The apostle Peter is the subject of the Wednesday evening study for the next six weeks, with the one exception of the Ash Wednesday Service on February 26. Peter was one of three disciples in Jesus’ inner circle along with James and John. Peter’s humanity, fallibility, courage, impulsivity, strengths, weaknesses, faith and faltering are characteristics of a man to whom many of us can really relate. Tonight, Dr. Henry Hobson will lead us in the second session of this series which is entitled, “Peter Walking on the Water…and Sinking” from the Biblical account of the event found in Matthew 14:22-34. I hope you will be present for this insightful study and interesting discussion to follow.
This Sunday, guest preacher Rev. Terri Byrd will fill the pulpit and deliver a homily entitled “Something New” using as her text Acts 10:1-23. Rev. Byrd is the Alabama State Coordinator for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and has been with us on several prior occasions. I encourage you to be present for worship this Sunday and prayerfully hear Rev. Byrd as we celebrate the Lord’s Day together through prayers, hymns of praise, and words of proclamation.
On this wet and dreary day, I want to remind you of some good things happening at SSBC that will hopefully lift your spirit. We plan to have several guests preachers fill the pulpit over the next few months. This Sunday, Dr. Henry Hobson will preach in the worship service. Dr. Hobson, an active member of Southside, has preached here several times before. Dr. Hobson has pastored churches in Alabama, Kentucky and Louisiana, He is currently a hospice chaplain with Compassus in Birmingham. On February 23, Rev. Terri Byrd will preach at Southside. Terri is the Alabama State Coordinator for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Terri has also filled the pulpit on occasion at SSBC. I hope you will be present and prayerfully hear Dr. Hobson and Rev. Byrd when they preach. Each has inspired us and challenged us when filling the pulpit on previous occasions.
Additionally, this Wednesday evening, Dr. Henry Hobson will begin a study on the life and faith of Simon Peter. This six-session study will focus on the person, the struggles and the successes Simon Peter experienced in his faith journey. I hope you will make plans to attend the first session of this series Wednesday evening following Fellowship Supper and Prayer Time.
We will continue our Wednesday evening study and discussion of Baptist Beliefs, but this week we’ll focus on values that we at SSBC, a community of Believers, hold to be indispensable if we are to be the presence of Christ in this community and beyond. We will use our Mission Statement, and Who We are at Southside statement in our discussion. I hope you will be present for this time of discussion and offer you thoughts and insights. Join your church family at 5:30 p.m. for Fellowship Supper, followed by a time of prayer prior to the Bible Study. Your presence is important in our continued efforts to encourage and support one another and share the love, grace and mercy we have received from Jesus the Christ.
Every Thursday at 12:00 p.m., Charlie Waldrep leads a Men’s Bible Study and lunch. A group of a dozen or so are usually in attendance, and there is always room for more. Then at 5:30 p.m., a group gathers in Memorial Chapel for a brief time of worship. There is music, prayer, and meditation followed by Holy Communion as the service ends. This quiet time of prayer helps many of us put life in perspective when there are so many distractions and concerns on every front.
I look forward to seeing those able to attend any, or all, of the times we gather this week.
Happy New Year! We begin this first full week of the New Year resuming our regular schedule of weekday activities. This includes Wednesday evening Fellowship Supper, Prayer Time and Bible Study beginning at 5:30 p.m. and on Thursday, the Men’s Bible Study at noon and the Communion Service at 5:30 p.m. I look forward to seeing those able to attend any, or all, of these gatherings this week.
In the Bible Study this evening, we will refresh our minds regarding the beliefs we share with all Christians and how that common ground provides opportunities to identify shared values and to address needs across lines and labels that often divide people of faith.
