Hey Church Family,
I hope you’re having a great weekend. I’m writing this from my office while 60 or so ladies from both campuses gather together for our annual S.A.L.T. ladies retreat. In these days of COVID-19 the physical gatherings have been limited. That makes the times we do gather in person particularly sweet. The Lord has been good and present throughout the retreat.
I hope you’ll be able to join us tomorrow for one of our Sunday worship gatherings. We have services at 8:15, 9:30 and 11:00.
The COVID-19 cases in Abilene have been ticking up over the past week so please exercise discretion and wisdom in your decision. If you’re unable to make it in person, you can livestream the service from home. You can watch it on our website, Facebook, YouTube or Church Online Platform.
Several people in my social circle have now tested positive for COVID-19. While the younger adults seem to weather it fine, it’s more concerning for “at-risk” folks. It’s not something to play around with.
If you are high-risk, please know we take seriously your health and safety. We recommend masks when social distancing cannot be maintained. We also have the seating in the sanctuary plenty spread out so we can adhere to the guidance we’ve received from health professionals.
Whether you show up in person or stream the service from home, we support you in your decision. We look forward to worshipping God, connecting with one another and receiving from the Lord so we can go out and be a blessing to others.
November 1st Prayer Service
We’re hosting a special prayer service for our country on November 1st at 5:30PM. We will sing a few songs and spend some time praying for our country and the upcoming election. The increased polarization in our national politics has created an atmosphere of division and a widespread lack of civility.
Watching the news or reading the various headlines can be a discouraging thing to do these days. Social media is full of people opining on this or that issue. Negative attack ads are dominating the airwaves. For the next few weeks, this dynamic will only grow.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with expressing your political opinion. There’s nothing wrong with feeling strongly about your political point of view. Those who know me know I have pretty strong convictions in this arena.
We live in a democratic republic. Not only do we have the freedom to express our Christian convictions, we have the privilege of voting for candidates (and platforms) that will advance those interests. We are blessed to live in this great country!
Tragically, though, even followers of Jesus have grown uncivil and mean-spirited in our political discourse. We’ve been tempted to live as if this world is the most important world. Instead of giving Ceaser what is Ceaser’s, we’ve been tempted to give to Ceaser what belongs only to the Lord.
Our ultimate allegiance isn’t to an earthy politician or political movement. Our ultimate hope isn’t in a certain election outcome or given set of policies. Jesus was clear that the Kingdom of God operates according to a different set of rules than the kingdoms of this world. Kingdom politics transcend American politics.
While the values of the Kingdom may intersect with certain values of this or that political platform, the methods and goals are rarely the same.
The Kingdom of God advances through love, not force. It’s bottom up, not top down. It’s inside out, not outside in. The goal isn’t American wealth or prosperity. It’s repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus. It’s a radical commitment not to this age but the age that is to come.
So, even as we participate in the political process and advance what we believe is best, let us do so as people who are “just passing through” and who find our ultimate hope in the Lord. Let us encourage one another to keep our eyes on Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. Let us also be gracious and loving when we disagree in our politics in the household of God.
As the Church, we are called to be a witness of the grace and truth that is in the Lord Jesus Christ. Our culture needs that witness (especially in these days.) Jesus told his disciples that the world would know we were his by the way we love one another. (John 13:35)
Let us work towards that goal. In our speech and our actions let us gain a reputation for a self-denying, sacrificial, love for one another. Let’s remember to elevate the Great Commission over any one election and find our unity in the common faith that we all share.
I would encourage you, if you haven’t seen it yet, to watch a short meditation on the upcoming election put out by Pastor David this past week.
Get Your Flu Shot!
In addition to information about the prayer service and upcoming election, let me also remind you about the flu clinic tomorrow at the south campus after all three morning services.
Jordan will also need a copy of your insurance card or Medicare card, if applicable, to process the vaccine. Please make sure the card you send has pharmacy processing information on it, such as RxBIN, RxPCN, RxGRP, and ID number. You can email your card to the email address below or we can collect a copy of it the week before the clinic.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact Jordan at 325-695-3784 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The last thing I’ll mention in this week’s update is our upcoming Thanksgiving meal on November 22nd.
We will have a worship and testimony service at 5:00pm. Dinner will be served at 6:00 with Turkey and Dressing as the main course.
If you’re planning to attend, there are some things you could bring to help us feed everyone. We are asking for 14 turkeys and 10 hams. If you can provide one then reply back to this email let Ora Morrison know. You can also help out with sides.
A-I : Desserts
This is always one of the coolest nights of the year for our church family. You’ll get to meet people you’ve not yet met and spend time with your closest friends around the dinner table. The food is also good. I hope you can make it!
We will make changes to the meal to accommodate the guidance given for COVID-19. We will encourage you to sit with family and space out the chairs. We will also spread out more in the room. We will have less space but we will also likely have way less people. So if you feel comfortable, please come! If not, you can stream the service from home.
Trunk or Treat
Also remember we are having a Trunk or Treat this coming October 28th from 6:30 to 7:30PM at Broadview West. We are in need of CANDY and Volunteers who will decorate the cars and pass out the candy. You can talk to Pastor Vernon Ferguson or Tonya Holland if you have any more question.
We are also doing some new “Family Missions Project this fall. (see picture below) This months project is to donate some candy for the Trunk or Treat next Wednesday. In the coming months we will engage in the project below. You’ll be receiving more information in the next update about the November project.
Don’t forget we have the new men’s Bible study hosted on Wednesday nights at 6:30 in the music suite. It’s not too late to join. It’s a men’s Bible study entitled “Seven Challenges Men Encounter.” You can watch a trailer for the series on Right Now Media. You can sign up for the class here.
With that I’m going to end this week’s update. It’s hard to get everything in and still have this thing readable. I hope you’ll join us for the Prayer Service on November 1st. Please continue to pray also for those in our church who are dealing with COVID-19 or other sicknesses.
We have many many families in our church who are also dealing with the loss of a loved one. They will need your prayers as well. Some of the names are listed above in this email. If you have something you’d like added to that list you can also replay and let me know.
If you’ve got a personal prayer request and would like me to pray for you then I will commit to doing that as well. Just reply to this email and let me know. Here lately sometimes they’ve been getting flagged in the Junk Mail so if you get a late or no response – consider emailing me outright using this address.
I hope I’ll see many of you tomorrow. If not, I’ll catch you on the internet!