jesus’ ministry was a time of sacrifice and was characterized in His own words as a time to be a servant and not to be served. Serving usually means a degree of sacrifice. Certainly unknown obstacles and hardships will come along. The concept of serving appears more than 100 times throughout the Bible. Whether long ago or present day, a servant is one who is simply willing. Maybe you don’t believe teaching is your “thing”, but are you willing to serve? It may just be that teaching is how you are called to serve!
The programs and ministries of our church don’t just happen. Much planning, forethought and prayer go into each activity. Next month’s VBS is just one week in July, but plans for this activity began in February. I can even tell you what NEXT year’s theme will be if you really want to get a head start! Veronica and Jonathan already are pulling music for the upcoming holiday season and the choir has already been practicing a piece for the Festival of the Arts next February. Esther’s dramas are already being formulated for the upcoming year. She comes across awesome scripts and sometimes waits years for just the right season to use it as our offering and outreach. The fall Sunday School curriculum must be ordered by the first of July. The ground work is being laid and the material is being purchased. The children will be coming. Who will teach them? Samuel answered right away when he heard his name called. Once Eli realized it was God who was calling Samuel’s name, he was able to teach him what to respond. Did Samuel then say, “Oh ok…..well I’m not sure if I want to respond right now – I’ll wait and see if anyone else answers the call. But if not, then I will let God know I will give it a try.” No! He answered immediately, “Here am I, send me!” The number one response I receive when asking someone to teach is, “Well, if no one else takes the class, I guess I will.”
I am asking you NOW to pray and consider when and where God would have you serve. Prayer in itself is a ministry. It blesses me to hear families speak of praying for their kids’ teachers and classes. We need your prayers. We covet your prayers. The requests will be coming – I can guarantee it! VBS takes a team of about eighty volunteers. Thank you to many who have already answered the call. Sunday School is an outreach to over 100 kids from nursery through grade 12. We had significant growth this past year.
The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Will you prepare now to answer the call?
- · Deacons Meeting (7:00 PM) – Please pray for the leadership of your church as we work though the mission of the church.
- · Movie Night (7 PM) – Get some popcorn, invite a friend, and come see a movie on the big screen. We are hosting a viewing of “October Baby” in the church sanctuary, a wonderful movie with an excellent pro-life message. For information, contact Eileen Roberts at email@example.com. To find out more about the movie, you can read the review I read here: http://www.worldmag.com/2011/
Men’s Breakfast @ 8 AM
Dear New Life Men, we want to invite you to the men’s breakfast this Saturday morning at 8 AM. It’s great food, it’s great fellowship, and this month we will be hearing from George Giddens as he shares with us the convictions that have directed his life.
- · 8:30 Women’s Ministry Committee / 10:00 am Women’s Ministry Training (room 219)
- · 9:30 Women’s Ministry Training
- · Children’s and Adult Sunday School Classes – 9 AM (Click here for list of Adult Classes)
- · Worship Service – 10 AM –Pastor Sean preaching and continuing the morning sermon series, “The Joy of a Clear Conscience: A Study on the Ten Commandments”
- · Lunch for Visitors (immediately following the service) – Let’s say you are new to the church … How do you meet new people? Or … if you meet somebody Sunday morning, how can you immediately help them build relationships? Think about this … If you have a friend and you want them to meet others in the church, what do you do? We have a Sunday Lunch in the Fireside Room this Sunday to help make those connections. So, if you are just recently visiting, meet someone new, or want to connect a friend come to lunch right after the morning service, come to our lunch Sunday after the service. We have food to share, and if you want to bring something as well, it is always appreciated.
The Jim Melnick and Joe Dibella Care Group is hosting the lunch this week. Thanks!
- · Girl’s (6th – 14 years) Summer Study immediately following Worship
- · Evening Service – 6 PM – Bob Rumbaugh Preaching
- · Open House – During the summer, one of the best ways to connect with the church and make friends is to come to one of our Sunday Evening Open Houses. This week the Open House is at the home of Pete and Heather O’Hara (99 Cleremont 22405). We are very thankful for their hospitality and look forward to seeing you there. Have you been to one this year? Could you come to this one?