Happy New Year! Here we go again; another year ending and one of unblemished days right before us. There is still a little time in 2019 to finish a task or two that you just have not addressed thus far and instead have carried them forward day after day. I find it a little disappointing if I drag too many unfinished tasks into a new year, especially the kind to which I am referring. These are those items so easily postponed, such as writing a letter or note of appreciation to a friend or a call to a family member or friend to initiate efforts to repair and restore a strained or broken relationship. Maybe it is to make anadditional financial contribution to your churchor other charitable organization, or send a note pledging you time and talents in the mission of that organization.
The opportunity is before us to end the year in a positive way, poised to embrace the days of 2020 that God grants to us. We should do so with a mind that is open, clear and eager to perceive the possibilities before us and to faithfully respond as God gives us guidance. May God bless you in 2020.
Worship last Sunday, the second Sunday of Advent, was a glorious and uplifting service. Of course, a bittersweet reality was on everyone’s mind as it was also the last Sunday for Dr. Roxburgh to serve as our Pastor for Preaching and Teaching. We have benefited from and enjoyed greatly Dr. Roxburgh’s teaching and preaching as well as the warm friendship developed over these years.
Following worship, a reception was held in Dr. Roxburgh’s honor at which we all had an opportunity to personally express our love and appreciation to him. Thank you to all who had a part in creating the wonderful service of worship and to those who labored to provide the superb reception. Everyone may not have received the invitation to participate in the special love offering presented to Dr. Roxburgh. If you would like to contribute, send your gifts to the church office or you can submit them on-line.
This Wednesday evening following the Fellowship Supper and Prayer Time, we will take a look ahead at the Wednesday programming for the next several months. On Thursday, the Men’s Bible Study will meet at noon, and at 5:30 p.m. the Communion Service will be held in Memorial Chapel. This Sunday, the Sanctuary Choir will present the Advent and Christmas music they have been preparing. It will be a wonderful time of worship. Each of these gatherings are opportunities to further prepare ourselves in this Advent season as we wait with expectancy, anticipation and excitement. Matthew writes in his account of the gospel that a forerunner of Jesus would come and prepare the way for the Messiah: This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said, “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord make his paths straight.’” (Mt 3:3)
We know that Christ has come and we await his coming again as the risen Christ promised the Disciples when he departed. He also promised that another would be sent, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, to be with us until that day,
We have the opportunity each day to prepare our lives for the one that is with us now as we wait for the one to come. During Advent, through prayer and meditation we listen for the voice of God. What is God saying to you? What is God revealing to you? What is God directing you to do? In what way is the Spirit of Christ nudging you?
It seems as though we were just getting our fall calendar of events scheduled, and now suddenly we are already in the first week of Advent. Please take note of the various opportunities available to make this Advent season a very special time for you and your family. If you have not already signed up for the daily Advent devotionals that are scheduled to go out to subscribers, please take a moment to do so. SSBC members wrote these devotional emails which adds to the enjoyment and inspiration we receive from them. The cover art which provides a visual expression of the Advent theme, “Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord.” (Is. 2:5) was designed by our own Chris McClendon-Bennett. Additional art by SSBC children contributes even more color and variety to the printed devotional booklets available in the Davis Lobby and the Narthex. Thank you to all who helped produce the guide this year; we all are being blessed by these efforts.
We are back on schedule with our Wednesday and Thursday activities after the week off for Thanksgiving, so please take notice of those events in the weekly calendar.
This Sunday is the last Sunday that our beloved Pastor for Preaching and Teaching, Dr. Roxburgh, will be with us. After his trip to Scotland to visit family, he will return to teach at Samford and to devote time to research and writing. We have all been blessed through his ministry with us at Southside now into its fifth year. We have learned much through his teaching, and we have been inspired, comforted and challenged through his thoughtful homilies delivered lovingly from a pastor’s heart. We will honor Dr. Roxburgh this Sunday following the worship service with a reception in Dillard Lobby. I hope you are present to express to him your love and appreciation for leading and walking alongside us through these years. We will certainly miss him and pledge a prayer of Godspeed for his work and life in the days ahead.