The pastor and music director in Old First Church did not get along at all. One week, the pastor preached on commitment and how we should dedicate ourselves to service. Right after the sermon, the music director led the choir in singing, "I Shall Not Be Moved."
The next Sunday, the pastor preached on giving and how we should gladly give to the work of the Lord. The music director then led the song, "Jesus Paid It All."
The next Sunday, the pastor preached on gossiping and how we should watch our tongues. The following hymn was "I Love To Tell The Story."
The pastor became disgusted over the situation and the next Sunday he told the congregation he was considering resigning. The choir then sang "Oh, Why Not Tonight."
When the preacher resigned the next week he told the church that Jesus had led him there, and Jesus was taking him away. The choir then sang, "What a Friend We Have in Jesus."
Judy and I want to take a moment to “thank you” for remembering and recognizing us during “Pastor Appreciation Month”. Your kindness and friendship toward us is consistently and constantly overwhelming.
See You On Sunday!
The end of a calendar year takes my focus in two directions. One focus is on November and December and the many and varied things we have scheduled. Some of those items are music-oriented – like our Christmas program on December 8. Others are more administrative in nature – like when we’ll be having Wednesday night dinners/classes and when the Operation Christmas Child Relay Center will be open.
My other focus is on 2014. Wednesday night discipleship classes for adults and music for Easter are at the top of my 2014 to-do list.
First, November and December. We have lots going on this month and next. The Community Thanksgiving Service will be held Tuesday the 26th (7:00 pm) right here at our church. Our Operation Christmas Child activities are in high gear with the shoebox collection going on and the Relay Center getting ready to open (November 18 is the opening day). The Mitten Tree is up, and very soon we will be collecting clothes and toys for the Christmas Store at the Church Hill Wellness Center. The Christmas Music Program (featuring our children and the adult choir) take place on December 8. Our Christmas Eve Candlelight Communion Service takes place at 5:00 on – well, you know, Christmas Eve.
Wednesday evenings between now and mid-December will include classes and activities for our children and youth. Prayer Meeting & Bible Study will be led by our deacons. And we are also offering an Advent Study for adults.
And then it’s 2014!!
On two consecutive Wednesday evenings (January 8 and 15), local attorney Mark Matthews will present an Estate Planning and Elder Law class. More information about Attorney Matthews’ class will be available in December. Later in 2014, Chuck Sohn and Pat Hallinan will be offering classes for adults. Of course, Bonnie Sohn and Justin Blunt will continue to offer children and youth classes and activities.
Toward the end of January we’ll again host a men’s group from CARITAS. And very soon after that we’ll be getting ready for Operation Inasmuch 2014 (scheduled for April 26).
With all this planning, it seems like I may be wishing and planning my life away. And maybe I am. Yet right now I really do need to have a dual focus – sort of like being nearsighted and farsighted at the same time –to be sure those things we want to take place here happen as expected.
But I hope I don’t get so busy that I fail to take time to be close to God, to experience Jesus. In all the busyness that comes at the end of a calendar year, I need to remember to take time to laugh and to cry, to listen and to talk, to know and to be known, to help and to be helped, to love and to be loved.
How about you?
Under His Direction, Mark
Operation Christmas Child....The next step in the journey!!
There is so much excitement and interest in the Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Ministry! We are anticipating many opportunities for the Gospel message to be spread because of the challenge presented to our congregation to make "just one more" shoebox. Remember, the gift is so much more than the toys, crayons, candy and other items inside. Each box represents an opportunity for our missionaries to share the Good News of our Savior with countless numbers of children and ultimately their entire family and community. This is so powerful!!!! The deadline for bringing your shoe boxes is Sunday, Nov. 17th.
But what next? Where do our boxes go after they are left on the altar steps? Our gifts, along with many others from the community are gathered and placed in large cartons to prepare for the next stop in the journey, the Processing Center in Charlotte. SBC has the privilege of being a relay center where sister churches, individuals and businesses bring their shoe boxes to be readied for the next step.
Last year our center processed close to 2000 shoeboxes during National Collection Week. As you can probably imagine, this requires a number of individuals who will volunteer several hours throughout the week to help in this endeavor.
There are sign up sheets on the table in the back hallway, one for each day of National Collection Week, Nov. 18-25. There are 2-3 shifts each day. You may sign up for one or more on the same day or different days.
Please give prayerful consideration about being a volunteer this year. You will not be disappointed, and you will be blessed in many ways by your participation.
Charlotte Processing Center....There are still some seats available on the bus if you would like to travel to Charlotte to volunteer in the Processing Center, preparing the boxes for the final leg of their journey. This is an awesome experience! We have a lot of fun and fellowship as we travel and work side by side in this ginormous warehouse where there are hundreds of thousands of shoe boxes! It is mind boggling how this enormous effort comes together and runs like a well-oiled machine. This promises to be a life-changing experience. You will be surrounded by so many excited, energy-charged people all working towards one common goal....spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ through these small gift boxes!
We will gather at the church at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, November 29 , travel to Charlotte where we will work in the warehouse for 6 hours on Saturday, Dec. 1st and return to Sandston on Sunday, Dec. 1. There is a sign up sheet in the back hallway to add your name to other excited friends.
If you have any questions or need additional information on either of these ministry opportunities, please feel free to contact Brenda Crain 737-1842 or Jean Jones 737-2233.