PLEASE THINK ABOUT A VISIT WITH THESE ST. MARK MEMBERS or WRITE A NOTE TO THEM.
NICHOLAS BALDWIN - now lives in Colquitt, GA. Please send cards and notes to him at:
c/o Miller Nursing Home
206 Grace Street
Colquitt, GA 39837
Stop by and spend a little time if you are in the area! Both Deb Baldwin and her son will be happy.
Notes from September Church Council
Stewardship commitments will be coming, around the first of November!
Pastor Hiruy is leading a Bible study on Saturday 8pm in the chapel area, with Eritrean members, “Christ in the Old Testament”.
A Letter of Thanks was received for the Sunday School monies for the School of the Deaf. The money will be well used for clothes, shoes, other needs of the students.
3rd Quarter Sunday School monies will also go to the school for the deaf. Anyone going that direction for the holidays?
Pastor Hiruy will be starting community/church prayer meetings. Times to be announced!
Lent runs from February 14 through March 29th.
Disaster Relief – we will forward $200 to District for Disaster Relief. Gift cards requested for Home Depot, Lowes, for construction, rebuilding after hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Sunday School classes – can you write notes of encouragement to victims of the hurricanes?
Drive Through Nativity December 9 and 10th 6 – 8pm. Still looking for volunteers to help build the sets, and help FILL the sets during the evenings!
500th Anniversary of the Reformation, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017.
The congregation will host a free meal following celebration worship. Deb Baldwin is organizing, but needs YOUR help!
Church Officers for 2018..
Human Care position is open. We need someone to help organize food baskets for Thanksgiving and Christmas, organize the food pantry for members that need a little help to get through the end of the month, and so on. If you can help, we need you.
Deb Baldwin requests someone to be a “backup” for YOUTH meetings and programs. Just can’t be at two places at the same time, but she tries!!!! Help if you can.
Anyone with a desire to be Church Secretary? I’m obligated to “retire”, after 5 years of serving, unless we modify our church bylaws.
One Lord, One Body in Christ..
3 THINGS CHURCHES LOVE THAT KILL OUTREACH
SUBMITTED BY LESLIE ATON-MAJORS
By Ed Stetzer • August 27, 2015
All churches love certain things. Some love fellowship, some worship, some prayer. Those are good loves. Some are neutral loves. Some are not. Other churches love their building, their history or their strategy.
Those can be good or bad, depending on what we mean by love and how we value those things. But, some things that churches love hurt their mission and hinder their call. Here are three I’ve observed from my work with thousands of churches.
1. Too many churches love past culture more than their current context.
It’s remarkable, and I’ve said it many times: If the 1950s came back, many churches are ready. (Or the 1600s, or the boomer ’80s, depending on your denomination, I guess.)
There is nothing wrong with the fifties, except we don’t live there anymore. We must love those who live here, now, not yearn for the way things used to be. The cultural sensibilities of the fifties are long past in most of the United States. The values and norms of our current context are drastically different and continue to change. The task of contextualization is paramount to the mission of the church because we are called to understand and speak to those around us in a meaningful way. We can learn much from the Apostle Paul’s example recorded in Acts 17:16-34.
So, a church on mission — in this time and place — engages the people around it. Yes, in some ways, it resembles its context — a biblically faithful church living in its cultural concept. But, if your church loves a past era more than the current mission, it loves the wrong thing.
2. Too many churches love their comfort more than their mission.
The fact is, your church probably needs to be less focused on what makes it happy and more focused on what pleases Jesus. This is an easy trap to fall into because it happens very subtly.
Most churches have worked hard to get to a place where congregational customers are happy — their needs are met. We are called to equip co-laborers. When we win the affections of those inside our circles, it becomes hard to pull away from the affirmation we receive. Again, this only becomes a problem when the affirmation of those on the inside works to the detriment of our mission to those on the outside.
So, a church does not exist for the comfort of its people. Actually, the Bible reminds us again and again that we are to “provoke one another to love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24), to “bear one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2), and more. But, if your church loves its comfort more than caring for others, it loves the wrong thing.
3. Too many churches love their traditions more than their children.
How can you tell? They persist in using methods that are not relevant to their own children and grandchildren. Far too often, church leaders, in an effort to protect the traditions of their congregations, draw lines in the sand on nonessential issues.
This is not to say that “tradition” is wrong. It depends on how you define it, but I think most will know what I mean. Christian scholar Jaroslav Pelikan said, “Tradition is the living faith of the dead, traditionalism is the dead faith of the living.” Churches that love tradition that way will choose their traditions over their children every time.
Too often, churches allow traditions to hinder their ability to humbly assess their missional effectiveness. Moreover, they allow traditions to trump the future trajectory of their demographic. I know of several young pastors who have been exiled from their local congregations because they didn’t fit the mold of what had always been the ethos of the leadership. Undoubtedly, there are always times to defend the traditional stances of essential doctrines in the local church. But we should not have a cultural elitism that hinders passing the torch to a new generation of leaders. If your church loves the way you do church more than your children, it loves the wrong thing.
It’s time to evaluate your church.
Love is good, and everyone wants a loving church. However, loving the wrong things leads you the wrong way. Loving what is good, including our context, Jesus’ mission and the next generation (to name a few things), moves the church in the right direction. The church should be always reforming, that is, humbly looking at itself and assessing its ability to reach people with the good news of Jesus. Sadly, many of the people Jesus devoted His time to would not feel welcome in our churches.
What about your church? What does its posture, behavior, practices and activities communicate to your community? I think all of us want to understand the culture and community we are ministering in so we can communicate the gospel with absolute clarity. To do this, we need to ask ourselves the hard but needed questions.
Ed Stetzer holds the Billy Graham distinguished chair of church, mission and evangelism at Wheaton College and the Wheaton Grad School, where he also oversees the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism