Nov. 8, 2019 Greetings, everyone! Many thanks for all the expressions of appreciation to the pastoral staff over the last month. You all are a wonderful people to pastor and lead. Kyle and I consider it a privilege to minister to, with, and among you!
MBC Report: I gave a brief report on the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) annual meeting to those gathered for worship on Sunday evening. In the main, it was a great meeting for fellowship, worship, and reuniting with friends and ministry colleagues, some of whom I had not visited with in person since college or seminary days. The important news is that 3 of the 5 MBC institutions whose trustee boards went rogue 18 years ago (Missouri Baptist Foundation, Missouri Baptist University, and The Baptist Home) are once again happily governed by their duly elected MBC trustees. MBF came back last year; MBU and TBH were returned earlier this year. However, something happened during the convention president's address Monday night that I was not expecting. The director of Windermere Baptist Conference Center, another of the MBC institutions whose trustees unlawfully changed their charters to provide for self-perpetuating trustee boards, spoke from the platform words expressing apology and seeking forgiveness for past decisions which led to the severing of relations with the MBC. Due to the way Windermere's charter was written, the courts did not return it to the MBC as had been the case with the other agencies. However, Windermere is now putting together a trustee board that will seek to be in friendly relationship with the MBC, if not immediately coming back into the MBC "family" of institutions.This is a wonderful step in the direction of full reconciliation. A task force is in place to help facilitate future steps. The convention is encouraging the churches to once again utilize the beautiful facilities of Windermere for conferences, retreats, reunions, etc.
The convention closed with a concert by Keith and Kristyn Getty who are most well-known for their song "In Christ Alone." What a blessing they were to us all!
TOMORROW our deacons will meet at 8 am in regular monthly session. Pray for them as they finish the work of vetting and preparing deacon nominees for the church's approval.
THE LORD’S DAY will begin for us with prayer in the sanctuary at 9:15 am (all are welcome to pray with us for the services of the day). Bible study for all ages is at 9:30 followed by corporate worship at 10:40 am. Our Scripture for the morning will be Colossians 1:5-8 as we finish out the sermon "What Is the Gospel" begun last week. On Sunday evening, we will be back in Hebrews 4:1-13. Take a few moments to read those passages as we prepare to focus on God's word together.
STEWARDSHIP TEAM met last Sunday evening to finish preparing the 2020 Church Budget Proposal. The proposal along with a pastoral stewardship letter will be available to you on Sunday morning. In that letter, I will remind you that this is a budget proposal, not the final budget for 2020. You will have the opportunity to examine it, pray over it, ask questions of our Stewardship Team, and come together to discuss it at the monthly member meeting (which has been postponed until November 17 at 6 pm). The congregational vote on the finalized proposal will happen on the following Sunday, November 24, Lord willing.
Please be in prayer as to what the Lord would have you give this year, and especially how you plan to grow in the spiritual discipline of giving. We are currently experiencing a budget shortfall of roughly $20,000 for 2019 year to date, or about 6 weeks of giving.
OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD Please bring filled shoe boxes to the church office this Sunday (Nov. 10). Final items will be added to any boxes lacking those items prior to collection week. On Sunday, Nov. 17, we will pray over, load up, and prepare the shoe boxes for delivery to one of our local collection points. OCC Collection Week is November 18-25.
"Thanksliving" Meal/Service will be Tuesday, Nov. 26, at 6 pm. This is our annual Thanksgiving Dinner which is open to all community members as well. This is largely a carry-in dinner, but some of the food is prepared at the church, including the turkey. If you would be willing to purchase a large turkey (20-25 lbs.) for the meal, please contact Marsha Smith.
Thanksgiving Boxes will be prepared by Living Hope food pantry to help families in the community with groceries at this time of year. We will be providing you with a list of food items to help supply in this effort.
A Special Visit from Belarus Vasya and Oksana Zimovoi, our mission partners in Belarus, along with their daughter Alina, will be with us for a few days in December, and Vasya will be bringing the morning message on December 8. For those who may not be aware, we have been in partnership with a church in Belarus for about a quarter century, ever since the partnership was forged through the Missouri Baptist Convention many year ago. We send an annual gift of $1000 plus any designated gifts that have accrued throughout the year to help support special ministry emphases of our partner church. Last year, the funds we sent helped them to put on a Gospel camp which reached many lost young people with the Good News of Jesus Christ. Please plan to be with us for this special day of worship.
Last Sunday’s Message on Colossians 1:5-8 (the first 3 minutes of audio is inferior quality, but it improves after that)
Two Week's Ago Message on Colossians 1:3-5
FIGHTER VERSES for this week James 4:7-8 "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded."
READ THROUGH THE BIBLE Chronologically this year:
Nov. 10 Luke 22; John 13
Nov. 11 John 14-17
Nov. 12 Matt. 27; Mark 15
Nov. 13 Luke 23; John 18-19
Nov. 14 Matt. 28; Mark 16
Nov. 15 Luke 24 John 20-21
Nov. 16 Acts 1-3
Thirty Year Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall is tomorrow. On Nov. 9, 1989, two years after President Reagan's famous "Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall!" speech at the Brandenburg Gate, that wall was penetrated and started to be dismantled piece by piece. I was invited to visit friends for a month-long stay in the newly reunified Germany in the summer of 1990, just 8 months after that historic occasion. It was rather incredible to be there in those days of optimism, idealism, and newfound liberalism. Listen to Al Mohler's "The Briefing " from today where he talks about what America lost when that wall fell.
International Week of Prayer for the Persecuted Church concludes this Sunday, Nov. 10. On Wednesday evening, I played this video from Voice of the Martyrs to highlight the need for prayer for our brothers and sisters in the persecuted church around the globe. Watch the soul-stirring story of Sang-chul in North Korea.
Veteran's Day honors living veterans of our military branches. In honor of all military veterans, here is a video of famous WWII veterans who are still living. Enjoy!
See you in church!
Grace and peace,